This is it. The finals are here. With it, the resolution and excitement we’ve all been waiting for. It’s been a wonderful experience to see all the teams this season, both old and new to the Halcyon Fold, compete this fall. All things considered, it’s certainly been a treat. Well, let’s not waste any time and dive into my preview of what we should expect from tomorrow’s game!
Let’s get to it: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign versus California State University, Long Beach! Who will win?
To start things off, I think it is a reasonable (if a bit easy) guess to say that Illinois is coming in as the underdogs here, as the sudden forfeit in the semifinals earlier this week definitely put a spin on the playoffs as long as predictions are considered. Certainly, it makes Illinois harder to judge as a team overall; there are only so many opportunities to be shown off in the spotlight, especially during the playoffs, and because of this, Illinois might as well be a wildcard coming into this matchup. Does this mean they are at a disadvantage here however? I don’t think so: ddvancing into the playoffs, both Illinois and Long Beach stood with modest 3-1 records, and while it is like comparing apples to oranges, I do think Illinois has a chance here. If anything, the uncertainty is exciting!
Pictured above: playoff brackets leading to the Collegiate Vainglory Grand Finals.
On the other end, there is all the reason to believe Long Beach is the more experienced team here, if only because of their previous excursion with University of Toronto, a match they ended up winning to get this spot in the finals. Previously, they fought both finalists from last season as well, and though they did happen to lose to one of them, they still held their own. I can’t help but find it difficult to imagine a more efficient way to practice for the finals…than to literally fight previous finalists! If it was earlier in the season and this was just a regular ‘ol match, chances are I wouldn’t entertain any thought other than Long Beach winning here. However, with so many incredible swings so far just during these past few weeks, with safe bets like Toronto losing, I can’t help but feel that there is something that I’m missing in the mix here. That is what makes Illinois so interesting to me, because other than their match history so far at CSL, there is so little concrete to say about them. In contrast, Long Beach seems to me like the real deal, but with my current track record that might as well be jinxing the whole finals!
So, that’s it. California State University, Long Beach versus University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. If it was even a month prior I could have never have imagined these two to take up the spotlight in the finals, but today, that happens to be the case! Good luck to both of them, and let’s hope they give us a good show!
For more on collegiate eSports check out https://cstarleague.com/