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SPL: Spacestation Gaming season five spring split preview

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After a strong showing throughout much of season four in the SPL, the now Spacestation Gaming roster ran into disappointment at the 2018 Smite World Championship. Going in as the number two seed in North America, the then Luminosity Gaming roster was put against the two-time defending champion NRG eSports in the quarterfinals. NRG made quick work of Luminosity, needing only 53 minutes to win the best of three in two games. The loss marked yet another letdown for a roster that has struggled against top competition from Europe. With their elimination it was clear that change was going to be needed.

Not long after SWC 2018, it was announced that four members of Luminosity would be moving on to join Spacestation Gaming. Ryan “Aquarius” O’Neill, Woonyoung “Baskin” Kim, John “BaRRaCCuDDa” Salter and Rosario “JeffHindla” Vilardi all joined Andrew “Andinster” Woodward to form the new Spacestation roster. The move marked a championship reunion for BaRRaCCuDDa, JeffHindla and Andinster as members of the season one SWC champion Cognitive Prime. Fans of Spacestation are hoping that this new roster of familiar faces will be enough to contend in a new SPL season filled with stiffer competition.

Solo Lane

The most inexperienced and unproven name on the Spacestation roster belongs to their solo laner Aquarius. While not as flashy as other solo laners in the league, Aquarius has been steady and poised in the role. This year, solo lane will showcase one versus one talent compared to the two versus two meta of season four. With that in mind, the 18 year old Canadian needs to prove he can keep up with the league’s best.

Top gods to expect from Aquarius: Cabrakan, Chaac, Osiris.

Jungle

While his name is not unproven, questions still remain regarding Andinster’s return to the jungle role. After moving into the mid lane in early 2017, Andinster decided to go back into the jungle in season five. With a full year off from high level jungle competition it is fair to question how soon the former world champion jungler can recapture his success. However, the 21 year old American has shown he is not the type of person you should be doubting. If he can return to his previous form, Spacestation will have a superstar in the most important role this season.

Top gods to expect from Andinster: Serqet, Thor, Camazotz.

Mid Lane

From one player considered to be the best to another, Spacestation has an absolute stud in their mid laner Baskin. Like Andinster, Baskin transitioned to mid after proving to be one of the best solo players in SPL history. Baskin has improved and flourished throughout the entirety of his time in mid lane. Now analysts, casters and players alike consider the 19 year old American to be in the top five at his role. With the mid role gaining a lot of importance in season 5, Spacestation’s best player will be able to have a greater impact on games. If Baskin continues his improvement within the role in season five, it will not be hard to argue his position as the greatest Smite player not only currently, but of all time.

Top gods to expect from Baskin: The Morrigan, Janus, Sol.

ADC

Having BaRRaCCuDDa simply guarantees a strong roster. The legendary ADC has spent years dominating his lane and rival ADCs in the SPL. With an incredibly diverse god pool, BaRRaCCuDDa is always a factor in games as long as he is healthy. This year, the meta rewards efficient farming more than rotations, which plays right into the 27 year old American’s hands. However, the current meta is one that sees ADCs provide less of an impact than years past. This will make it interesting to see how much of an effect BaRRaCCuDDa’s mastery will have on SpaceStation’s win total.

Top gods to expect from BaRRaCCuDDa: Hachiman, Jing Wei, Anhur.

Support

As the other half of the iconic “SexTank”, JeffHindla has exhibited why he commands such deep respect within the league. It would be hard to find a player more beloved by his teammates than the Spacestation support. Through his outstanding communication skills and team-friendly attitude, Jeff is the type of support that makes the team around him better. The 24 year old American is exactly what a team needs when it comes to winning games. With the current meta seeing diminished value for supports, Jeff’s intangibles allow him to continue to massively impact games. As well, Jeff’s ability to play a double jungle style gives Spacestation needed variety to keep opponents guessing.

Top gods to expect from JeffHindla: Ganesha, Athena, Fafnir.

Prediction

On paper, Spacestation has one of the strongest rosters in North America, rivaled only by the defending SWC champions eUnited. Some questions still remain regarding how well Andinster will transition back into the jungle, how well he will work in conjunction with Aquarius, and whether their objective play will be hurt by the loss of their former jungler Suharab “MASK” Askarzada. However given their pedigree, this team has all the markings of a championship roster. They are predicted to finish second in North America in the 2018 spring split with seven series wins (15-6 record).

Schedule

eUnited: Mar. 23, 2018 6:45 ET

Trifecta: Mar. 23 2018 8:30 ET

Counter Logic Gaming: Mar. 28 2018 6:45 ET

Luminosity Gaming: Mar. 30 2018 6:45 ET

Splyce: Apr. 4 2018 6:45 ET

Splyce: Apr. 11 2018 6:45 ET

Counter Logic Gaming: Apr. 18 2018 6:45 ET

Luminosity Gaming: Apr. 20 2018 6:45 ET

eUnited: Apr. 27 2018 6:45 ET

Trifecta: Apr. 27 2018 8:30 ET

All games are available exclusively through SmiteGame on Mixer.

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Top image courtesy of HiRez Studios, SmitePro.

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