SPL: Spacestation Gaming week five recap

spacestation gaming

Image courtesy of esports.smitegame.com

In week five, Spacestation Gaming became the first team in North America or Europe to clinch their spot at the SMITE Masters LAN event.

After going down in their first game against Counter Logic (4-4) on Wednesday, Spacestation (7-1) came back to win the set convincingly 2-1. On Friday, they went on to defeat an inconsistent Luminosity (3-4) team in a 2-0 set. With the victories, Spacestation separated themselves from the rest of North America as the team to beat going into the spring finals LAN event in May.

Spacestation Gaming vs Counter Logic Gaming

Game 1 – (CLG)

SSG picks:

Solo: Ryan “Aquarius” Oh Neill – Artio (0/4/2)

Jungle: Andrew “andinster” Woodward – Nemesis (1/5/0)

Mid: Woonyoung “Baskin” Kim – Ullr (1/2/1)

Support: Rosario “JeffHindla” Vilardi – Athena (0/2/1)

ADC: John “BaRRaCCuDDa” Salter – Jing Wei (0/1/1)

SSG bans: Terra, Janus, Achilles, Odin

CLG picks:

Solo: Alec “fineokay” Fonzo – Sobek (1/0/7)

Jungle: Alexander “Homiefe” D’Souza- Ratatoskr (3/0/9)

Mid: Tyler “Hurriwind” Whitney – Sol (6/1/5)

Support: Connor “Jigz” Echols – Fafnir (0/0/12)

ADC: Evan “Snoopy” Jones – Hachiman (4/1/4)

CLG bans: Camazotz, Da Ji, Serqet, Cerberus

Game one of this set saw little competition as Counter Logic snowballed their way to victory. Spacestation fell behind early due to the pressure that Homiefe was able to provide by playing Ratatoskr.

With a Fafnir and double ADC on their side, Counter Logic was able to turn their early pressure into objectives. Those objectives allowed Counter Logic to dominate the team fights and win the game game convincingly in 29 minutes.

Player of the game: Homiefe

Game 2 – (SSG)

SSG picks:

Solo: Ryan “Aquarius” Oh Neill – Artio (4/2/12)

Jungle: Andrew “andinster” Woodward – Nemesis (2/2/8)

Mid: Woonyoung “Baskin” Kim – Ullr (9/3/6)

Support: Rosario “JeffHindla” Vilardi – Athena (0/2/13)

ADC: John “BaRRaCCuDDa” Salter – Jing Wei (4/1/10)

SSG bans: Achilles, Terra, Ratatoskr, Janus

CLG picks:

Solo: Alec “fineokay” Fonzo – Sobek (0/1/6)

Jungle: Alexander “Homiefe” D’Souza- Awilix (6/4/4)

Mid: Tyler “Hurriwind” Whitney – Sol (3/5/5)

Support: Connor “Jigz” Echols – Fafnir (0/5/6)

ADC: Evan “Snoopy” Jones – Hachiman (1/4/5)

CLG bans: Da Ji, Serqet, Camazotz, Cerberus

Game two saw almost a direct replay of game one picks from both teams. The only difference came after Spacestation banned away Ratatoskr, forcing Homiefe to select Awilix. While Awilix’s ultimate counters Jing Wei and Ullr, the missing global presence from the Counter Logic jungler was felt.

Spacestation’s early game execution prevented a repeat of game one, as Aquarius was able to put the team on his back and front line his way to victory. Artio’s cripple field proved too much for Counter Logic as Aquarius was able to lock down his opponents for his teammates to clean up. This led to the game going in Spacestation’s favor, 33 minutes in.

