In the second matchup of North American vs European teams this season, Europe once again came out the victors.
In similar fashion to their regional scrim partners eUnited, Spacestation Gaming lost their quarterfinal set against Team Dignitas 2-1 at the SMITE Masters LAN event. The loss places Spacestation into the losers bracket in the tournament, giving them a win or go home, three-set path to the final. That path will potentially include yet another face-off between Spacestation and eUnited, two teams that know each other well. However, Spacestation must first get past the Latin American representatives in Nocturns Gaming, a team that looked the strongest in a relatively weak international field.
Game 1 – (Dig)
Solo: Ryan “Aquarius” Oh Neill – Achilles (2/2/6)
Jungle: Andrew “andinster” Woodward – Ravana (3/1/7)
Mid: Woonyoung “Baskin” Kim – Poseidon (2/2/7)
Support: Rosario “JeffHindla” Vilardi – Sylvanus (1/2/7)
ADC: John “BaRRaCCuDDa” Salter – Jing Wei (3/4/5)
SSG bans: Terra, Sobek, Hercules, Fafnir
Solo: Harry “Variety” Cumming – Aphrodite (1/3/4)
Jungle: Anders “QvoFred” Korsbo – Serqet (4/2/3)
Mid: Joakim “Zyrhoes” Verngren – Janus (1/0/5)
Support: Jeppe “Trixtank” Gylling – Amaterasu (0/2/7)
ADC: Kenny “Arkkyl” Kuska – Rama (5/4/6)
DIG bans: Athena, Ullr, Geb, Artemis
In order for Spacestation to have won this game, they needed to get off to a strong start. The picks they made were all about the early pressure, with the hopes of snowballing to a quick and decisive victory.
Dignitas on the other hand drafted a dream late game composition. Their main goal was to keep it close until Aphrodite, Rama and Amaterasu could take over the game.
Unfortunately for Spacestation, they were not able to build a large enough lead to avoid going to the late game. Dignitas won the objective war, securing two Gold Furies, zero Pyromancers, and two Fire Giants. Spacestation however secured only one Gold Fury, two Pyromancers, and one Fire Giant.
This back and forth close action was exactly what Dignitas wanted, as they were able to take complete control of the game around the 30 minute mark.
QvoFred on Serqet proved to be a real thorn in Spacestation’s side. However, it was Variety’s superb play on Aphrodite that will leave a sour taste in Spacestation’s mouth.
Spacestation had the opportunity to snowball on Aphrodite’s weak early game, but Aquarius and andinster were not able to turn their pressure into invades to put the squishy mage far enough behind. That failure led to Dignitas closing out the game in 38 minutes.
Player of the game: Variety
Game 2 – (SSG)
Solo: Ryan “Aquarius” Oh Neill – Achilles (4/4/5)
Jungle: Andrew “andinster” Woodward – Serqet (9/1/9)
Mid: Woonyoung “Baskin” Kim – Apollo (8/3/10)
Support: Rosario “JeffHindla” Vilardi – Sylvanus (0/2/13)
ADC: John “BaRRaCCuDDa” Salter – Hachiman (3/3/11)
SSG bans: Janus, Terra, Ravana, Ratatoskr
Solo: Harry “Variety” Cumming – Sobek (1/2/10)
Jungle: Anders “QvoFred” Korsbo – Nemesis (10/3/2)
Mid: Joakim “Zyrhoes” Verngren – Discordia (1/6/4)
Support: Jeppe “Trixtank” Gylling – Fafnir (1/6/6)
ADC: Kenny “Arkkyl” Kuska – Rama (0/7/7)
DIG bans: Athena, Ullr, Jing Wei, Artemis
The story of game two was all about Spacestation’s ability to invade Dignitas’s red buff. Repeatedly, Spacestation was able to group to get a four man invade into the Dignitas left side jungle, coming away with kills and the coveted buff.
Their strategy not only gave them a lead, but gave them pressure on the left side of the map. This pressure turned into complete objective control, as Spacestation secured all three Gold Furies in the game.
QvoFred and Variety did all they could to keep Dignitas in the game, but andinster on Serqet was too much for Dig to handle. The initiation, mobility and burst damage that Serqet provides could not be adequately countered by either team in this set.
Ultimately it was Baskin piloting Apollo that denied Dignitas from two Fire Giant attempts, allowing Spacestation to build their lead and close out the game in 33 minutes.
Player of the game: andinster
Game 3 – (DIG)
Solo: Ryan “Aquarius” Oh Neill – Achilles (1/3/0)
Jungle: Andrew “andinster” Woodward – Ravana (1/7/2)
Mid: Woonyoung “Baskin” Kim – Jing Wei (0/2/0)
Support: Rosario “JeffHindla” Vilardi – Sylvanus (0/2/2)
ADC: John “BaRRaCCuDDa” Salter – Jing Wei (1/5/0)
SSG bans: Janus, Terra, Amaterasu, Aphrodite
Solo: Harry “Variety” Cumming – Sobek (1/0/7)
Jungle: Anders “QvoFred” Korsbo – Serqet (11/0/7)
Mid: Joakim “Zyrhoes” Verngren – Thoth (2/2/11)
Support: Jeppe “Trixtank” Gylling – Kumbhakarna (1/0/14)
ADC: Kenny “Arkkyl” Kuska – Rama (4/1/10)
DIG bans: Athena, Ullr, Apollo, Poseidon
It was the QvoFred show in game three. In a third straight game of Serqet dominating the field, QvoFred was able to do anything he wanted. His early gank on duo lane completely shut down Spacestation’s strategy of invading Dignitas’s red buff, and ultimately gave Dignitas complete control of the map.
Without the same level of pressure and map control as in game two, Spacestation quickly lost in both kills and objectives. Wherever QvoFred went, a kill was likely soon to follow him, as he was involved in 18 of Dignitas’s 19 kills in a 23 minute game.
This game was a sloppy performance by Spacestation, closing out an entertaining set in a disappointing fashion for the top North American seed.
Player of the game: QvoFred
Spacestation showed that while they are capable of putting forth a competitive set against European competition, they still are not able to take that next step to win. Games one and two were close games that could have gone either way, but game three was all Dignitas.
While Baskin did not have a bad set, Dignitas was able to do enough to keep him from controlling the game in games one and three.
Don’t expect andinster to go back to the Ravana for the rest of the tournament. While the god itself is not bad in the jungle, two straight poor performances will likely force Spacestation to look at other options.
High mobility was king in this set. Gods like Serqet, Amaterasu, Apollo and Janus dominated their respective roles. Expect to see a lot more of this style going forward.
Double hunter and four physical compositions proved to be viable in game two. With the strength of anti-tank items and the objective shred capability of hunters, having a balance of magical burst damage is not necessarily required in this meta. Look for Spacestation to go back to this strategy later in the tournament.
BaRRaCCuDDa looked to be refreshed in his first LAN set of the season. After struggling to provide an impact throughout much of the spring split, the North American ADC showed flashes of greatness in games one and two.
If Spacestation wants to keep their LAN dreams alive, they can’t afford to have a repeat of their game three performance.
Top image courtesy of Hi-Rez Studios.