With the tiring aftermath of Thanksgiving just about over, we can finally get back to some Collegiate Vainglory. A whole bunch of curveballs came at us over these past few weeks, with many of the safe bets for the finalists this season being utterly ripped to shreds. Any resemblance of “predictability” can be safely tossed aside now, because with no veteran teams still left standing in the breadth of such competition, the finals are now anybody’s guess.
I’ll run over the quarterfinals real quick to give some perspective, and recap the sole semifinals match. The other game unfortunately led to a forfeit, which sucks, but (hey!) sometimes that happens. Let’s get to it.
Watch the exciting Collegiate Vainglory Semifinals between Toronto and Cal State Long Beach!
With California State University, Fullerton losing in the first round of the playoffs earlier in November, I am not surprised at all to see Santa Barbara City College beat out University of Texas At Arlington 2-0 last saturday. I can’t help but accentuate this fact enough: CSUF were the finalists last year! And they had a good track record! While I don’t mean to harp on CSUF’s loss like a dead horse beating another dead horse, it is still incredible to me to see such a shakeup this late in the game, as these kinds of things tend to happen much earlier in the season. With all things considered, that must mean Santa Barbara is a beast team, right?
Well unfortunately we might never know, because, uh, they were the forfeit I was talking about. Woops! See you guys next year! Send a postcard!
Getting back on track in the quarterfinals, we saw California State University, Long Beach defeat University of Houston 2-1. It’s good to see The Cougars put up a good fight, as they were one of my more favorite newcomers this season. That said, it doesn’t surprise me to see Long Beach succeed here, and while I haven’t talked about them as much in my articles than some more savory matches, it is no doubt they are a consistent team. They beat University of Utah earlier this season. After all: if you can beat a previous finalist, chances are you can hold your own against any competition.
Next up, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign beat University of California, Irvine 2-0. To cut the chase I’ll say this first: With Santa Barbara’s mishap, this means Illinois is one of the two finalists this season! Congrats to them! And boo to me, since I would never have guessed. Unfortunately, that sometimes happens, as with such diverse competition in the mix, it can be difficult to single out good teams at any stage. They’ll put up a good fight. I’m sure of it.
Lastly, University of Toronto beat Purdue University 2-0. I’ve already spoken of Toronto strenuously over the course of this season so I’ll speak about Purdue to shake things up. Truth be told, I should have talked about them more, and I would love to see them again so I can have a better glance at their line up. While there is nothing super fancy in their matches this season like beating CSUF or Utah, that’s not to say they don’t deserve credit. Additionally, Toronto has already proven themselves to be just a tough nut to crack, so I’m not too surprised at the result here. I would like to see Purdue again, for sure, though I say that with a lot of teams!
Now let’s go into the semifinals! University of Toronto faced off against the previously mentioned California State University, Long Beach and… lost! Which means Long Beach is our second finalist this season. What an amazing shakeup, and props to Long Beach for a solid performance. While I never thought that Toronto was this nigh undefeatable team (especially with how crazy this season has been), they certainly had the spotlight after CSUF kicked the bucket, and I couldn’t think of any other team more deserving a spot in the finals than Toronto. Clearly I’ve been proven wrong again, since Long Beach absolutely deserves the spot here.
Illinois and Long Beach. Both newcomers. Both wildcards. Both with clearly enough strength to wipe out the rest of the competition. I would’ve never expected these two to reach the playoffs, much less the finals. I have no idea what to expect, but whatever it is, I’m sure it’s going to be a blast!
For more on collegiate eSports check out https://cstarleague.com/