The conclusion of the regular season is finally upon us! After five weeks of Group Stage action, followed by an extra week of tiebreakers, the 219 universities that entered the fray have been dwindled down to 76 playoff teams that compose four Regional Brackets. 18 teams will make up each of the North, South, and West Regional Brackets, while 22 teams will make up the East Regional Bracket. In the next few weeks, a champion will be crowned for each of the Regional Brackets, so today I reveal and explain my personal playoff predictions to help you select which teams you think will make an impact in the 2017 uLoL Campus Series Playoffs.
The first thing you will probably notice in the predictions for the South is that a 13 seed wins it all. You are not seeing double and you are not seeing a glitch. This is completely intended. The South Region doesn’t have any dominant, stand out teams like other regions. The smaller skill gap leads to more and higher quality matches that make the region harder to predict. The most helpful stat to use in predicting the South will be Team KDA. A higher Team KDA leads to impressions of cleaner games and usage of more strategic team fighting. In a meta where team play is crucial, this is a useful stat to help pick out the winning team.
On paper, the North Region could line up to have three of the best matches in this year’s playoffs. Veterans Robert Morris University and Maryville University lead the charge, with newcomer Columbia College and a feisty Kansas University following right behind. For this region, team MMR comes in as a critical factor. You can find players from these four teams scattered across Master and Challenger tier in both Solo/Duo Queue and Flex Queue, as well as other players from more teams in the North Region. If you get down to a similar semifinal to my predictions, just hope for the best in guessing the right team, and be prepared to enjoy a phenomenal semifinal series.
Although the East Region contains the most playoff teams, it seems that this region is the most linear in deciding predictions. Like the North Region, Team MMR is the primary statistic that will help in deciding matches. There will be chances for upsets, but I am guessing that the higher seed will typically advance due to the large skill gap between teams. When coming down to the final four, trying to statistically find out which role was the best on each team helped, since in this meta, certain roles carry more weight. Also, do not be surprised to see some unique picks come from the Eastern teams. This region has been known to use off-meta picks constantly.
When looking at the West Bracket, one team will come to everyone’s mind: University of British Columbia. The two time defending champions look to run it back for a third consecutive title, and seem to have a clean run through the playoffs. However, if there is one team to put a stop to their rampage, look to UC Irvine. The West is a region decided by decisive team fighting, and how well teams can shot call to win games. On paper, UC Irvine stands toe-to-toe with UBC, leading to a potential clash of titans in the finals. Do not look down upon some of the lower seeds though, because consistent and thorough team fighting runs through more teams than just UCI and UBC. Expect the West Region to be filled with meticulous strategies and intriguing gameplay.
Linked below are printable versions of each Regional Bracket that have not been filled in yet. Print the brackets, fill them out, and let us know who you think will be crowned champion of each region. Do you agree with the predictions above? Or do you think your picks are better? Send us your brackets on Facebook and Twitter and chime in on what matches you are hoping to see during these playoffs!
Also be sure to let George know what you thought of his picks over on his Twitter too!