With the playoffs right around the corner, it is an ideal time to consider the ten best teams in the league. Each of these teams are ranked in order based on a number of factors: individual skill, team cohesion, special tactics, drafting ability, likelihood to throw, and other complex criteria. While this ranking may indicate that the 3rd ranked team is better than say, the 5th ranked team, all of these teams are good enough to take games off of each other.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that SBU is at the top of this list; they dominated the Winter Invitational, crushing RIT in the finals 2-0. Unless the players forget how to play Dota or we get another large patch near the conclusion of our playoffs, SBU should easily make LAN.
RIT has been a staple of the CSL for many seasons now, accruing fans and rivals along the way. While their recent defeat at the hands of SBU might come as a shock to them, it also might just be the thing to drive them to perform that much better.
UC Santa Cruz had a great showing in the Winter Invitational and likely would have made finals if their opponent wasn’t RIT. If the Slugs can iron out a few of their flaws they would be a strong contender to make it to the finals, but they’re a formidable opponent nonetheless.
Every year UC Berkeley comes out with some new scrappy roster with some of their old guard at its core, and this year they’ve been performing very well. While I don’t want to get my hopes up just yet, this might be the year they finally make LAN!
I feel bad for joking about Rutgers getting RIT in the first round of the playoffs, and although they don’t technically face RIT in the first round, facing UBC isn’t much better. If Rutgers could ever take a full series seriously, they would be the strongest team in the league. Fortunately for us all, they enjoy messing around a little too much, which makes for some fun games to watch.
Toronto has always been a team that is hard to judge. At times they seem like a top 4 team by a considerable margin, while other times they make very questionable plays that have you clutching your head in confusion. This season they seem to have found their rhythm. I just hope they keep it as the playoffs proceed.
Carleton University was my pick to make it to the Winter Invitational from the top half of the bracket, and although they may have disappointed me, I still have faith for the in these playoffs. Here’s hoping your 14-3 record in the fall wasn’t a fluke!
I honestly think that Michigan’s squad could make top 4 if they can avoid certain teams along the way. Even if Michigan is knocked down to the lower bracket early, they strike mas a team that maintains focus and makes a deep lower bracket run.
There are a lot of teams in the league that would probably be rated much higher or have greater success if they had not run into RIT at some point in the season: The Chainfeeders is one such team. While another run-in with RIT looks likely, they arguably have excellent material to use when researching how best to defeat them when next they meet.
I’m tentatively putting Wisconsin on this list because they have the results to back it up, but they forfeited their Winter Invitational series which makes me wonder if they’re still around. If they do still exist and play as well as they have in the past, they’ll be a fun team to follow through the playoffs.