Last week, Riot Games’s official bracket for the 2021 College League of Legends Championship was released, putting the top 32 best North American collegiate teams against each other in a chance to compete for the title. Out of the 32 schools, 28 of the schools were automatically qualified; four other schools had to be picked, with Michigan State University, Columbia, Bethany Lutheran College, and SUNY Buffalo being seeded in.
There were no surprises over the weekend, and every team but Northeastern and Grand View University took out the seeds below them. From these matches came a couple stunning scorelines, like Purdue vs. the Eagles, which saw a 28-3 kill disparity in their first game. In Michigan State’s 3-game match against DePaul University, Michigan’s Jungler, Really Big Meme, had a whopping 32 kills throughout the match.
Arizona State University also breezed through round 1 against the New York State Cybears. They play against Colombia College this coming weekend, and coach Michael Ahn has high hopes.
“Our plan against [Colombia] is to hone up everything that we have worked on so far to take them out in a clean fashion,” he said.
The CLoL Championships are being run in a 4-group system; colleges are seeded into Groups A-D, from which they then compete with corresponding schools from different groups in order to compete. For example, Arizona State, a school well-known for its League of Legends team on the West Coast and the first seed of Group A, would be playing against the New York Institute of Technology, a Group D-seeded university. The first major round of the tournament took place over the course of May 1 and May 2, with 8 matches scheduled per day.
The tournament is overseen and run by a selection committee made up of industry professionals, faculty members, and students interested in esports, with voters coming in from across the country to have voted on the 4 schools picked to participate. Although USC was unable to qualify for the tournament, Alice Qian, the Social Media and Competitive Manager of USC’s League of Legends team, was able to serve on the voting bloc.
“I think the CLoL bracket this year is very exciting. There was thoughtful discussion within the Championship Selection Committee. There were a lot of promising candidates from North, including Michigan State/Columbia College that didn’t make it initially,” Qian said.