Recapping week two of the Smite Pro League
With week three of the SPL already beginning, and things as hectic as they have ever been in the Smite world, I thought that you could use a recap of what happened and who beat who in the second week of the Smite Pro League.
With the first-week jitters out of the way, and the meta slightly more defined, the respective North American and European leagues have started to take shape and make sense at this point, but frequently not in the way we expected at the start of the season.
In this article, we give you a rundown of the top story-lines that unfolded this week.
The World Champions continue to struggle (EUnited loses 0-2 to SSG and Trifecta )
After their excellent victory in January, no one could have expected that NRG would have been stone cold last in the table at the end of the second week. However, that is the situation that Michael “PolarBearMike” Heiss and his team find themselves in.
The combination of the increase in talent in North America as well as the champs simply not playing well has continued into week two. Following their loss to Luminosity in week one, we saw more of the same. Both matches were actually closer than the simple 2-0 figure looks; but the loss to Trifecta, one of the weaker teams in a stacked NA pro league, means that they need to pick up quickly or risk missing out on the spring LAN.
Counter-Logic Gaming on top (CLG beat SSG 2-0)
In an early indicator of who we can expect to be at the top of the standings come the end of the split, an excellent match between CLG and Spacestation Gaming was one of the highlights of week two. While Spacestation have looked outstanding this split, with Woonyoung “Baskin” Kim looking like perhaps the best Mid-Lane player in the world, the overall team-work, counter-play and drafting allowed CLG to take the set 2-0 and stake their claim as the top team in North America.
A great part of CLG’s fantastic start to the season has been Support Connor “Jigz” Echols excellent play and leadership. The Georgia native has really stepped up this season and has begun to be known as one of the best supports in the region. We’ll see going forward if this team can build on a good start and continue to dominate North America.
Dignitas dominate Europe (Dig beat Rival 2-1, SK 2-0)
After the disappointment of Super Regionals and missing worlds, many thought the end was nigh for this Dignitas roster. They are a self-confessed squad of big egos and individuals who believed they were let down by teammates in the past. However the team managed to regroup and have put together a scintillating start to Season 5. The “superteam” put together at the start of season 4 put on an excellent display against Team Rival, with the latter managing to take game 1 of a hotly contested set with Dignitas being able to make the necessary adjustments and win games two and three.
While Team Rival played very well, and are for certain a force to be reckoned with this split, they will be disappointed to have not been able to take the victory in the set versus Dignitas. Unstoppable force and star solo laner Deathwalkr, considered by many one of the best in the world, was unable to deal with the immovable object which is Harry “Variety” Cummings, who was able to carry and snowball the team to victory.
Their other match, versus bottom-of-the-pack SK gaming, was not close at all. SK have struggled this season and this match seemed every second like bottom-versus-top of the league. Once again, Anders “QvoFred” Korsbo proved how important the Jungle role is in the current meta and was able to snowball and carry both games with relative ease. He, for sure, is one to watch and could lay claim to the “best jungler” role that has been NRG’s Adapting for so long. The two face off in Week 3 so an answer to this question could be with us sooner than we know.
What’s wrong with Obey? (Obey beat Mouse 2-0, lost to NRG 0-2)
Widely considered Top-2 in Europe last season, the Summer Split winners Obey have not looked like themselves at all this split. Although this week did lead to their first victory, with a hard-fought win over MouseSports, who have struggled this split despite promising moments. Their wacky compositions (subject of a TGH article last week) seems to be somewhat more of a gimmick than the triple-guardian double-hunter of last season. And while the occasional one works out, against the better teams they don’t seem to be working, with Mouse falling 0-2 to Obey.
Speaking of the better teams, NRG are certainly well over Obey at the moment. Trading supports at the start of the season, many would have expected the games to be closer than they were in reality. While fiery (Craig “iRaffer” Rathbone and Emil “Emilzy” Nielsen seem to genuinely dislike each other), NRG seemed to pretty easily dominate Obey. Whether this will be the same for the whole season will remain to be seen, but it seems that Obey have some work to do still, with last season’s star jungler CaptainTwig yet to make an impact this season. I wonder how much longer the team will last without trying something new.
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