Player of the game: Aquarius

Game 3 – (SSG)

SSG picks:

Solo: Ryan “Aquarius” Oh Neill – Odin (0/4/2)

Jungle: Andrew “andinster” Woodward – Serqet (1/5/0)

Mid: Woonyoung “Baskin” Kim – Ullr (1/2/1)

Support: Rosario “JeffHindla” Vilardi – Geb (0/2/1)

ADC: John “BaRRaCCuDDa” Salter – Sol (0/1/1)

SSG bans: Thoth, Terra, Discordia, Janus

CLG picks:

Solo: Alec “fineokay” Fonzo – Cu Chulainn (1/0/7)

Jungle: Alexander “Homiefe” D’Souza- Camazotz (3/0/9)

Mid: Tyler “Hurriwind” Whitney – Hel (6/1/5)

Support: Connor “Jigz” Echols – Fafnir (0/0/12)

ADC: Evan “Snoopy” Jones – Hachiman (4/1/4)

CLG bans: Athena, Da Ji, Artio, Achilles

In a complete reversal of game one, Spacestation dominated Counter Logic from the start.

Homiefe and Hurriwind teamed up to make repeated mistakes early in the game, allowing Baskin to build an insurmountable lead. First, Homiefe went for an early invade of Spacestation’s blue buff instead of clearing his own. The invade came up empty handed forcing Homiefe to go back to finally clear his own buff. This allowed andinster and Baskin a free gank onto an out of position Hurriwind in mid lane for the first blood.

To make matters worse for Counter Logic, Homiefe followed this up with dangerous pathing that led directly into Baskin and andinster waiting around the corner for the second kill of the game.

At this point Baskin’s two level lead on Hurriwind turned into a quick third kill as Hurriwind was once again caught out of position by a ganking andinster. At only three minutes into the game, these three kills gave Baskin an enormous lead on a character known for snowballing. Spacestation went on to dominate the rest of the game, leading to the quickest victory in the SPL this season at 19 minutes in.

Player of the game: Baskin

Spacestation Gaming vs Luminosity

Game 1 – (SSG)

SSG picks:

Solo: Ryan “Aquarius” O’Neill – Cerberus (0/1/6)

Jungle: Andrew “andinster” Woodward – Da Ji (3/1/5)

Mid: Woonyoung “Baskin” Kim – Apollo (5/2/3)

Support: Rosario “JeffHindla” Vilardi – Athena (0/1/8)

ADC: John “BaRRaCCuDDa” Salter – Sol (2/2/7)

SSG bans: Janus, Terra, Discordia, The Morrigan

LG picks:

Solo: Ismael “KikiSoCheeky” Torres – Artio – (0/2/4)

Jungle: Kurt “Weak3n” Schray – Achilles (3/2/2)

Mid: Keegan “keegsmate” TwoEagle – Poseidon (0/2/4)

Support: Michael “NotGeno” Lukashin – Sylvanus (2/3/3)

ADC: Conor “Clout” Roberts – Hachiman (2/1/4)

LG bans: Ullr, Camazotz, Jing Wei, Odin

Luminosity got off to a strong start in game one, getting the first blood along with an early team fight victory. While this put them up 5-1 in kills, they were not able to capitalize on this by capturing objectives. Instead it was Spacestation securing the big objectives on the map, allowing them to stay in the game.

As the game went on, Spacestation continued to outclass Luminosity. Objective after objective went in Spacestation’s favor allowing them to close out the game in 26 minutes.

Player of the game: Baskin

Game 2 – (SSG)

SSG picks:

Solo: Ryan “Aquarius” O’Neill – Odin (7/0/10)

Jungle: Andrew “andinster” Woodward – Da Ji (4/4/7)

Mid: Woonyoung “Baskin” Kim – Apollo (8/2/8)

Support: Rosario “JeffHindla” Vilardi – Geb (1/1/9)

ADC: John “BaRRaCCuDDa” Salter – Sol (2/1/4)

SSG bans: Janus, Terra, Discordia, The Morrigan

LG picks:

Solo: Ismael “KikiSoCheeky” Torres – Camazotz – (0/5/1)

Jungle: Kurt “Weak3n” Schray – Achilles (4/6/3)

Mid: Keegan “keegsmate” TwoEagle – Raijin (0/6/4)

Support: Michael “NotGeno” Lukashin – Ganesha (0/3/6)

ADC: Conor “Clout” Roberts – Hachiman (4/2/0)

LG bans: Ullr, Camazotz, Jing Wei, Odin

It was all Spacestation in game two as Baskin continued to show why he is in discussion for being the best player in the world. Once again Spacestation’s objective play outclassed Luminosity’s allowing Spacestation to quickly finish the game in a dominating 20 minutes.

