For this recap, we’ll take a look at how each group is shaping up and report the records of the group leaders. With the long-awaited Outlanders patch and the halfway point of our season approaching, the way each group looks right now will help forecast how things will continue over a few months’ time. It’s impossible to say how much will change with the patch, but in this writer’s experience, even the craziest changes do not change the fact that good teams are good at Dota 2.
Starting with the Central group for a change, the University of Iowa, the University of Wisconsin Madison, and the University of Texas at Dallas are all doing quite well with four wins apiece. With many more games to go in the regular season, the rest of the teams in this division still have a solid opportunity to make it into the top half of the group and secure a spot in the playoffs. In the coming weeks, I expect this group will become more defined as the best teams set themselves apart from the rest.
Moving on to the East group, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Ohio State University, and the University of Central Florida are doing very well for themselves. Despite only having played two of their games this season, UIC has proved themselves to be more than talk--which their coordinator does a lot of--an admirable feat. Unlike the Central group, East has a group of teams clamoring over each other for placement. Based on the events so far, his writer expects exciting games for this group as they learn the patch and reassert themselves.
In the North gro-... you know what? I’m calling this group the Canada group from now on. In the Canada group, four teams are vying for supremacy rather than three. McMaster University, the University of Ottawa, and Carleton University have 4 wins each, with the University of Toronto sitting pretty with 5 wins (including a recent victory over rival McMaster). Interestingly, most of the rest of the group is either 3-2 or 2-3. The standings should start to take shape in the coming weeks as some 2-3 records become 3-3 while others become 2-4. Best of luck to my fellow Canucks. May Outlanders treat you well.
Northeast, affectionately referred to as our Group of Death, is looking as chaotic as ever. Stony Brook University remains undefeated, while the University of Maryland College Park and New York University have 4 wins each. Rutgers University and the University of Michigan Ann Arbor are on par--both in record and skill level--with UMD and NYU due to their BYE in week 4. It’s almost a crime we can’t just seed this whole group into the playoffs, considering that a team like RIT is currently ranked 7th in the group. While other groups battle each other for seeding, this group has always been a fight over who even makes the cut.
Last, because they are usually discussed first, is the West group. Like the Canada group, the top seat of this group is still up for contention and likely will remain so for many weeks to come. UC San Diego, UC Santa Cruz, the University of British Columbia, Arizona State University, and the University of Alberta all have impressive records, and I expect the only games these teams will drop will be to each other. Despite the apparent strength of these teams, the rest of the teams in this group aren’t exactly slouches. As with the Northeast group, the West can be unpredictable, and about the only thing you can say for certain is that whatever comes next will be very exciting.