As playoffs draw nearer, every match increases in importance. The Swiss format of these first six weeks ensures the top of the table faces off against teams also in the upper echelon. With that, we have explosive matchups every week, and this weekend is no exception.
The Columbia College Cougars (3-0) take on the Grey Wolves of Lourdes University (3-0) in a best of three. It does not take much digging to find the Cougars’ analyst Drake Porter’s thoughts on the state of his team. A couple weeks ago Porter released his collegiate power rankings via Twitter:
General rankings for cLoL:— Drake Porter (@CoachDrakeLoL) January 24, 2018
2. Everyone else
This confidence is well placed. Over the summer, Columbia College put together one of the strongest rosters in collegiate LoL history. While retaining members Ian “MistyStumpey” Alexander and Dean “Dean” Wood in, respectively, the top and support roles, CC recruited an incredible transfer class by scooping up sophomore ADC Evan “EvanRL” Lawson from Robert Morris University and former Florida State Seminole Julien “Julien” Gelinas to play the mid-lane role. Gelling together is no concern of Alexander, “Most of us have been friends before transferring.”
Then there’s the other side of the matchup. The Grey Wolves have posted the highest team KDA (18.8) in the entirety of College LoL. Freshman jungler Clement “Hyami” Wittner’s contribution can’t go overlooked, but all eyes will be on Connor “Artemis” Doyle come Sunday. The veteran transferred during the summer of 2017 after making waves with Columbia College last season.
Doyle had few words about his former team, but he did show a bit of confidence in facing the Cougars. “I'm confident I can beat [Columbia College] in draft and put our guys in a position to succeed,” he explained. Doyle also made a role swap from ADC to support in order to create room for sophomore Wesley “Homecoming” Pratt.
Everyone knows the significance of this match. A loss here makes the journey forward much more difficult. “I’d say this is probably the most important game of our bracket,” Pratt said of the the showdown this weekend. “It’s a match that was bound to happen and it’s probably the best time for it.”
Christian Matlock is an esports professional who graduated from the University of Missouri in 2016. He has worked in coaching with Illinois College and was a founding member of Allegiance, a professional esports organization that debuted in Halo and now fields teams in Super Smash Bros and Call of Duty, among others. You can find him on Twitter @CMMatlock.