Player of the game: Baskin

Takeaways

Baskin continues to show he can make anything look overpowered in mid. Whether it be Camazotz in previous weeks, or Apollo this week, Baskin has proven his god pool has no limit.

Aquarius has been noted by casters as a role player in recent weeks, but he continues to prove that analysis wrong. The 19 year old Canadian has the ability to put the team on his back and dominate from the solo lane.

As two teams that started the split hot, Counter Logic and Luminosity are both in danger of missing the first LAN of the year. The two teams need to iron out their inconsistencies if they want to be considered as true contenders in the upcoming summer split.

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SPL: Spacestation Gaming week five preview

Spacestation Gaming (5-1) look to keep up their momentum in their week five rematch sets against Counter Logic Gaming (4-3) and Luminosity Gaming (3-4).

spacestation week one

Image courtesy of esports.smitegame.com

Counter Logic took the first set in a decisive 2-0 manner, but since then the two teams have taken divergent paths. Spacestation has won their last three sets since the March 28th meeting, while Counter Logic has gone 1-3 in that same span. This week, both teams will be looking to put themselves in a commanding position for clinching a top two seed in the 2018 spring split.

Luminosity has shown regression since losing 2-0 to Spacestation in week two. The roster mixed with fresh and old faces have shown inconsistencies this year on a week to week basis. After a strong 2-0 win against Counter Logic last week, Luminosity needs to prove they are capable of being consistent against North America’s best. Time is running out for LG this split with only three games left to move from 5th to 2nd in a competitive North American landscape.
Clinching Scenario: If Spacestation wins their two sets this week, they will clinch a trip to the SMITE Masters LAN event in May.

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

Solo – Aquarius (SSG) vs fineokay (clg)

Ryan “Aquarius” Oh Neill has shown he is not to be doubted this season. The 18 year old Canadian has done more than hold his own in the solo lane. He has shown the ability to play both an aggressive style to capitalize on pressure, as well as a passive supportive role.

This week Aquarius will get a rematch of the week two matchup that saw Alec “fineokay” Fonzo come out on top with the help of seemingly constant ganks on the right side of the map. If Spacestation want to avoid the same fate this time, they will need to do more to support Aquarius in lane, either through ganks from the jungler, or through the selection of gods with global presence. After their first matchup, fineokay showed he has a slight advantage.

Most contested god: Achilles

Advantage: Counter Logic

Jungle – andinster (ssg) vs Homiefe (clg)

Andrew “andinster” Woodward’s return to the jungle has been seamless this split. After a shaky start, the Spacestation jungler has been a force for his team in tandem with Woonyoung “Baskin” Kim. His opponent in the jungle this week is Homiefe, one of the best junglers in North America this season. Homiefe was far and away the best player in the week two set against Spacestation earlier this split.

If Spacestation wants to avoid their second loss of the season, they will need to find a way to shut down the Counter Logic jungler. The goal for Spacestation should be to keep Homiefe off Baskin at all times. It was clear in week two that if Homiefe could get to Baskin, the fight would go in Counter Logic’s favor. Spacestation and andinster need to find a way to control Homiefe and keep him playing from behind. This means they will need to draft more control and movement to ensure Homiefe is not sticking to their carries.

Most contested god: Nemesis

Advantage: Counter Logic

Mid – Baskin (ssg) vs Hurriwind (clg)

The matchup in mid for this set will feature the rematch between two of the best mid laners in the world. Tyler “Hurriwind” Whitney has been incredible in the midlane for Counter Logic, while Basking continues to make his case for being the best player in the world. It is clear that the game plan for Counter Logic will be to shut down Baskin and get him out of team fights as early as possible. So far this season, Counter Logic has been the only team capable of doing so. Now, Spacestation will need to adjust and allow their best player to have a clean playing field.

