This is perhaps the most highly anticipated match out of the 6 matches of the playoffs this week, which is a rematch from last year’s AVGL finals. York University’s roster has changed a little bit since those AVGL finals, with Skelly and tennLs being the only returning members from that lineup, and on RMU it would only be SPERMY, Welshy, Reality, and Andersin. Robert Morris University has shown some signs of weakness especially with their close game against SFU, but their series against Maryville suggests they may be coming back to form. York has only shown signs of getting stronger with another solid victory over UT Austin. I think this is going to be a great match, but it really can go either way. I think koga is going to be a huge piece for RMU, and if he plays well in this match, I think RMU will take it 2-1. Depending on how the map vetoes go, York has a big chance to take this as well. My gut is saying RMU on this one.
Robert Morris University > York University 2-1
This is going to be another big match for both teams. I think UCSC has the upper hand in this match-up, but UIUC was also able to pull off an upset over VCU in the Ro8 by winning the series 2-0. It was largely thanks to the performances of xPie and BokuMboP, who went +18 and +31 respectively in the series while the rest of the team went negative. It’ll much harder to pull that off against UC Santa Cruz, especially now that they’ve had experience with a bit of adversity in their match against MSU. I think there is potential for upset, but it’ll take another great performance from xPie and BokuMboP to do it.
UC Santa Cruz > University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 2-1
UBC grinded through the lower bracket after crushing defeat against York. However, their win against Ohio State should be giving them lots of confidence moving forward. UT Austin is also in the lower bracket after dropping 0-2 against York, the same team UBC played against in the upper bracket. Although one of their maps against York were a bit closer than UBC’s, I still think that UBC is favoured in this match-up. UBC has a higher skill peak, and it’ll be easier for them to get a favourable map for them to shine especially in this bo1 format.
University of British Columbia > UT Austin
SFU has been playing extremely well as of late with big victories in the lower bracket against Carleton, UTD, and a very close BO3 against RMU. Although their lineup may not have the most well-known names on ESEA, they’re showing their opponents that they definitely deserve some respect. They’ve been working very well together as a unit during their matches, and they’ve become a dark horse in these playoffs. Maryville on the other hand has had good results, but their match against RMU didn’t go too well. One redeeming factor for them coming into this match up are the performances of ttocSickk and -Cal-. If they can play as well as they did against RMU against SFU, they’ll be able to take this. However, with the way SFU has been playing, I’m going with an SFU victory on this one.
Simon Fraser University > Maryville University
Both of these teams played against each other in the Spring half, where VCU won in overtime 19-16. You can be sure that Ryerson will be looking for revenge where it really counts in the playoffs. Ryerson has been grinding through the lower bracket ever since they dropped the first upper bracket match against Maryville, and they’ve had some really convincing wins over all of their opponents. VCU just came off a bit of an upset loss against UIUC, but I don’t think it’ll deter them too much as they were both very close games. VCU has the upper hand in this match-up, but I believe that this will be a very close match once again.
Virginia Commonwealth University > Ryerson University
Michigan State University has had really good results so far in the playoffs, with a great 2-0 victory over UCF, and a very close 2-1 series loss against UC Santa Cruz in the round of 8. They’ve flown under the radar for sure, but I’m sure that UCSD won’t be underestimating them. The core of royalG, Reecha, and cullican has been together for a while now, and their team has been racking up close wins throughout the lower bracket so far. With every game going to double digits, they’ve had to work hard for their victories. I think this will be their one advantage coming into this match-up, but I believe Michigan State has a more well-rounded roster. Because of that, I think Michigan State will take this, but it’s going to be a close game.
Michigan State University > UC San Diego