Spacestation Gaming made a quiet exit from HCS Anaheim after losing 1-3 to Esports Arena Red in a best-of-five last night.
Spacestation’s hopes of a strong placing at HCS Anaheim were under threat from day one. Pool play saw them take tough losses to G1 and Fnatic in Pool B and left the embattled roster sitting at a 0-3 record. As the fourth-placed team in their pool, they received a ticket to the elimination bracket at the beginning of day two, missing out on the safety net of the winners’ bracket altogether.
Spacestation’s Halo roster has struggled to find its footing since losing FormaL days before the start of HCS Raleigh. FormaL moved to Sentinels as a substitute for Royal2, who was suspended at the time. They had similar struggles to other partnered teams Fnatic and G2 Esports during the online Pro Series after a top-eight finish at Raleigh. But while G2 and Fnatic began to improve, Spacestation stagnated, despite moments of brilliance every week.
That stagnation followed them into Pool B at the beginning of HCS Anaheim, losing 1-3 to open qualifiers team G1 at the start of Friday and faltering in a close 2-3 defeat to Fnatic. FaZe Clan, the top seed of their pool, offered little mercy as they swept Spacestation 3-0. Tylenul was the only player on Spacestation who held his own in each matchup, maintaining a K/D over 1.1 throughout the entirety of pool play. When paired with Flazin’s dominant 2.88 K/D in the set against G1, questions arise over where Spacestation’s struggles lie.
Narrow losses in Oddball and Capture The Flag would prove to be their downfall when they faced down EAR in the elimination bracket on day two. Despite finishing the 1-3 series defeat with near equivalent statistics to EAR across the board, according to data from ForerunnerGG, Spacestation’s inability to close out the tight maps in their favor seems to be at the heart of their Anaheim exit.
Finishing top 16 means Spacestation failed to automatically qualify for the next HCS Major in Kansas City at the end of April. However, with over two months until the next live event, Spacestation have a long window to reflect on the state of the roster and their performances. They will have to qualify through the open bracket hosted at the tournament, similarly to Sentinels’ run during HCS Raleigh.
The HCS Anaheim action continues through Sunday, and you can catch it live on the official Twitch channel.