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SPL: Spacestation Gaming week two preview

After a strong week one, Spacestation Gaming (2-0) look to keep up their momentum in their week two sets against Counter Logic Gaming (2-0) and Luminosity Gaming (2-0).

spacestation week one
Image courtesy of esports.smitegame.com
Counter Logic matched Spacestation as the only other North American team to win win two sets in week one. Spacestation fans will see familiar names, as Connor “Jigz” Echols, Alexander “Homiefe” D’Souza and Alec “fineokay” Fonzo have all spent time with Spacestation. For them, it will be a chance to prove the organization made a mistake by not bringing them back in season five.
Coming into the season, few people predicted Luminosity to finish above 5th in North America. But after defeating the reigning world champions eUnited in week one, Luminosity created believers throughout the SPL. Now they look to prove they are a legitimate contender by taking down another top team in Spacestation.

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

Solo – Aquarius (SSG) vs fineokay (clg)

Ryan “Aquarius” O’Neill helped to answer many of the questions that surrounded with his performance in week one. Now, he will be tasked with going against the man he beat out when he joined the now Spacestation roster in the 2017 fall split. Both solo laners played guardians in week one for the majority of their games, so expect a slow start to the games in this one. Guardians are typically picked for their safe laning phase and excellent team fight, so if the trend continues, don’t expect much action in the solo lane. Aquarius has shown himself to be solid in the solo lane this season, while fineokay has been playing a more supportive role. Overall the slight edge goes to Aquarius in this matchup.

Most contested god: Cerberus

Advantage: Spacestation

Jungle – andinster (ssg) vs Homiefe (clg)

In week one, Andrew “andinster” Woodward did not show much rust being back in the jungle. After a shaky start, the Spacestation jungler was dominant in both of his sets. His opponent in the jungle this week is Homiefe, one of the best junglers in North America last season. Don’t be surprised to see a lot of early aggression and ganks in this set, especially coming on the duo lane side. This is another extremely close matchup, but with how dominant Homiefe looked in his games along with his play last season, the advantage is in his favor.

Most contested god: Nemesis

Advantage: Counter Logic

Mid – Baskin (ssg) vs Hurriwind (clg)

The matchup in mid for this set will feature two of the best mid laners in the world. Tyler “Hurriwind” Whitney was an absolute force last season for Trifecta, and the trend looks to be continuing on Counter Logic. Woonyoung “Baskin” Kim played a monumental role last week in securing the victories for Spacestation, and there is no reason to expect any different this week. If Counter Logic are not able to shut down Spacestation’s superstar, they will be in for a very short set.

Most contested god: Discordia

Advantage: Spacestation

ADC – BaRRaCCuDDa (SSG) VS sNOOPY (clg)

It was a relatively quiet week for John “BaRRaCCuDDa” Salter. A familiar story for most ADCs in a meta that sees the role struggle to provide an impact. In week two, hunter items will see a big buff, possibly leading to a resurgence within the class. BaRRaCCuDDa and Evan “Snoopy” Jones  are no strangers to each other. The two have faced off as opponents, and played together as teammates. When two players know each other so well, you can expect a very safe early game to be played. If BaRRaCCuDDa is able to make his presence known in week two, good things will be in store for Spacestation.

Most contested god: Jing Wei

Advantage: Spacestation

Support – JeffHindla (SSG) VS Jigz (clg)

Rosario “JeffHindla” Vilardi put on an absolute clinic in his games last week. The Spacestation support did it all, including peeling, setting up, and even stealing a fire giant. In his match this week comes a counterpart that JeffHindla has seen a lot of in his career. Both he and Jigz have been battling out the support role since season two. The two play a similar aggressive style of game that sees a lot of rotations around the map. Overall the advantage is in Spacestation’s favour as JeffHindla has shown himself to be one of the best supports in the world.

Most contested god: Ganesha

Advantage: Spacestation

Prediction

Overall this is an extremely close set with two of the best teams in the world. The games will ultimately be decided with objective play, and after the changes to make attacking phoenixes easier goes into effect, don’t expect many phoenix defenses in week two. This one should be won by Spacestation in three games.

