By: Zachary Lange
Ahead of the SMITE Pro League Season 5 Fall Split, eUnited has acquired midlaner Woonyoung “Baskin” Kim from Spacestation Gaming in exchange for Brandon “Venenu” Casale.
It is the second consecutive year that eUnited has acquired a new midlaner before the start of the Fall Split. Last year, Venenu’s addition sparked a dominant run in the Season 4 Fall Split that saw the team finish first in the standings, only dropping one game the entire split en route to winning the 2018 SMITE World Championship.
This time around, the team is hoping to capture last fall’s magic after a third place finish at the 2018 SPL Summer Finals.
“Whenever you make a roster change I think it really amps people up in practice and makes them focus on adapting to the new player and trying new things,” said support Mike “PolarBearMike” Heiss. “I feel like that will be a good recipe for improvement as a team.”
Baskin began playing competitive SMITE in Season 2. Recently, he’s been a part of Luminosity Gaming and the aforementioned Spacestation before joining eUnited. A slaying midlaner, Baskin’s ability to solo the opposition in his lane will bring a stronger offensive attack to the table.
“Venenu was always certainly a very capable player, but he was more team oriented and historically as a team we've used most of our resources to play off sidelanes which put Venenu in a weird spot where we never used him to his fullest,” PolarBearMike said. “With Baskin, I feel like we will be able to play off our 2-vs-2’s like we did in Season 4 and leave him on an island at times. He can dominate and make plays on his own because he has shown the ability to do that throughout his career regardless of role.”
Head coach Cassidy “Cardiac” Cameron cited the team's familiarity of Baskin’s playstyle as one of the main reason his addition will be a smoother transition than usual. Throughout the past two years, Baskin and the teams he has been a part of have practiced in-depth against eUnited.
“With Baskin in mid we are excited for the SPL Fall Split and we are ready to make another worlds run,” Cardiac said.
Co-General Manager Daniel “Clerkie” Clerke also felt strongly about the chance to repeat as champions during the 2019 SMITE World Championship in November with the acquisition of Baskin.
“I am very excited to have Baskin on board,” Clerke said. “He has been a player I have had my eye on since my Enemy days. I believe we now have the strongest lanes in North America and I can’t wait to see the teams ceiling.”
Baskin’s debut for eUnited will take place during Week 1 of the SPL Fall Split beginning on August 29.