It’s 2018 and Tommy Wiseau finally made it to the stage of the Golden Globes! At this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if a team from the Midwest made it to the finals. Jokes aside, it’s a new year and we have some great StarCraft coming up this season. The new groups and Spring schedule were released a while ago, so the teams have had some time to process what’s to come. Read on for my thoughts about the groups followed by some player opinions about the upcoming season.
What you should be most concerned with in this conference is which team will come in second. Temple University will come in first; that’s why I’ve decided to call this conference “Temple’s Playground”. I don’t like to smack talk teams too hard in my articles, but none of these teams really stand a chance against Temple. As for second, I could see University of California, Los Angeles putting up a strong fight.
I could’ve called this conference anything: The Big Bad Group, The Group with the Good Teams, or, perhaps, The Semi-Finals Preview Group. Any of those would get the point across but “The Group of Death” seems to be in the meta, so I’ll stick with that. The main point is that this is the group to watch. The CSL powerhouses (excluding Temple) are all here: University of Waterloo, University of California, Berkeley, and University of Connecticut. I could see this group going a few ways, largely depending on Berkeley’s spring performance, but I can say with confidence that these three teams will come out on top. That said, I think Waterloo will come out on top of the top.
If Conference #1 is super top heavy and Conference #2 is super overpowered, I’d say Conference #3 is a happy middle. None of the teams are super strong like in The Group of Death, but unlike in Temple’s Playground, I think we’ll see some nice competition here. University of Washington is coming into this group as the number one seed, but the players at Georgia Institute of Technology are no slouches. I’m also prepared to be happily surprised by Michigan State University or University of California, Riverside. While I don’t expect any of these teams to go too deep into the playoffs, I do think this group should be fairly competitive.
I know the naming is pretty unoriginal here. I had dubbed the West group of the last stage the UC Group, but this is the only spring conference with multiple UC schools, so the name is being passed on. It’s also the group with the West group’s number one seed, University of California, San Diego, so I think the name is fitting. I expect UCSD to pull out ahead here. Their only real competition will come from University of Texas at Austin with a small chance of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute turning it on for a huge upset.
"Everyone was afraid of us, so they ran into a group together to hide." - Kailash “Liqht” Jayaram, University of California, San Diego.
"I'm still most worried about UT Austin. Playing [Jarod “JonSnow” George's] team is also somewhat scary, but as long as we don't mess up we shouldn't have too much trouble." - Joshua “Flume” Chan, University of California, San Diego.
"We cower before the mighty avilo." - Kevin “Hjax” Konrad, University of Connecticut.
"UConn first, UConn second, UConn third. All other teams will quit." - Christian “Rookwood” Carmellini, University of Connecticut.
"It'll be okay. We're fine. This is fine." - Richard “Avalanche” Kwok, Simon Fraser University.
"We had a somewhat rocky start last semester because of scheduling problems, but now that each match is so crucial we will be more focused and I'm very confident that we should crush any opposition. We will crush our enemies, see them driven before us, and hear the lamentations of their women. See you at LAN." - Conan “Suppy” Liu, Temple University.
"Oh boy, I'm excited to start again this saturday." - Taylor “Tugboat” Tredinnick, Temple University.
"We’ve got our spy/daddy [Conan “Suppy” Liu] from there that will carry us through." - Ron “CentaurWA” Wang, Temple University.
"Our whole team is showing up each and every match." - Robbie “Tesla” Plata, Temple University.
"All I can say is our team is unbeatable at the moment. If we lose any games it’s just because we are saving strats for the finals." - Jarod “JonSnow” George.
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