Baruch College tops the ranking and it really is hard to place them anywhere else. With food and 4sh0t having experience competing in ESEA’s Mountain Dew League, and Toy having competed in ESL Pro League last season, this lineup is looking stacked. To top it off, Yudickmeister, despite playing only matches in ESEA-Main, has shown statistically that he’s up there as well. Although their opponents haven’t been anything special so far, this Baruch College lineup has simply too much skill and experience not to go for a repeat championship.
Current Record: 4-0 (East 3)
16-1 vs. Rochester Institute of Technology
16-3 vs. University of Rochester
FFW vs. Carnegie Mellon
FFW vs. Pennsylvania Institute of Technology
Robert Morris University finished in the top 8 last year after losing to UBC, last year’s runner-up. However, coming into this year, RMU has one of the most well-rounded rosters in CSL. With all 5 players competing in ESEA-Main currently (although on all on their own separate teams), it shows that these guys take the game seriously. Their results definitely speak for themselves, with no team even taking beyond 4 rounds so far, and that also includes a UIUC who made it to the top 16 last year. I’d really love to see RMU put more time into practicing together as a team because they definitely have the right pieces to take down Baruch College if and when the time comes.
Current Record: 4-0 (Midwest 2)
16-4 vs. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
16-4 vs. University of Kentucky
16-2 vs. Northern Kentucky University
The University of British Columbia, who came in 2nd last year, are looking to get another shot at the title after coming so close last year. richie and strata have both competed in ESEA-Main and hero competed in ESEA-Premier (same as MDL, but he competed during a time when it was called Premier) so they definitely have the skill and experience to go far. It’ll be interesting to see how UBC integrates their lesser experienced new pickups as the season progresses, but regardless they have the skill and the infrastructure to continue to be a top contender in this league.
Current Record: 4-0 (North)
16-3 vs Simon Fraser University
16-9 vs. St. Clair College
16-5 vs. University of Ontario Institute of Technology
The University of California: San Diego, the winner of the AVGL 2017, have been making a name for themselves in CSL this year. With cullican, Reecha, Schooled and iHiro having played together before in ESEA-Open and making a deep playoffs run in ESEA-Season 24 and eventually promoting their team to ESEA-Main, this team definitely has tons of chemistry that shouldn’t be underestimated. This type of chemistry can go far especially in the collegiate scene where many teams are simply formed for the sole purpose of the league. With cullican, Reecha, schooled, Schooled and -RoYaL having a fair amount of competitive experience, I’ll be looking to see UCSD make a deep run in CSL this year.
Current Record: 4-1 (West 1)
14-16 vs. University of California: Irvine
16-4 vs. Concordia University
16-0 vs. University of California: Berkeley
16-4 vs. University of California: Los Angeles
The University of California: Irvine, one of the two semi-finalists last year, makes a return with this year with a mostly revamped roster. With Strawberry and ROKURO the only returning members so far, there is definitely some restructuring on this team. However UCI does compete in ESEA-Intermediate together, which will definitely be a huge factor in their success moving forward. Strawberry does a great job in leading this team and constantly improving. These guys are disciplined and they aim to play CS the right way. If they continue to put in the time and effort, it will pay off huge.
Current Record: 3-1 (West 1)
16-14 vs. University of California: San Diego
11-16 vs. University of California: Los Angeles
16-8 vs. University of California: Santa Cruz
The University of California, Los Angeles, one of the two semi-finalists last year, makes a return again this year with mostly the same roster. UCLA is one of those teams that have that scrimmy 5 man or 4-1 type of style on their T sides, where they’re just looking to run teams over. Any team that plays against them definitely need to be aware of this. With much of this core sticking together from last season, and with gimp^ and oniichan currently competing in ESEA-Main, this is a roster that can definitely do damage.
Current Record: 4-1 (West 2)
16-14 vs. University of California: Riverside
16-11 vs. University of California: Irvine
FFW vs. Concordia University
4-16 vs. University of California: San Diego
16-4 vs. University of California: Berkeley
Ryerson University, a team that reached the top 16 last year, has a completely roster this year compared to last year, as Doofus is the only returning member. However, I argue that the new additions are definitely great pickups. N3XT and MASOR have competed in ESEA-MDL and ESEA-Main respectively, which definitely brings a great amount of firepower and experience to this otherwise, new Ryerson squad. In addition, s0ggy and atc have also competed in ESEA-Open, so everyone on this team definitely has competitive CS:GO experience. Ryerson has had good results so far in their matches, and with them practicing scrimming frequently together on ESEA, I see them as one of the top contenders as the season progresses.
Current Record: 4-0 (North 2)
22-18 vs. University of Ottawa
16-13 vs. University of Montreal
FFW vs. ETS
16-1 vs. McMaster University
The University of Colorado Boulder looks to improve on their results from last year, reaching the top 32 and unfortunately having to play against the champions in Baruch College in the very first round. The core 4 of Montee, SolGoat, FlakesLmao, and hDhK remain, but their newest pickup in efrentheroker has really transformed this team. efrentheroker provides additional consistency and firepower that Boulder has desperately needed. This entire Boulder roster plays together in ESEA-Intermediate, which is a great thing for any collegiate team that’s looking to improve their skills. Progress and improvement are what Boulder should be looking for the most, and if they can keep that up, they can definitely be a force moving forward in this league.
Current Record: 4-0 (Mix)
16-1 vs. University of Utah
16-5 vs. University of Washington
16-0 vs. Michigan State University
16-11 vs. University of Minnesota
The Spartans from San Jose State University were the undeniable champions of the collegiate scene in 2016, winning CSL, AVGL, and NCeSPA of that year. However only two people from that championship roster remain in cdub and armon. After a lackluster performance last year likely due to lack of motivation, SJSU has gotten off to a good start this year with really convincing victories. With Jeremyy, freaL, and armon all currently competing on the same ESEA-Intermediate team and cdub on his ESEA-Main team, SJSU is starting to look sharp.
Current Record: 4-0 (West 2)
16-2 vs. California Poly Pomona
FFW vs. California State University: Long Beach
16-2 vs. Grand Canyon University
Virginia Tech are showing themselves to be an up and coming team to watch out for in the CSL. With a completely overhauled roster from last year, with the only returning member in Frozenzz, this Virginia Tech squad is doing great work in the league so far. Although their potential is relatively unknown, it’s worth noting that this entire team competes in ESEA-Open, sporting a 10-3 record at the moment. Remnant has been a huge part of this team’s success, but his teammates have also been playing solid as well. This is only the beginning, but if Virginia Tech can continue to grind the game together as a team, it can mean great things in the future.
Current Record: 5-0 (East 1)
16-4 vs. Stevens Institute of Technology
16-12 vs. Rutgers University
16-1 vs. West Virginia University
16-0 vs. Averett University
16-5 vs. Clemson University