Welcome to the very first Dota 2 recap of 2019, where we’ll take a brief look at the first week of games, highlight some of the more interesting moments from the broadcast matches, and discuss how the best teams from last year are feeling about the start of the season. Keep in mind that because it’s the first week, some teams have not yet played because of BYEs in their group or postponed matches.
The first group we’ll look at has several California schools against some Canadian and southwestern schools. UC San Diego, UC Santa Cruz, Arizona State University, San Jose State University, and the University of Alberta all won their first matches 2-0, which will give them a nice boost in confidence this early in the season. Typically a hotly contested region for middle-of-the-pack teams, the West region will be very interesting to watch in the later weeks.
Named the “group of death” by many players and coordinators on the CSL Discord, this group usually has several teams make top 8 each season. University of Maryland College Park, Rensselaer Polytechnic, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, New York University, Rutgers University, and Stony Brook University defeated their first opponents. Our first broadcasted match of the season was between Rutgers and Stony Brook, with Stony Brook winning in a volatile 2-0.
Also named “group of death” by other players and coordinators both in Twitch chat and Discord, the North region includes many playoff favorites that are exciting to watch whether they win or lose. McMaster University, York University, and the University of Toronto won their first series 2-0 this week, with several other series waiting to be played out later this week. Considering the Canadian representation in this group, this writer feels compelled to write favorably about this group in the future. Best of luck in the coming weeks!
Like the West group, the East group has a lot of teams that are close in skill, causing ranks 3-7 to change with the slightest breeze. The winners this week have been University of Cincinnati, University of Illinois at Chicago, Georgia Tech, University of Central Florida, and Emory University. At least one of these teams will likely make top 8, perhaps because on average their University names are longer than any other group.
The final group we’ll look at is the Central group, which suspiciously has a lot of teams located in the south, but that’s okay, they can call themselves “central” for now. The University of Texas at Dallas, Upper Iowa University, Texas A&M University, and Southern Methodist University all won their first series of the season. Texas at Dallas vs Iowa State University is the only series so far to not be a 2-1, which is interesting. Perhaps another “group of death” in the making?!
That just about does it for this week’s recap. What will change in the next two weeks? Who will emerge as the frontrunners? Will the Canadians take it all? You’ll have to tune in and check back to find out!