Image via Ubisoft
Spacestation Gaming is fired up.
On paper, this team should be an international force. Alex “Skys” Magor is historically one of the best international NA performers. Dylan “Bosco” Bosco is one of the best clutch players of all time. Alec “Fultz” Fultz and Nathanial “Rampy” Duvall are one of the most feared entry duos on the planet. Matthew “Hotancold” Stevens is the inaugural KiXSTAr NAL Season MVP.
It bears repeating: by every measurable we have, this team has great expectations to live up to.
“We want to break that [quarterfinals losses] pattern at SI,” said Bosco in an interview with SiegeGG.
The past two Majors in a row, Spacestation has survived several group stage challenges, only to fall to an eventual finalist in a quarterfinal match in which they started slow.
Added Bosco: “That fire that’s in us is, I would say, even more lit at this point. It’s raging at this point.”
Bosco agreed that the overall makeup of this team comes with great expectations; expectations to go further than losses in the quarterfinals round. The core of the SI 2020 championship roster is still there, the talent is there to make a serious run at an international title. Even in an era where North American Siege is considered “down,” Spacestation’s pedigree commands respect and the benefit of the doubt to some extent among analysts and fans.
Spacestation’s year has been up and down, to say the least. Troy “Canadian” Jaroslawski’s abrupt retirement — and then unretirement — led directly to a poor first regional stage and an underwhelming SI showing. Spacestation acquired Hotancold, then went on a domestic tear in Stage 2.
Then, the Mexico Major threw another wrench in the works: long-time flank watch extraordinaire Javier “Thinkingnade” Escamilla had a momentary crisis of faith, and the team moved to replace him. Skys joined the squad soon after, and the phrase “super-team” became apt in describing their composition.
However, if they don’t perform at SI, the benefit of the doubt brought by their sheer star power might finally begin to dissolve, along with the rest of the region’s prestige. Technically, Spacestation hasn’t won a best-of-three in over a year.
This isn’t to say Spacestation has disappointed by the average standards— far from it. There are hundreds of teams that would look at a pair of consecutive Major quarterfinal berths as a crowning achievement, something that cements their place as a top eight team in the world, and be content. This team was not created to be content.
“We’re taking that loss from Sweden pretty hard, and using that and that fire to propel us to do our best at the Invitationals,” said Bosco. “...The expectations, from ourselves and others, are justified,” he said later of the internal and external expectations for success.
According to Bosco, we haven’t seen Spacestation at its best yet.
They’re hoping that the Invitational will herald their best performance to date. Additionally, they’re tired of the “NA is bad” narrative, but understand that the region needs to earn its respect back in the tournament.
“I’m kinda getting tired of players and other regions looking at us like we’re trash, because I really don’t believe that…it’s just kind of getting annoying hearing it over and over again,” Bosco said.
Spacestation will look to break their team’s pattern and, by extension, their region’s pattern at the Six Invitational, beginning Feb. 8.