The 2019 League of Legends CSL season is finally up and running! Although we’re only 3 weeks in, we’ve already seen some intense matches and interesting outcomes. There are quite a few frontrunners that aren’t looking to slow down anytime soon! In this recap, we’re going to run down every single region and look into some of the leaders, checking out who the current best teams are! It’s still early so these standings are bound to change, but this is the way CSL is shaping up as of now.
There are currently four teams in the Southwest region that remain undefeated after three weeks of regular season play. In Southwest 3, New Mexico and the University of Hawaii - Manoa stand above the rest at a 100% win percentage. New Mexico has a very good roster and has not had any struggles as of yet. The exact same can be said of Hawaii: they have already proven themselves to be a worthy team, going 6-0 in game score. Mark your calendars for the 18th of January, when the New Mexico and Hawaii will go head to head. If both teams are still undefeated by January, one of them will head into February with an unfortunate loss. Moving on to Southwest 2, we find the University of California, Irvine with an unsurprising 6-0 record. UCI has proven time and time again to be an absolute monster of a team in collegiate esports, and this season seems to be no different. Watch out for Descraton, who is currently ranked 85 on the ladder and is one of the most promising talents NA has to offer. Finally, we have Cal Poly Green that stands alone at 6-0 atop Southwest 1; they should have no problem staying near the top of the table in their region. Overall, the Southwest looks to remain a solid region with powerhouse Californian teams as well as a few up-and-coming teams like Hawaii.
The Southeast, unlike the Southwest, has only a single team that remains undefeated. This stellar team is Clemson University. Clemson didn’t make any major waves in last year’s winter invitational or the spring playoffs, but they are making a statement by beating the only remaining Southeast team left undefeated. The other challenger in their division of Southeast 2 is North Carolina State University. NC State did drop a game in their very first set of the season against a weak SCAD team, but they have since recovered and have gone 4-0 the past 2 weeks. The game to check out for this division will be on February 1st, where Clemson and NC State will clash. In Southeast 1, not a single team remains undefeated after 3 weeks. Both of the top teams in this division, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and University of North Carolina - Charlotte, are 3-0 but have dropped a game to their opponents. The game to watch here will be on January 11th, where these two powerhouses will face off to determine the kings of North Carolina. It will definitely be a must-watch!
South Central also only has a single team left undefeated, and it’s a team that did make some pretty big waves last year: the University of Texas at Austin. It’s no surprise to me that UofT at Austin is sitting as the only undefeated team in the South Central conference. Although they were knocked out relatively early in last year’s playoffs, they made a pretty solid losers bracket run. I’d be looking out for them to make some big moves this year. The other UofT team isn’t far behind them, sitting at a solid 6-1. The two UofT teams face off January 11th, and it’ll be a must watch, especially for anyone in Texas! Finally, the other two 3-0 teams are the University of Tulsa and Louisiana State University. These teams have already lost 2 games each, though, and they’re going to have to step up their game if they want to compete outside of their conference.
These are two of the best teams CSL has to offer; nay, two of the best schools esports has ever had. Not only are they in the same conference, but they play on November 9th! This week we have the pleasure of watching Simon Fraser and the University of British Columbia face off. So much is on the line for this single game, and it’s going to be a must-watch for any League of Legends collegiate fan. The winner of this game will be the number 1 seed of Northwest, almost without question. UBC has some extremely high ranked players, such as Kazahana and Pros, sitting at Challenger and Masters respectively. On the other side, SFU has players like Ninssasin and Aielth sitting at Masters. With such stacked teams, the match will be very close, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out between these two titans.
The Northeast is so stacked (and plentiful) that I decided to split it in half. The 5-8 divisions of the Northeast have some great teams that need to be discussed. I’ll start with the University of Toronto sitting at a perfect record. I don’t remember hearing much about UofT last season, but seeing them start off so successfully is a good sight to see. They’ll have their first real challenge when they go up against the Universite de Montreal. Although Montreal sits at 6-2 currently, this team placed 3rd last year in the spring playoffs. They are a proven team, and though they have a few early losses to their name, they are definitely a team to watch out for. Another exciting and high-placing team from last year sits in Northeast 6: State University of New York - Stony Brook. I definitely underestimated Stony Brook last year, but I’m not making that mistake again. This team is obviously very highly skilled and is looking for another high-placing rank in CSL like they did last year.
Four strong, successful teams remain undefeated in Northeast 1-4. York University sits at a solid 6-0 record with an extremely promising lineup. They are definitely one of my early favorites! With powerful players like Laceration and Logia, this is an exciting team to follow moving forward. A match I’m looking forward to in particular will occur on January 18th, when York will take on the other 6-0 team in their division, Ryerson University. I’ve put a lot of stock in Ryerson in the past, and although I was slightly disappointed in their performance, I still consider them a very strong team. The match between York and Ryerson will say a lot about both teams, and I am definitely looking forward to it. Finally, we have Michigan State University and Illinois Wesleyan University. Illinois has a very strong team, especially with grandmaster jungler Pyswagoras. They are another team I’ll be paying close attention to and following whether or not they can maintain such a successful record throughout the entire season.
The East has 2 teams still undefeated, both of them extremely good and extremely deadly. The University of Delaware sits atop East 2, with no real competition in sight; even so, their 6-0 standing is very impressive. Looking at their lineup should send chills through the bodies of their opponents, and I suspect Delaware will continue to bully East 2 for the rest of the season. East 1 remains a little rockier for both teams. Both the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University are battling for the top spot atop East 1. Both organizations are very successful and are looking to be the best of the best in the East. Luckily for us, that will be resolved this weekend, November 9th. Johns Hopkins University was my favorite to take it all last year until they were upset and knocked out late in the tournament. No doubt they will be looking for vengeance, and I’m excited to see how they fare in the new season.
The Central is one of the few divisions that does not have a single team at 6-0, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t strong teams in this group. A team that should be pretty well known by CSL fans is Columbia College. Familiar names such as MistyStumpey, rovex, and NintendudeX make this team an instant favorite to take CSL this year. Aside from Columbia, the University of Missouri - Columbia is another team I have my eye on. They currently sit at 3-0 with a 6-1 game score. They will actually play against Southeast Missouri State University this weekend, in which one of these teams will finally experience a loss.
Which teams are you most interested in? We'll see what happens in the next few weeks when these teams go head to head in the next round of the tournament!