The League of Legends College Championship is up for grabs starting tonight at 6pm EST. To get you ready for the clash of the top eight schools in North America, we asked Kyle "Corvus" Crowe, Alex "MadMagical" Whieldon, and Joshua "Pheqes" Quest to weigh in with their picks. Follow them on Twitter and watch the event to let them know how you feel!
Magical: UTD has always been a great team that chokes under pressure. Against a team as cocky and confident as Columbia, I can see them trying to live big but buckling under the pressure
Pheqes: I have no idea what version of the Maryville team will show up this weekend, but I have faith that they can succeed in the quarters with pure macro game alone. Illinois got unlucky having to take on Maryville. They, and the entire Big 10, have improved a lot from last year. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’ll be enough just yet. Maybe in a couple years, a Big 10 team can challenge a team like Maryville, but at the moment, this should be a good warm up for the champs.
Corvus: Western vs. Maryland is definitely my most anticipated match. Maryland looked outstanding throughout the play-ins, but Western is a team that have beaten the same caliber of opponent with grace and aplomb. Ottawa becomes a great benchmark in this discussion as they've lost series to both teams in this matchup (3-0 to Western in the East finals and 2-0 to Maryland in play-ins.) Maryland have been coming at this tournament with full force to prove the Big 10 deserves more recognition than it's been getting, but Western have shown the makings of a ferocious gatekeeper and finals contender. I'm hopeful this is the most explosive and even match of the round.
Magical: I'm sorry to betray you my beautiful school. Western has been extremely consistent and UCI has had too many hiccups along the way for me to feel confident in them against Western.
Pheqes: MU just seems to have CC’s number this year when it counts. Yes, MU lost to CC in the regular season. But since then, the champs have yet to drop a series to Columbia. The semis are a best of 5, so I feel like Columbia can get at least one game off MU, but I don’t think it’ll take long for the adaptation to kick in and take its toll on CC.
Corvus: It's been nigh 2 months since early April where we saw MU and CC clash last, and in that time these teams have doubtlessly been hard at work preparing for one another. If you've paid any attention at all this year, you'll know that almost every expert considers these two schools to be far and away the two best teams in CLoL. This semifinal should be the most exciting part of the whole tournament. Of course all of this is predicated on a return to form from Columbia College, which is an "if" that we're all hoping for. Based on the road leading up to now, I'm going with a relatively smooth win for Maryville here (but I'm really hoping it's a bloodbath that comes down to the wire in Game 5.)
Corvus: Whether it's Western or UCI (or, if my predictions have gone horribly wrong, Ottawa or Maryland), it's still the same ending where Maryville hoists the trophy and maybe drops one game in the worst case scenario. They made history when they won the trophy last year, but they'll be starting a legacy when they defend it this year.
Pheqes: They’re just too good and too consistent. That’s one of the qualities lacking in a lot of collegiate teams: consistency. One could argue that MU has been the most inconsistent with their roster shake ups throughout the year, even having a flex pick in jungle (which I don’t think will be a strategy for the championships), but the core team has always been consistent. I think that consistency is what is going to make them the 2x. 2017, 2018 back to back College League of Legends champions.