2-1 Spacestation

Luminosity: Mar. 30, 2018 6:45 ET

Solo – Aquarius (SSG) VS KikiSoCheeky (lg)

The matchup between Aquarius and Ismael “KikiSoCheeky” Torres features another two players that enjoy playing guardians in the solo lane. Once again, don’t expect to see a lot of action here if the trend continues. KikiSoCheeky has been a journeyman within the league, seeing play with a variety of teams. His play last week showed why it is that teams keep giving the 22 year old a chance. However, with how well Aquarius played in week one, it is hard not to give him the advantage in this set.

Most contested god: Cerberus

Advantage: Spacestation

Jungle – andinster (SSG) VS Weak3n (lg)

As the outspoken and charismatic leader of his teams, Kurt “Weak3n” Schray has drawn the ire of many fans throughout his career. Last week it was clear he had a chip on his shoulder to prove wrong those who doubted him. He will need to continue that strong play against another top jungler in andinster. If the Luminosity jungler is allowed to control the game, Spacestation will be in for a rough set. However consistency has been the major issue in Weak3n’s recent career, and until he proves that to be in his past, andinster will have the advantage in this one.

Most contested god: Serqet

Advantage: Spacestation

Mid – Baskin (ssg) vs keegsmate (lg)

Keegan “keegsmate” Twoeagle was the biggest unknown coming into season five. The former console worlds MVP made the transition to PC after the 2018 SWC. He did so with the hopes of proving wrong the doubters that insist console players can’t make it in the SPL. The rookie midlaner got off to a fantastic start to his career, making big plays against eUnited and outplaying the PC worlds MVP Brandon “Venenu” Casale in week one. Now he will be tasked with going against one of the best players in the world in Baskin. With the way Baskin played in week one, it is clear he wants to prove that he is in fact the best in the world, and one of the front-runners for the spring MVP. The advantage in this game goes to the incredible experience and skill of Baskin.

Most contested god: Thoth

Advantage: Spacestation

ADC – BaRRaCCuDDa (ssg) vs Clout (lg)

It is hard to make an accurate assessment of Conor “Clout” Roberts this week. The Luminosity ADC makes his season debut after missing their first game in week one. The player formerly known as Vetium has had a solid career in the SPL, and you can expect BaRRaCCuDDa to have his hands full in this set. This one will once again come down to the player that farms the most efficiently, so expect BaRRaCCuDDa’s experience to give him an advantage.

Most contested god: Sol

Advantage: Spacestation

Support – jEFFhINDLA (ssg) vs nOTgENO (lg)

As another newer face, NotGeno is going to need to prove he can compete with the top supports in the league. He had a promising start to that goal, outplaying one of the top supports in the world in Michael “PolarBearMike” Heiss. Luminosity will need their rookie support to keep up with the veteran JeffHindla if they want a chance in this game. But after how dominant JeffHindla looked in week one, the advantage is in his favor.

Most contested god: Athena

Advantage: Spacestation

Prediction

Luminosity looked strong in week one, but they still have a lot to prove. They should put up a good fight against Spacestation, but ultimately it will be Spacestation coming out the victor in three games.

2-1 Spacestation

Things to watch

Watch out for how teams react to the changes being implemented in patch 5.5. The Fire Giant will give a more powerful buff making phoenixes easier to kill. This may force teams to take more fights around the Fire Giant instead of giving it up to defend.

Another important change in patch 5.5 is a bonus to the damage of T1 towers. By dealing more damage, we will either see fewer tower dives, or more deaths by players that choose to dive.

The picks that are made for each team’s ADC will be very telling about the state of the hunter class. With the buffs to hunter items we could see magical ADCs take a backseat. The amount of picks between magical and physical ADCs will be an indication towards how much the buffs helped hunters.

Look for some early game group ups this week. Teams have had some good success at catching a pick with an early fight. If they are successful, check the time to see how long until minions spawn. The closer it is to the start of the game equates to a bigger impact on the rest of the game.

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Top image courtesy of Hi-Rez Studios

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