Recap: The CSL Grand Finals

The CSL finals have wrapped up, and after an extremely exciting live event, now only one team remains. Three teams made it to the live event: The University of Montreal, The University of Waterloo, and Robert Morris University. All three fought valiantly, and proved that they deserved to be there. Let’s recap the series and see how the event played out:

Winners’ Finals
Robert Morris University vs University of Montreal
Result: 2-0 RMU

The Winners’ Finals was where RMU stomped their way into the finals. The top lane matchup really tipped towards RMU’s favor, with GodaPa mercilessly bullying Montreal’s top laner Tsqc Polvo on Hecarim and Gnar. In the bottom lane, both matches featured Xayah vs Varus. Although Xayah kept BigMagicStick safe in a lot of the teamfights, Crash’s Varus absolutely shredded the tanky frontline of Montreal much faster than the Xayah could ever dream. I thought the Varus pick was very intelligent against the tanky top laners and junglers Montreal was pulling out. To make up for their low-mobility Varus, RMU picked supports such as Tahm Kench to save him, as well as the really strong laner Thresh. Overall, I thought RMU drafted much better than Montreal did, and the skill of their players allowed them to achieve a relatively easy 2-0 victory.

Loser’s Finals
University of Montreal vs University of Waterloo
Result: 2-1 UW

The second set featured two teams on the brink of elimination, and neither were going to go down easily. Waterloo knew of the weakness of the Montreal top laner, and used champions like Vladimir, Kennen, and Akali to abuse and get ahead of the tank. This was similar to RMU’s strategy of using lane bullies. In the mid lane, Waterloo’s mid was given his Orianna pick every single game, and his proficiency on the champion really showed in late-game teamfights. Although he was behind in game 1, he came back with a heroic game 2 and helped secure Waterloo the victory in game 3. Another standout in my eyes was the ADC for Waterloo, Third Bolt. Third Bolt had some near-impossible lane matchups, such as the Caitlyn + Morgana game when he was Kai’sa in game 1. Despite some tough matchups because of champion selection, Third Bolt had major impact in his team’s victories. I enjoyed the teamfight comps from Waterloo that were relatively easy to pull off, but nevertheless extremely effective.

Grand Finals
University of Waterloo vs Robert Morris University
Result: 3-2 RMU

The Grand Finals certainly did not disappoint! RMU entered the finals with a 1 game advantage, but Waterloo ended up winning the first two games. However, RMU ended up coming back, and they went on to win the set 3-2. The top lane difference again proved to be a major factor in the series, and whichever top laner that was ahead/behind played a major role in determining the victory. In the first game, GodaPa was abused extremely hard as Gangplank. In game two, despite an early solo kill on JuanCarlosFist, GodaPa’s immobile Ryze could not transition well into late game due to a Hecarim on the other team running him down. However, the surprise Dr. Mundo pick in game three helped to stabilize the lane for RMU, and was crucial in shutting down JuanCarlosFist. Corki proved to be a monumentally important pick this series, and even ended up being first-pick priority for both teams. Whoever got Corki seemed to absolutely pop off, and in the end, Kyutso’s Corki ended up prevailing over whatever usephysics pulled out. In the bottom lane, Varus was the most important pick, and the matchup always included Varus as an ADC. Varus ended up going 2-2, and lost in game 5 after being picked by Waterloo. Both marksmen in the series were extremely talented players, and their skills really showed on Varus. After the dust settled however, it was Kyutso’s heroic Corki performance, and the stabilization of GodaPa in the top lane that got RMU back from a 2-1 series deficit to win the grand finals.



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