Enough time has passed since the StarCraft II Grand Finals to stop admiring our new champions and starting thinking about next year. Fortunately, for those of you who are resistant to change, thinking about next year seems to involve admiring last year’s champions (and if you’re wondering who they are, check out this recap).
Tyler’s top ten picks for the 2017-2018 CSL season
10: University of Texas at Austin
Realistically, UT Austin is on this list because it is a fairly large school with some history of success in the Collegiate StarLeague. Their performance this year wasn’t particularly noteworthy, but they did make it to playoffs. In my opinion, they will do well in virtue of fielding a team every week as opposed to having any great players (but I’d be very happy to be proven wrong).
9: University of Chicago
Chicago, like UT Austin, is only here because they made the playoffs and have consistently been able to field a team. They’re higher up on this list because, in the past, they’ve had some fairly strong rosters. I don’t feel too strongly about my predictions for either Chicago or UT Austin, but with the information available, they seem accurate.
8: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
RPI should still have Jarod “JonSnow” George, which alone puts them above most teams (assuming they can field a full team). George is an extremely competent ace that can go toe-to-toe with just about every other player in the league
7: University of Washington
Washington is, in many ways, a legacy school. Though they can’t boast the same history as University of California, Berkeley, they still have a strong record of performing well. For this reason, and the fact that they always seem to find a way to do well, I put them above RPI. Though they may be losing a few players this year, Washington is a big school and should be able to replenish any losses their roster might face.
6: University of Connecticut
Connecticut will have exactly the same roster, which is a good thing because they have strong team synergy. Their results this year speak for themselves, and there’s no reason to believe they’ll be significantly weaker next year. That said, there’s no reason to think they’ll be any stronger either. A revitalized Berkeley, or a more composed University of Ontario Institute of Technology might cause Connecticut some trouble.
5: University of Waterloo
University of Waterloo is a team that I love to hate. Let me first say that it’s not because Riddle “TheRiddler” Li plays long mech games and worships Avilo, or because Liang “Powerfoe” Chen calls me out in Twitch chat. I dislike this team because they always mess with my predictions. Waterloo is a good team and while my ill-will against them is mostly in jest, the fact remains that they continue to defy my expectations.
4: University of Ontario Institute of Technology
UOIT underperformed this year. For a few reasons, their regular season record wasn’t as great as I think it could’ve been and, because of that, they had to face lose to Montreal in the round of eight. With Jason “Jason” Papadimitrios and a few more strong players, this team should have made it to the round of four. That said, I’m not entirely sure what their roster will look like next year, so this prediction could be a bit too optimistic.
3: University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley. I almost stopped writing there, but figured I should provide some information for those of you who don’t know what it means to be Berkeley. For one, a crippled Berkeley team is better than most full-strength CSL teams. Moreover, Berkeley will retain their Zerg star, Nick “Silky” McNeese, next year. I wouldn’t be surprised if the team picked up a few more strong players either; they always seem to have some fresh talent in their seemingly never-ending roster.
2: Temple University
Temple came in second two years in a row. They haven’t exactly reached soO levels of “almost first”, but they’re getting there. The Temple roster will remain mostly the same next season, which is a good thing because the team is strong. Had they been at full team strength during the grand finals (one of their players wasn’t able to make it), they may have even won. Hopefully for them (and the legitimacy of my future predictions), they can break the curse next year.
1: Université de Montréal
If you didn’t already know, the Montréal players are our reigning champions. This is another team that will likely retain most of its current roster. Alexandru “Semper” Dimitriu showed just how clutch he can be throughout the Grand Finals as well as the regular season. If there are any roster changes, specifically revolving around Dimitriu or Simon “Jig” Lacasse-Labelle, this prediction will hold less weight. That said, all things remaining the same, Montréal could dominate again.
Surprise! We can expect to see mostly the same teams excel next year, with a few exceptions. Overall, I feel very confident about the top six teams reaching the playoffs at worst. Temple and Montréal will essentially remain unchanged, so their performance will have more to do with how other teams change, specifically Berkeley. It’ll be an exciting year for sure, but only time will tell who is strong enough to take the crown.
Am I wrong? Great, feel free to tell me exactly how wrong I am on Twitter!