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SPL: Spacestation Gaming week one preview

Week one of Spacestation Gaming’s spring split kicks off this week with a pair of Friday night best of threes. The first set of the night features eUnited, marking a rematch of the North American finals at the 2017 Super Regionals.
spacestation week one
Image courtesy of esports.smitegame.com

Nine out of the ten players in this set were involved in the Super Regionals best of five, which was taken by eUnited in five games. Now, with the addition of Andrew “Andinster” Woodward, Spacestation’s roster is hoping for a better outcome on Friday. There is good reason to have hope, as the roster that now comprises Spacestation Gaming was able to beat eUnited three times in the 2017 fall split. Only one other team was able to do so once, as eUnited went on to dominate European competition and win the 2018 Smite World Championship.

In the second set of the night, the Spacestation squad will see familiar faces in Trifecta’s jungler Suharab “MASK” Askarzada and solo laner Ronnie “ScaryD” Belair. MASK and ScaryD have spent time with much of the Spacestation roster, being the jungler and solo laner for the group when they were all on the Luminosity roster last season. This year though, MASK and ScaryD will be flying under the Trifecta banner, looking to prove wrong the decision to move on from them.

eUnited: Mar. 23, 2018 6:45 ET

Solo – Aquarius (SSG) vs BENJI (eun)

Looking back at their games last season, Aquarius was able to hold his own admirably against one of the best North American solo laners in Ben “Benji” McKinzey. This year, Aquarius is going to need to show he can continue that play without working as closely with his jungler. If he can apply enough pressure to out-rotate Benji, then Spacestation has a solid chance to come out the victor. But after Benji dominated his competition in season four, the advantage is in his favor.

Most contested god: Cu Chulainn

Advantage: eUnited

Jungle – Andinster (ssg) vs screammmmm (eun)

On Friday night, Andinster will take on one of the most dominant junglers in the world in Lucas “Screammmmm” Spracklin. In Andinster’s first set back in jungle, it will be a true test for the 21 year old to prove he can still succeed in his old role. Though, Screammmmm has had consistency issues throughout his career that he needs to show are in the past. If not, Andinster needs to take advantage of the mistakes Screammmmm has been prone to make. If Screammmmm plays as he did in the 2017 fall split, the advantage will be clearly in eUnited’s favor.

Most contested god: Serqet

Advantage: eUnited

Mid – baskin (ssg) vs venenu (eun)

Going into what is arguably the closest matchup of week one, Woonyoung “Baskin” Kim and Brandon “Venenu” Casale will both want to prove they are the best at their role. Baskin has proven that he is one of the most mechanically gifted players in Smite, while Venenu on the other hand brought home the 2018 SWC MVP. If the two play to their full potential, fans will be in for an absolute treat in the mid lane on Friday. In a matchup this close, the advantage goes to the reigning MVP. However, Baskin still might be the best player in this set.

Most contested god: The Morrigan

Advantage: eUnited

ADC – BARRACCUDDA (SSG) VS PANDACAT (EUN)

It has not taken long for Maksim “PandaCat” Yanevich to establish himself along with John “BaRRaCCuDDa” Salter as the top two ADCs in North America. If PandaCat is able to keep up the pace he set in the 2017 fall split, he is going to give BaRRaCCuDDa everything he can handle. Here, the side that can generate pressure and play off their jungle and mid will be the side that sees success. Overall, BaRRaCCuDDa’s efficient style gives him the advantage in this close matchup.

Most contested god: Hachiman

Advantage: Spacestation

Support – jEFFHINDLA (SSG) VS POLARBEARMIKE (EUN)

If there is one player in North America that can match Rosario “JeffHindla” Vilardi as an all around support, it is Micheal “PolarBearMike” Heiss. The eUnited support has been an incredible leader for his team, helping them win the aforementioned 2018 SWC. PolarBearMike has shown he is a play-making support with one of the top minds in the game today. Both players can have massive impacts on their games, and as with mid, the advantage in a matchup as close as this goes to the reigning champion.

