We are rapidly approaching the end of the playoffs for JV LOL. We started out with 128 talented teams, and we are already down to the top 2 in the upper bracket, and 4 teams left in the lower bracket. With that many teams, we’ve had a bit of everything! Dominant teams, underdog stories, major upsets, close series, and so much more. It all comes down to these last few matches. Let’s go over what’s happened so far in the spring playoffs, and predict the remaining matchups!
So many teams! A great launching point for some teams and a terrible start for others. Both of the finalists for the winter invitational, Johns Hopkins and University of Manitoba, started with a one game loss. Even though they both won their series 2-1, it was still a rocky start for two of the best teams in the tournament. Aside from those two surprising losses, the round of 128 went as most would have expected. No major upsets were noticeable in this round. A thing to note was that there was a lot more tight 2-1 series than what might be expected, considering it was the first round. Round 1 cut the number of teams in half, and we soon went on to round 2.
The tournament really took shape in Round 2! The bracket tightened up, meaning some quality teams dropped out of the tournament earlier than they probably would have liked. The University of Houston team, a strong contender, was brought down by one of the strongest schools in CSL, Stony Brook University - Blue, in a 2-1 set. Simon Fraser University was also taken down during round 2, which was an early exit for such a strong school. A Lot of the series in this round went to the third game, similar to the round of 128, showing how close in strength a lot of these teams were.
The bracket kept getting tighter and tighter. Some teams that I thought were major contenders finally met their match in the round of 32. The University of Oregon was taken down by one of the strongest CSL teams Universite de Montreal, and just above them, UC Berkeley was taken down by Kennesaw State University. On the bottom side of the bracket, we saw McMaster University fall to a surprisingly strong Virginia Commonwealth University. Additionally, University of Central Florida, one of the strongest teams in the winter invitational, fell in a close 2-1 series against Purdue University.
Surprisingly, this round did not see many upsets. I happily predicted 6 out of 8 games in this series! In probably the closest series of this round, the Universite de Montreal took down Kennesaw State University in a 2-1 set. On the bottom side of the bracket UCLA managed to take down Purdue University in a 2-0 set. After an early winter invitational exit, I didn’t expect UCLA to manage to make it to quarterfinals, and they should be proud of their improvement. Aside from these two matches, the others were fairly straight forward, with the juggernaut teams continuing their march to the top.
Four amazing series were played in the quarterfinals. Two of the best teams in University of Manitoba and Robert Morris University went head to head, with RMU taking a 2-0 victory and proceeding to the semifinals, where they would be poised to play Stony Brook University - White, who took down a strong UCLA 2-1. On the top side, Universite de Montreal continued their strong performance by taking down VCU. The exciting match for the top side, however, was Columbia College vs Johns Hopkins University, two of the best schools and teams in CSL. The match came out in Johns Hopkins University’s favor 2-1, but the series was very close.
The kings were finally slain. In a clean 2-0 set, the Universite de Montreal took down the kings of CSL, Johns Hopkins University. In my eyes, it was a very big upset, but Montreal is by no means a weak team and has fully earned their spot in the winners’ finals. On the other side, Robert Morris University has finally proven themselves as one of the best teams in CSL, as they took down Stony Brook University - White in a 2-1 set.
Winners’ final match: Robert Morris University vs Universite de Montreal
Prediction: 2-1 RMU
As one of the harder predictions I have had to make, I think RMU will win this very close series. RMU has been consistently good and top quality throughout the tournament. They have taken down many extremely good teams and could certainly win the entire tournament. Montreal had an exceptional performance against Johns Hopkins, but I don’t know if they have enough gas to make it to the finish line. I’m going to take, in my opinion, the safer RMU choice, but this series could definitely be close and exciting depending on Montreal’s performance on the day.
Losers’ Semis: University of Waterloo vs Stony Brook University
Prediction: 1-0 SBU
The University of Waterloo’s run has been nothing short of incredible. Dropping out of winners’ in the round of 32 means they have had to win an insane amount of series to get here, and they are so close to finishing losers’. With that being said, they have not faced as strong of an opponent as SBU yet. SBU is not going to go down without a fight, and I believe the raw talent of SBU should take them to the finish line in this series.
Losers Semis: University of Texas vs Johns Hopkins University
Prediction: 1-0 JHU
Like Waterloo, Texas has had to win a number of sets to get to where they are. They look very strong, but they aren’t against just another team. They are against the kings who have proven they can bleed: Johns Hopkins. A defeat against Montreal might have tarnished their perfect run, but they are still looking to run through losers back to the top. I think JHU is going to be looking for revenge against Montreal, and Texas is not going to be able to stop this freight train.