Coronavirus may be stopping us from doing a lot of things, but playing video games isn’t one of them. As we close out the season, it’s time to take a look at the remaining League of Legends teams that are competing for the chance to win CSL’s Grand Finals.
In our first lower bracket match, we have Northeastern University’s Northeastern Red vs University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign’s Illinois Academy. Northeastern Red was sent to the lower bracket by the Illinois Wesleyan Titans, who still remain in play, while Illinois Academy was sent down by the final boss of the lower bracket: the University of Delaware Blue Hens. Both teams hold deep rosters, with Northeastern Red boasting 13 available players and Illinois Academy fielding 10. Northeastern Red notably has players such as Pet My Support (Diamond 4), Sheda (Diamond 2), Kaito K1D (Diamond 2), Aloneus (Diamond 2), Stale Bagel (Diamond 1), theskysblue (Diamond 2), An Oink (Diamond 4), and TwTV Kinoscorpia (Diamond 2), who all bring together this high-level roster. Illinois Academy boasts SyncShips (Diamond 4), wakanari (Diamond 1), Kuderic (Diamond 1), Dandito (Diamond 3), SushiKilla (Diamond 2), and Qwacker (Challenger). The two schools’ skill levels are very similar, but Illinois Academy boasts the only Challenger-ranked player in this matchup. It’ll be a close one for sure, but on paper, it seems Illinois Academy has the edge.
In our second lower bracket match, we have powerhouse team the University Of Texas At Austin’s Longhorn Gaming B Team against another Illinois representative, Illinois Wesleyan University’s Titans. Longhorn Gaming found their way here after an unfortunate loss from the other side of the bracket at the hands of Illinois Academy, while the Titans received their loss from the team waiting at the top of the upper bracket: the Columbia College Cougars. Longhorn Gaming certainly has no love for the state of Illinois this season, boasting players like RaÏlgun (Diamond 3), CrusherCake (Diamond 3), keep it mello (Grandmaster), Noodlz (Diamond 1), Just Chatting (Challenger), lpoklpok (Diamond 3), VelocityOne (Diamond 3), and YellowBumbleBee (Grandmaster). The Wesleyan Titans are no slouches either, with players to the likes of IWU Kahts (Diamond 4), Pyswagoras (Diamond 1), Psapa (Diamond 4), Chomdax (Diamond 1), and West Coast Carry (Diamond 3). The Titans may be the clear underdogs in this matchup, but they’ve made it this far, and they definitely won’t go down without a fight. The clear advantage goes to Longhorn Gaming, but maybe the Titans are just smurfing around. Longhorn Gaming won’t be giving the state of Illinois an inch for the rest of the season, but I’m sure the Titans are itching to give their state brethren Illinois Academy a fight in the lower bracket if they can both advance to the next round.
Waiting at the end of the lower bracket is another team that has fallen Columbia College: the University of Delaware Blue Hens. Without a doubt, they’re itching for a fight in the finals with the team that handed them their loss. The roster consists of players like Herson (Diamond 2), ritzius (Diamond 1), kaMba (Diamond 1), im given (Diamond 2), Z Score (Grandmaster), Kingkyu24 (Diamond 4), and Die for Kills (Diamond 3). While they don’t seem as powerful on paper--they have only one Grandmaster and no Challenger players--their success speaks for itself. Any team in the lower bracket who wants to make it to the Grand Finals will have to go through the Blue Hens. This epic match will decide who leaves as our third-place finisher and who moves on to the Grand Finals.
Waiting on their throne at the top of the upper bracket is a team with some star power. Columbia College’s Cougars feature the likes of NintendudeX, a former professional player for Team Coast and Echo Fox Academy, PapaChau (NME ToySoldier), a player for eUnited, Echo Fox Academy, and Clutch Academy, Andybendy, a player for Radiance, Rovex, a player for Empyreans, and MistyStumpey, who was selected by the Golden Guardians during the 2019 Scouting Grounds. This incredible team features recognizable names that will leave even the most confident of teams with second thoughts going in. They’re the clear favorites to sweep the Grand Finals, but the other teams won’t make it easy.
It’s finally time for the CSL Grand Finals! The fight between the University of Texas at Austin B Team and Illinois Academy will definitely be one for the books. How did both teams get here, and how do they compare? Let’s take a look before the action starts.
Illinois Academy had to fight through the lower bracket to make their way to the Grand Finals stage. They were sent there by the University of Delaware Bluehens, who they then took out in the Losers Bracket finals in order to advance. Along the way, they also defeated both Northeastern University’s Northeastern Red, going 2-0 in a dominant victory. Illinois Academy’s roster houses the likes of SyncShips (Diamond 4), wakanari (Diamond 1), Kuderic (Diamond 1), Dandito (Diamond 3), SushiKilla (Diamond 2), and Qwacker (Challenger). They’ll need all the skill they can muster: they're facing a Grand Finals opponent that they've already defeated before, and they're hungry to do it again.
The University of Texas is, without a doubt, upset at their previous loss at the hands of Illinois Academy: it was a close 1-2 defeat for Longhorn Gaming. Since then, they’ve wanted a chance at revenge, as that was their only match loss this season. They took down another team from the state of Illinois, Illinois Wesleyan University’s Titans, in the semi-finals, which lifted them into their current position in Grand Finals. The team’s roster boasts players like RaÏlgun (Diamond 3), CrusherCake (Diamond 3), keep it mello (Grandmaster), Noodlz (Diamond 1), Just Chatting (Challenger), lpoklpok (Diamond 3), VelocityOne (Diamond 3), and YellowBumbleBee (Grandmaster). I’m sure the whole team is ready to take on the Grand Finals, hoping to prove that they are better than the team that defeated them--and maybe become the CSL Grand Finals champions in the process.
A revenge story from the side of University of Texas versus a team from Illinois that wants to prove that their first meeting wasn’t a fluke: it’s a great story for sure. Many are giving the advantage to Illinois Academy because of the history between these two teams. Both teams have diverse rosters with many highly-ranked and talented players willing to fight for the glory that comes with calling yourself a Grand Champion.
This will definitely be a match to watch. There’s a ton on the line, and these two great teams are likely to give us a great match. Don’t forget to tune in on our Twitch channel to catch all the action on Sunday, May 31st at 5pm PT and find out who will be our Grand Champion!