Most contested god: Fafnir

Advantage: eUnited

Prediction

Spacestation and eUnited are primed to put on a show in week one in the SPL. The two teams should provide a close set that ultimately sees eUnited victorious in three games.

2-1 eUnited

Trifecta: Mar. 23, 2018 8:30 ET

Solo – AQUARIUS (SSG) VS SCARYD (TFECT)

The solo lane in this matchup features two players that have had their fair share of question marks surrounding them. Aquarius was brought on to replace ScaryD on the Luminosity roster before the 2017 fall split, due to inconsistencies within his play. Aquarius on the other hand needs to prove he is capable of being a difference maker on the Spacestation roster. This is a close matchup, but ScaryD has shown himself to be too inconsistent to favor.

Most contested god: Artio

Advantage: Spacestation

Jungle – ANDINSTER (SSG) VS MASK (TFECT)

In another matchup featuring a player going against the man who replaced him, MASK and Andinster are set to face off. Both players play aggressive styles of jungling, so expect to see speed buff invades and ganks throughout the game. Ultimately though, this matchup is going to be won through efficient farming and objective play. With that in mind, the advantage goes in favor of MASK who was seen as a top North American jungler last season.

Most contested god: Serqet

Advantage: Trifecta

Mid – baskin (ssg) vs metyankey (tfect)

In possibly the most lopsided matchup of week one, Baskin is set to take on Michael “Metyankey” Fasciano in the mid lane. Baskin is widely considered to be one of the best players in the game currently, while Metyankey split his time in season four between mid and ADC on a faltering Allegiance Gaming squad. Look for Baskin to take advantage of this disparity and apply strong pressure on the lane and enemy jungle. The advantage is easily on the side of Spacestation in this matchup as Metyankey looks to simply be outclassed.

Most contested god: Thoth

Advantage: Spacestation

ADC – barraccudda (ssg) vs zapman (tfect)

BaRRaCCuDDa and Steven “Zapman” Zapas have a long history in the ADC role. Both have been thriving in the league since the original launch tournament in 2014. Zapman though, has had a recent dip in play. After taking the 2017 summer split off, Zapman returned for the 2017 fall split with disappointing results. As the ADC for Spacestation gaming, Zapman struggled to find the success he had become accustomed to in the league. Zapman needs to put up a big performance against BaRRaCCuDDa in order to stop the questions regarding his disappointing play. However, BaRRaCCuDDa’s farming style is perfect for a map that rewards efficiency, giving him the advantage in this matchup.

Most contested god: Ullr

Advantage: Spacestation

Support jeffhindla (ssg) vs neirumah (tfect)

As a relatively new face in the SPL, Neil “Neirumah” Mah is going to have his hands full competing with JeffHindla. Neirumah is considered by analysts to be a strong up and coming presence in the SPL. However after a weak showing as a part of the now disbanded Allegiance Gaming, Neirumah needs to show he is capable of matching the excellence of other top-tier supports in the league starting in week one with JeffHindla. The advantage here goes to JeffHindla through his experience and versatility in the role.

Most contested god: Ganesha

Advantage: Spacestation

Prediction

These are two aggressive teams that are going to look to capitalize on their objective play in this week one matchup. Overall a well matched set that should see Spacestation come out the victor in three games.

2-1 Spacestation

Things to watch

Keep an eye on early game relic choices in week one. Relics such as Teleport, Belt of Frenzy, Blink, and Horrific Emblem are likely to see a lot of play. As well, pay attention to when these relics receive an upgraded purchase, as it may come earlier than last season.

Watch how the junglers on each team decide to start their pathing. It will give an indication of where they will want to apply pressure on the map. This decision may dictate the outcome of the game.

After a cost increase in patch 5.4, watch for any purchases of Chalice of the Oracle. Both PolarBearMike and JeffHindla have valued this item out of support in the past. Now, we will see if it will still be attractive for them and other roles in week one.

All games are available exclusively through SmiteGame on Mixer.

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Top image courtesy of Hi-Rez Studios

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