The 2017 Collegiate League of Legends season has come and gone, and we will all miss it dearly. There was a plethora of big plays, upsets, and emergent powers this year, as Maryville finally broke through the Old Guard of Robert Morris (IL) and British Columbia and take the collegiate crown. That said, when one season ends, the next begins without pause, so here is the CSL LoL staff’s picks for our Too Soon Top Ten heading into next season.
10: Columbia College
Julian Alexander “SspaceCadet” Cantwell: Columbia College has the most potential out of any school next year to become a staple team in the uLoL Campus Series. While their 2016-2017 season ended in quarter finals in their region, the full scholarship program is ramping things up next year with a new and improved support to staff to help guide their raw talent: a roster that contains two of the highest elo players in uLoL throughout the season seven.
9: University of Maryland
Matt “EHyungNim” Howard: The Big Ten struggled in interleague play this year, but Maryland showed that they wouldn’t simply be walked over against RMU in the League of Legends Collegiate Championship bracket. This is a squad that has been together for a long time, but they will need to find ways to improve further if they want to be more than the class of a somewhat mediocre Big Ten next season.
8: Grand Valley State University
Joshua “Pheqes” Quest: Who are GVSU? Oh that’s right, they’re the ones that almost beat RMU in the regional playoffs. If anyone could’ve told me who they were before that, I’d buy them lunch. Of course they competed in the 2016 uLoL tournament, but without looking it up, I don’t remember where they placed, because it wasn’t about them. This year, everyone should remember the team because they made one of the top two teams sweat bullets when they almost eliminated them – and truth be told, they could have done it too, if they played just a little better. Only a little. Grassroot teams like GVSU standing up to established athletic programs like RMU is never something to forget and goes to show what hard work and dedication can get you.
7: Carnegie Mellon University
Julian Alexander “SspaceCadet” Cantwell: CMU is another name on this list that doesn’t bring much weight with its name and brand, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a force to be reckoned with. Their roster this last year contained two former pros, Yusui and MegaZero, and the two shined in play to carry their team to (near) regional dominance and a semi finals appearance in the collegiate championship.
6: University of Kansas
George “Pénguin” Crook: Kansas is becoming one of the fastest growing collegiate esports programs in North America, with results skyrocketing in their inaugural year. A deep infrastructure with professional level talent helps guide a powerhouse 10-man roster to success in the ever-dominant North Region
5: University of British Columbia
Matt “EHyungNim” Howard: It’s hard to place UBC this season, given their struggles in the League of Legends Collegiate Championship bracket, but they still managed a Top 8 finish in Riot’s collegiate circuit despite losing solo laners DaiJurJur and BobqinXD last year. If they can maintain continuity and continue to scout top talent, this team will probably be back in the running for king of the hill next season.
4: Simon Fraser University
Julian Alexander “SspaceCadet” Cantwell: Another Canadian school makes this list and for good measure. SFU has been the surprise of 2017 – their relatively unknown and highly doubted roster, with a support staff that totals one person, shocked and impressed with their uLoL Campus Series regional finals upset victory over UBC and their title win in the CSL Canadian Invitational finals against UBC, again. While their hype fizzled out in their LoL Collegiate Championship quarterfinals, the heart and soul that this team showcased over the last year has easily earned them the right to among the top five in collegiate – and their record backs it up.
3: University of Toronto
Matt “EHyungNim” Howard: UofT ends up at number three more due to RMU’s overall record versus Maryville this season than any real faults on their squad. They fought past the nigh unbreakable Simon Fraser University and a resurgent Carnegie Mellon to reach the finals, all while fielding a substitute jungler. Collegiate LoL is still pretty volatile, but this team showed that if they can mitigate the loss of mid laner Jheesh to graduation, they will have an extremely talented, deep squad going into next year.
2: Robert Morris University (IL)
Joshua “Pheqes” Quest: Little do some uLoL fans know, RMU beat Maryville at the Midwest Campus Clash and took home the event’s trophy and top prize. Obviously, MU adapted and took Riot’s collegiate prize, but that still shows that RMU has what it takes when they play at their best. Even with their rather disappointing champion series run – not making it to the finals and all – they overcame quite the obstacle in having to find a new formula for the bot lane due when Shady went pro. Shoutout to EvanRL for beasting two different roles and doing his part for the team to give them a fighting chance.
1: Maryville University
George “Pénguin” Crook: Maryville takes the top spot for obvious reasons. After going undefeated in the previous season before the merge of collegiate leagues, their dominance continued. Only two schools seemed to cause a disturbance for Maryville en route to a Collegiate Championship, but the Saints proved to be too much of a challenge.
This Top Ten is, of course, far too early to be completely accurate, but hopefully it will give you an idea of what to look for this offseason. Next season will no doubt hold many more surprises, and we will be waiting with bated breath for the first shots to ring out across the Rift come August and the Championship marathon begins again.