It’s that time of year again. Classes are well underway for most of our registrants and the first matches of the season are right around the corner. This season will feature twenty one StarCraft II teams grouped into familiar divisions. On the StarCraft: Remastered side of StarCraft news, we have 23 brave challengers. Read on for more information about what you can expect from CSL StarCraft this season!
In June, I wrote an article where I looked at which teams I thought would do well in the coming season. In June, I was a fool. In my defense, a lot has changed since then, but I want to briefly fill you in on some of the biggest surprises in store for the new season.
Conan "Suppy" Liu (pictured left) and the UC Berkeley StarCraft II squad, fresh off winning the CSL Championship at Dreamhack Austin in 2015.
First and foremost, Conan “Suppy” Liu is back; the poster boy for the golden era of CSL StarCraft II is back. Liu was one of the best StarCraft players CSL had ever seen and, despite the fact that he’s past his prime, his return will have serious consequences for his team. Formerly, Liu was associated with University of California, Berkeley, but this year he will be playing for Temple University.
Without Whipple, Plata (pictured above) will likely be calling the shots for Temple.
You read that correctly, one of the greatest players in the league is joining the reigning runners-up. Unfortunately for Temple, they won’t be quite as strong as I’ve lead on. Though they will be gaining Liu, they will be losing last year’s ace Jay “Raze” Whipple. Retaining Robbie “Tesla” Plata and gaining Liu should allow Temple to go the distance again this year.
As for other notable teams, the reigning champions, Universite de Montreal, were unable to field a full team this year. Round of four team, University of Waterloo, looks strong with a returning veteran, Steven “Lokk” Nguyen, and mainstays William “Buster” Stewart and Riddle “TheRiddler” Li. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute still has Jarod “JonSnow” George, who is still the best player in the league. The University of Connecticut team has retained all of their core players and shouldn’t face much trouble from most teams. Finally, UC Berkeley, lead by Nick “Silky” McNeese, should be able to sweep the West.
The UConn squad will be back in full force, looking for a shot at the title.
The StarCraft: Remastered league should prove interesting. After all, this is the first time there has been a large, organized effort to start an ongoing league for SC:R, which has a few implications for us as spectators. There isn’t as much information about many of these players. Unless you’ve been following the North American Brood War scene for the past few years, many of these names will be unfamiliar.
Despite the lack of information, there are a few players who stand out based on their performance in other tournaments. Those that I would look out for include: Kwang yun “SoSin” Keum of University of California, San Diego; Sejun “ParkSejun” Park of Georgia State University; Bryan “Bryan” Hoyt of University of California, Los Angeles; and Andy Jeesu “Jeesu” Kim of Texas A&M University. From my brief investigation, these players seem to have the strongest records. As always, I would love to be proved wrong over the course of the SC:R season (it keeps things spicy).
Be sure to tune in at 7pm PT/10pm ET on Tuesday for SC2 action and on Thursday for SC:R action over at Twitch.
Tyler can be found on Twitter.