With the first half of the season ending, it’s time to take a look at some of the best teams throughout the league. Keep in mind that the first half of the season was played on 6.88; with so many changes in 7.00, some teams might struggle while others excel. It’ll be an exciting and interesting second half, that’s for sure.
The Longhorns have been impressive throughout the first half of the season, dominating their opponents with ease. This team is skilled, and perhaps more importantly, dedicated – evidenced by their coordinator’s numerous attempts to set up multiple scrims. As the only collegiate team to remain unbeaten in games, the University of Texas at Austin go into the second half as one of the favorites to win the whole thing.
UIUC has had high expectations thrust upon them since the beginning of the season, from others and themselves. They’ve met these expectations quite handily, capping off their undefeated record with an impressive sweep against previously unbeaten Michigan State. Now, it’s time to put up or shut up, as their original goal of being champions grows closer and closer.
One of the more surprising teams this year, the University of Toronto has seemingly come out of nowhere to claim the North, only losing a single game to last year’s champions UBC. Yet, even though they’ve looked strong thus far, they’ve still haven’t played close to their best Dota, according to Scott “Innovation” Xu.
As one of the favorites to get to Dreamhack this year, the Aggies have met expectations thus far. After all, going undefeated in one of the strongest regions is no small feat. However, they have looked vulnerable at times, dropping a couple of games throughout the season. Nonetheless, this talented team should be on everyone’s radar.
Since dropping their first match to RIT, Stony Brook has gone on a tear in one of the toughest regions, beating last year’s semifinalist Cornell and top 8 UConn. Hopefully, they can continue their hot streak in the second half of the season.
Rutgers has quietly put together an undefeated season in their own division, yet they don’t seem to be getting any hype. One reason might be because their region doesn’t feature a lot of quality teams from last year, so it’s hard to put a benchmark on them. Nevertheless, going undefeated in any region commands respect.
Coordinator Quan “k0xzik” Nguyen has constantly needled me about his team not getting enough attention. Fair enough. California State has looked just as impressive as UCD thus far; they might have lost head to head against them in a close series, but they’ve had fewer dropped games against other teams.
Maybe we hype UBC up too much. But time and again, in any esport, UBC always delivers. Last year’s champions will look to continue that trend after a solid first half of the season.
After barely missing the playoffs last year, RIT has established itself as a solid contender this year. Going 6-1 in a division that features 6 playoff teams from last year is extremely impressive; can they keep it up?
Last year, Michigan State had trouble winning a single game. With a revamped roster, they’ve had little trouble with that nowadays. While they fell flat against UIUC in their final match of the season, the Spartans have looked quite tough thus far.
Honorable Mentions: University of Colorado, Boulder, University of Connecticut, Cornell University