Most contested god: Thoth

Advantage: Spacestation

ADC – BaRRaCCuDDa (SSG) VS sNOOPY (clg)

It has been a quiet split for John “BaRRaCCuDDa” Salter. Few ADCs in the league have been able to provide an impact in a meta that sees the role struggle to get farm. BaRRaCCuDDa and Evan “Snoopy” Jones once again are no strangers to each other. The two are not only having a rematch from week two, but have faced off as opponents and played together as teammates. As with previous weeks, don’t expect a big impact out of the duo lane. However if Spacestation is able to get BaRRaCCuDDa going, it will substantially take pressure off of Baskin and andinster in the midlane.

Most contested god: Jing Wei

Advantage: Spacestation

Support – JeffHindla (SSG) VS Jigz (clg)

Rosario “JeffHindla” Vilardi has been putting on a clinic in his games this split. From stealing objectives, to setting up kills, to peeling for his team, the Spacestation support has done it all. 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 favor as JeffHindla has been the top support in North America this split.

Most contested god: Terra

Advantage: Spacestation

Prediction

This matchup is one of the closest in the entirety of the SPL. After getting beat in week two, expect Spacestation to come back and get revenge on the Counter Logic squad.

2-1 Spacestation

Luminosity: Apr. 20, 2018 6:45 ET

Solo – Aquarius (SSG) VS KikiSoCheeky (lg)

The matchup between Aquarius and Ismael “KikiSoCheeky” Torres features two players that enjoy playing guardians in the solo lane. Don’t expect to see a lot of action here if the trend continues.

In their first matchup, Aquarius dominated in lane both as Camazotz against Terra, and as Terra against Camazotz. In that set Aquarius outclassed Kiki in every facet of the game. The Luminosity solo laner will need to change that this week if he wants his team to have a chance at the win.

Most contested god: Camazotz

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. This season it has been clear he has a chip on his shoulder to prove wrong those who doubt him. However, he will need to improve his consistency playing against one of the league’s top junglers in andinster. If the Luminosity jungler is allowed to control the game, Spacestation will be in for a rough set. Spacestation showed it was possible to shut down the Luminosity jungler, and they need to show the same this week to pull out a win.

Most contested god: Serqet

Advantage: Spacestation

Mid – Baskin (ssg) vs keegsmate (lg)

Keegan “keegsmate” Twoeagle has been living up to the hype since his spectacular week one debut. The rookie mid laner has put forth dominating performances against some of the world’s best. This week though, he is put up against the best mid laner in the world in Baskin. Luminosity will once again need to focus on shutting down Baskin if they want any chance at winning. 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)

Conor “Clout” Roberts has been arguably the best ADC in North America this season. The Luminosity ADC has shown the ability to take over games, which is not a common thing for other players in the role. BaRRaCCuDDa will need to match that level of play and not allow Clout to snowball early. After their first set, Clout showed he is more than capable of matching up with BaRRaCCuDDa, and you can expect a similar result until the Spacestation ADC can figure out a way to break through.

Most contested god: Sol

Advantage: Luminosity

Support – jEFFhINDLA (ssg) vs nOTgENO (lg)

As another newer face, NotGeno has been proving he can compete with the top supports in the league. He has had a promising start, outplaying many other top supports in the league. Both teams highly value Athena for her global presence, and you can expect to see her a lot in this set. If JeffHindla is able to continue making the MVP level impact he has had so far, then we should be in store for a repeat of the 2-0 set we saw in week two.

Most contested god: Athena

Advantage: Spacestation

Prediction

Luminosity has looked too inconsistent this season to favor, especially compared to the dominance Spacestation has displayed. Spacestation should take this one in a clean two games.

2-0 Spacestation

Things to watch

Expect to see a lot of Achilles and Terra in picks and bans this week. The changes to Terra have been a big boost to her stock, and it would be surprising to see her get through very often. Achilles on the other hand has been valued by just about every team in just about every role.

Watch out for how the teams treat the Fire Giant this week. In recent weeks there has been more fights around the Fire Giant pit, and it will be interesting to see if that trend continues this week.

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Smite Season Ticket Predictions

Smite Season Ticket predictions: Week 5

Now that we’re done with rerun week, I can start actually predicting things instead of regurgitating last weeks results. Which would be more fun in a different SPL climate. But this split’s North American teams are so even that it seems practically impossible to make clear power rankings.

