Collegiate Starleague

8 Massive Takeaways from Regional Finals Weekend

10 Apr , 2018  

The College League of Legends Regional Finals took place this past weekend, and the Big Ten Championship concluded Monday April 9th. These climactic matches brought plenty of drama. It is tough to label some matches as upsets, but Columbia College’s fall to Maryville in 0-3 fashion is certainly an unexpected turn of events. Though, perhaps the biggest upset was when Ohio State, the front runners of the Big Ten, met a disappointing end after failing to take a game from rivals University of Michigan in the first round of the BTN Conference Championship Tournament. The weekend provided plenty of matches to talk about, so let’s dive into the Regional Finals takeaways.


North Regional: Columbia College (North #1) vs. Maryville University (North #3)

Maryville wins 3-0

Game 1 — 39:06

Blue: MU — 20 // 70.7k

Red: CC — 9 // 61.3k

Game 2 — 39:52

Blue: CC — 9 // 62.4k

Red: MU — 19 // 73.7k

Game 3 — 44:15

Blue: MU — 19 // 81.6k

Red: CC — 17 // 69.2k

Dan Clerke, Maryville University’s director of esports, was not happy with the performance of his players up to this point. “Maryville had issues all year,” he said in a tweet after their victory April 5th. At Midwest Campus Clash, he told me that no roster felt like the champions they were last year. However, for three fantastic games, the Saints put aside those issues and took down the seemingly unstoppable Cougars of Columbia College. “What you saw tonight is the one.”

  1. The Saints are anything but underdogs. After some internal strife, they found stability in the fourth iteration of their roster and put together a solid win against a team most people thought unbeatable. Having already advanced to the National Championship tournament, Maryville has plenty of time to fine-tune their strategies and get a better look at their first round opponent from the Play-In Tournament.
  2. The Cougars are facing adversity for the first time this CLoL season. They cruised to an 18-0 game score entering this match. After a defeat like this, and the 1-2 loss to Maryville at Midwest Campus Clash, doubt will run rampant through the members of Columbia College. Coach Drake Porter must get his players’ minds back on track and resume playing confident League of Legends before the National Championship tournament.


East Regional: Western University (East #1) vs. University of Ottawa (East #2)

Western wins series 3-0

Game 1 — 29:01

Blue: WU — 23 // 60.3k

Red: UO — 9 // 48.8k

Game 2 — 38:37

Blue: UO — 19 Kills

Red: WU — 27 Kills

Game 3 — 24:01

Blue: WU — 16 Kills

Red: UO — 6 Kills



After taking down a couple of bracket busters, Western and Ottawa put it all on the Rift for the East Regional Finals. Western ended up on top, winning a path directly to the National Championship tournament. There was a chance for Ottawa to strike back, but this was a one-sided match.

  1. Game 2 was the closest of the three – largely due to an early lead accrued by Ottawa’s top laner and jungler. If they hope to make it to the National Championship, they’ll have to figure out how to maintain the other lanes or put those two players in a good position to facilitate the other matchups.
  2. Western proved they can work a draft and then execute that composition. After falling behind in the second game, they let their patience shine and eventually wore down the other side to keep the 3-0 dream alive. At the end of the day, it comes down to execution. Western found a way to put all their pieces together and complete the sweep.


South Regional: University of Texas – Dallas (South #2) vs. George Mason University (South #5)

UTD wins series 3-1

Game 1 — 37:45

Blue: UTD — 23 // 71.2k

Red: GMU — 9 // 61.3k

Game 2 — 40:00

Blue: UTD — 16 Kills

Red: GMU — 30 Kills

Game 3* — 33:00

Blue: GMU — 8 Kills

Red: UTD — 24 Kills

Game 4 — 25:07

Blue: UTD — 18 Kills

Red: GMU — 9 Kills


George Mason had a great run, spoiling both the fourth and first seeds en route to the South Finals. In this match, UTD gave up early leads but found ways to rally back and take the series. Even in Game 2, it came down to a Baron steal to ensure a GMU win. There was a phantom Game 3 that was nullified by a disconnect and remade, costing GMU a win.

  1. George Mason will need to work on their mid game decision-making. They had the kill lead at 15:00 in every game of the series and could only close out one of those leads. After taking out Texas A&M handily, it seemed they were a proper contender. Now, without a resounding game-win in this series, I have some doubts about their future.
  2. Conversely, UTD need to tighten up the early game. Competition at the National Championship will have significantly improved, and playing from behind will not always work. The good news is they’re some skilled players who proved they can adjust quickly and execute in team fights. It will be interesting to see how they match up against the other regions.


Big Ten Championship: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne (BT #2) vs. University of Maryland, College Park (BT #4)

UMD wins series 3-1

Game 1 — 32:02

Blue: UIUC — 29 Kills

Red: UMD — 11 Kills

Game 2 — 42:06

Blue: UMD — 26 // 86.3k

Red: UIUC — 19 // 68.8k

Game 3 — 25:59

Blue: UIUC — 4 // 35.9k

Red: UMD — 17 // 54.3k

Game 4 — 28:52

Blue: UMD — 12 Kills

Red: UIUC — 10 Kills



Both teams here already punched their ticket to the Play-In Tournament. Maryland had gone perfect thus far, while Illinois dropped a game to Wisconsin (BTN #7) in the quarterfinals. By the end of this contest, U. of Maryland was joining Group A at the Play-In.

  1. Illinois looked incredibly creative on the Rift. With flashy plays like using Thresh’s lantern and Skarner’s Impale to pick off the enemy mid laner or interrupting Jarvan’s flag and drag with a Trundle pillar, the Illini showed their ability to communicate and execute some superb creativity. As with many teams in the collegiate space, they need to improve their play when they have these early-game leads.
  2. You have to credit Maryland’s resilience. The Terrapins fell behind often in the majority of the games. Through better macro-play and calculated risks, UMD won themselves back-to-back Big Ten Championships. There’s still a lot to prove for the Big Ten as a whole, but Maryland and Illinois look like a solid representatives for the Play-In Tournament.


Around the League

The West Regional Final took place off stream with University of California (West #2) taking down Simon Fraser University (West #1) in dominant 3-1 fashion. The Anteaters took a total of eight dragons to SFU’s three, and three of the series’ four Baron Nashor takedowns. In the Peach Belt Conference, the state of Georgia reigns supreme by sending University of North Georgia (PBC #1) and Georgia College (PBC #3) to the Play-In. Their series went 3-1 in favor of UNG but, just like with the Big Ten, they both advance by virtue of making it to the Peach Belt Finals.

With the conclusion of the regionals, we have the Play-In Tournament to look forward to next. Luckily for fans and players alike, there are still a lot of matches to be played before a champion is crowned. Be sure to keep up with all the action by following the CSL LoL Twitter or Facebook pages. To view previously broadcast matches, check out the CSL LoL playlist on YouTube or find it in the videos section of the CSL Twitch channel. Please note the Big Ten Championship can be found on their Twitch channel.

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.

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