The collegiate Rift was brought to the Great White North this past weekend as four teams took to the stage in Toronto on a quest to be crowned the best team in Canada. The University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto, Simon Fraser University and Ryerson University entered front and center in the Scotiabank Theatre, all touted as some of the best teams collegiate League of Legends has to offer – but only one could remain atop and be crowned champions.
The Hunt Begins…
The semi’s saw Ryerson taking on UBC and SFU battling Toronto to determine who would see each other in the finals.
The first set of matches was the UBC show, which wasn’t unexpected. While Ryerson, the clear underdogs from the onset, put up quite the fight against the two team collegiate champions in UBC, ultimately UBC prevailed with a swift 2-0 off the back off two fantastic performances from their midlaner ktSmurf on Kassadin – including a game two penta kill at Baron.
— CSL (@CStarleague) May 13, 2017
Next, Toronto took on SFU in a clash of Canadian titans that been heavily hyped going into the set and the hype most definitely was justified…at least to begin with. Despite playing without their star jungle yummibananas, Toronto looked unaffected in the first game of the set, getting off to a strong early lead. However, the poise of SFU stopped Toronto from snowballing into a quick victory and turned the game into a 40 minute slugfest, with each team trading momentum and map control throughout the mid and late game. Despite Toronto’s start, SFU would go up 1-0. Game two saw another clean early from Toronto, but this time SFU answered back quickly and more decisively mid game to roll over Toronto in thirty minutes.
UBC and SFU are no strangers to one another, the two rivals have been vying for the title of best Canadian and uLoL Western team for some time now. This year, SFU has had the upper hand with their shocking upset victory of UBC in the uLoL West Regional Finals. Many called the result a fluke though, citing UBC as the cleaner and more polished team than the rough and unpredictable SFU. In these finals, Simon Frasier sought legitimization, U of British Columbia needed redemption.
Game one of the set was the perfect depiction of how these teams matched up to one another — a forty minute, down to the wire back and forth contest. For thirty minutes it was all out war, every movement answered, every kill traded back. Not until 38 minutes was a true advantage found, when SFU, because of an excellent performance from their support Jjayel on Nami, won a fight near Elder Dragon to take it up mid lane and win the game.
The second game was almost identical to the previous: another even match that only turned into the favor of a team because of late game fight. This time however, it was UBC who took a clean fight and Baron to tie the set in another forty minute game. The series couldn’t have been scripted any better.
Game, set and match. The final game of the match yet again mirrored the the two games before it…at least the early game did. For twenty minutes SFU and UBC traded control of the game, with the only big advantage coming for SFU’s three drakes. Yet, the game took a path we hadn’t seen thus far. SFU took hold of the game much earlier than leads came in game’s one and two, capitalizing on misplays from UBC, a sign that the team was becoming cleaner with every game. Transitioning into thirty minutes, it was the Simon Frasier show, as the current Kings of Canada walked all over UBC for ten minutes on a rampaging path to defend their crown, a crown that so many had doubted they deserved.
As the third game closed in the third consecutive forty minute bout…SFU stood tall in victory once again.
Canada’s BEST. 🇨🇦
— Collegiate LoL (@csllol) May 13, 2017
And all doubt crept away from the five champions.