We are finally here! We are reaching the end of the CSL season. Hundreds upon hundreds of teams have fought and battled, and only three remain. All of the remaining teams have fought valiantly, experienced loss, and overcome great challenges to make it to Atlantic City. There are very few matches left to play, and we will soon have our champion. Let’s go over the three teams still left in the battle, how they managed to get here, and who might just be able to overcome the others to be crowned the winners of CSL.
Top: JuanCarlosFist (Diamond 4)
Jungle: DarkX (Diamond 1)
Middle: UW Clout chaser (?)
Bottom: third bolt (Diamond 1)
Support: special Kay (Grandmaster)
The University of Waterloo is a tale of redemption: they prove that nothing is impossible. They started strong in the spring, going 5-1 and only losing to Ryerson University. In the winter invitational, they were knocked out early by tournament winner Johns Hopkins University. In the spring, however, Waterloo was knocked out in the 3rd round of finals to the University of Washington. Despite all of this, they have made their way to Atlantic City. Waterloo has fought tooth and nail in the losers bracket, beating some of the best schools in the continent, and are this close to securing a tournament victory. They have a strong roster, but they will have the toughest run of the three teams. They first have to defeat the losers of the winners final, and if they win, they will start 1-0 down in the finals match because they are coming from losers. It’s been a tough road for Waterloo, and it’s about to get even harder. If this team has proven nothing else, they’ve already shown that they are resilient and will not go down easily.
Top: GodaPa (Diamond 1)
Jungle: tehcraftman (Diamond 4)
Middle: Kyutso (Diamond 1)
Bottom: Crãsh (Diamond 4)
Support: 9Lives (Diamond 2)
I knew, deep down, that RMU had the strength and muster to go all the way, and they have finally proven it. This team had a successful fall season like the other two teams, only losing a single game to Illinois Academy, and finished 5-1. In the winter invitational, RMU was knocked out early by the University of Manitoba. After that early loss, RMU has gone on a rampage through the spring playoffs, and even managed to get revenge on Manitoba, taking them down in the quarterfinals. This team has a lot of strength, and has historically been a strong school in League. This team has had the least amount of struggles in the spring playoffs, which makes them probably the favorites to win the event. However, other teams have had more practice and have had to push through tougher challenges. Whether RMU will steam through like usual or fail to adapt and struggle through challengers, will only be known after the event.
Top: Tsqc Polvo (Diamond 4)
Jungle: Deuchi (Diamond 4)
Middle: Enìgma (Diamond 2)
Bottom: BigMagicStick (Diamond 1)
Support: Ahlkos24 (Grandmaster)
A team that I have grown to respect, Montreal wasn’t necessarily one of my favorites at the start. They have really grown as a squad and are ready to challenge for the title. Montreal had the most successful fall season out of the three teams, going completely undefeated at 6-0. They did not have the best winter invitational tournament, dropping out in the round of 32 to the University of Central Florida. Fortunately, Montreal has made an impressive run to where they are now in the winners finals. They had to defeat some insanely talented teams, including tournament favorites Johns Hopkins University. After beating all of the tough competition, it is very easy to see a world with Montreal on top, but they are going to need to win a few more series before they can claim they are the best.
Universite de Montreal vs Robert Morris University - Illinois
Prediction: 2-1 RMU
I am very excited for this match. I think both teams have proven to be very talented, and either team could prove victorious. RMU has very strong solo laners, which is a very big advantage in the current early game meta. Contesting scuttle crabs and early objectives like dragons and turret plates means that strong solo laners are a must. If RMU can draft strong solo laners, they should have the victory easily. However, Montreal does have a support advantage, and a jungle advantage. If the jungle and support of Montreal can combine forces, Montreal has a good chance to come out of the early game with an advantage by taking objectives and enemy jungle camps. There are two strong areas for both teams, but I think having stronger solo laners is going to prove more impactful for RMU.
University of Waterloo vs Universite de Montreal (predicted)
Prediction: 1-0 Waterloo
If Montreal goes down to losers’, it’s anyone's game. Best of 1’s are very volatile, and even a single, tiny mistake can cost your team the entire game, and therefore, the series. I bet on Waterloo here because of how many best of 1’s they have won in the past. They have had to win an insane amount of series to get here, and have become masters of the best of 1 format. Montreal, on the other hand, has not played a CSL best of 1 this entire season! Therefore, I predict that Montreal will probably be rattled by their loss, while Waterloo will do what they have done for months now. Again, the volatility of a best of 1 means anyone can take it, but it would be insane to not bet on Waterloo in a best of 1 after their success so far.
University of Waterloo (predicted) vs Robert Morris University - Illinois (predicted)
Prediction: 3-1 RMU
Whether it be RMU or Montreal who wins in the winners finals, they will start the finals up 1-0. This is massive, and forces the losers team to win 3 entire games instead of 2 like the winners’ team. Because of this, I think the team who wins winners’ will win the grand finals. Waterloo can definitely put up a fight, and they should be able to scratch RMU with a game victory. However, I think it is finally RMU’s time to shine, and they are going to take home first place in Atlantic City!