EUnited beat Counter Logic Gaming, Counter Logic beat Spacestation, Spacestation beat Luminosity, Luminosity beat EUnited… All of these teams are in the same tier. It’s great for watching games, but stressful for predicting them.

At least the European side is a little easier. There seem to be two distinct echelons of EU teams, with Rival, NRG and Dignitas being top teams and Obey, SK and Mousesports being lower. But if teams from the same tier face off in EU, it can be just as hard as an NA game to predict.

Oh well, you’ve gotta pick someone. Let’s get into the picks for week 5.

 

Tuesday

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsTeam Rival VS Team DignitasSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Team Dignitas

Rival and Dignitas are both great teams, and both could easily take this. But for my money, Dignitas comes out on top. Dignitas are still the standout team of the European Pro League, even if they’ve recently lost some sets.

 

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsObey Alliance VS MousesportsSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Obey Alliance

Two of the weaker teams square off in this set. But Mousesports is too inconsistent, and their drafts can get a little too crazy. And while I like experimental drafts as much as the next guy, they don’t translate cleanly into wins.

 

Wednesday

Smite Season Ticket PredictionseUnited VS TrifectaSmite Season Ticket Predictions

eUnited

It’s hard to vote against eUnited in these match-ups after their Week Three comeback. Last week they looked as strong as they did in the World Championship. And while I don’t doubt that Trifecta could take this, the same could be said for the team I vote against in practically any North American match-up. They’re just too even.

 

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsSpacestation VS Counter Logic GamingSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Spacestation

On the opposite end of the spectrum, before eUnited’s comeback CLG was looking like the best team in the world. But after taking a loss from not only eUnited, but from Luminosity, they don’t look so tough anymore. Spacestation, on the other hand, is a consistently great team.

Thursday

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsTeam Dignitas VS SK GamingSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Team Dignitas

This is the day where that short tier list I made starts coming in handy. Dignitas is in the top three, and SK is in the bottom, which makes this prediction easy.

 

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsNRG Esports VS Obey AllianceSmite Season Ticket Predictions

NRG Esports

Thursdays in the EU SPL seem to be the designated strong team versus weak team days. NRG is good, Obey isn’t. Easy FP.

 

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsNRG Esports VS SK GamingSmite Season Ticket Predictions

NRG Esports

I like the low stress environment Thursday is creating here. I don’t have to think very hard. But there’s also not much to write about. That tier list is pretty real; so far none of the lower echelon teams have managed to take even a game off of the top three, let alone a whole match. It would be exciting to be wrong about these matches. But it also wouldn’t be responsible of me to predict SK.

 

Friday

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsTrifecta VS SplyceSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Trifecta

This is the battle of teams I’m not quite sure what to think of yet. Splyce has a number of talented veteran players that we haven’t seen in action for a while, and I’d love to see them find their footing in this match. But for right now, they’re not great. Trifecta in the short term is a pretty lukewarm team. They never seem to look that strong or that weak. But in the short term, I have to give this one to Trifecta.

 

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsLuminosity VS SpacestationSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Spacestation

This is the match that I’m most unsure of. Spacestation is still a consistently strong team, but Luminosity had a strong showing last week. But when in doubt, vote for Spacestation. That way at least John “BaRRaCCuDDa” Salter fans won’t get mad at me.

 

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsLuminosity VS SplyceSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Luminosity

I’m still reluctant to give Splyce my vote, and to repeat myself Luminosity has been looking incredibly strong lately. This is probably about as easy to predict as North American matches can get. And even here, I have no doubt that Splyce could take the game. It’s really anyone’s league in North America.

 

Summary

Team Rival < Team Dignitas

Obey Alliance > Mousesports

EUnited > Trifecta

Spacestation > Counter Logic Gaming

Team Dignitas > SK Gaming

NRG Esports > Obey Alliance

NRG Esports > SK Gaming

Trifecta > Splyce

Luminosity < Spacestation

Luminosity > Splyce

 

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