A new year of college brings with it fresh opportunities for students to represent their schools in the only way that matters: through competitive League of Legends! Old names have graduated, and new faces are ready to replace them to replicate their success, or, achieve what their predecessors could not. With bragging rights on the line more trash talk than an EU vs NA semi-finals, let’s check out the college representatives for the Winter Bash 2018!
The Division 1 representatives of UCD return to the Winter Bash after falling at the final hurdle to TCD in Spring. Now, with the return of the mid/ADC core of Kevaman and Cramp, as well as key upgrades in the top and support roles, UCD pose a serious threat as contenders to the crown.
Star player: Dakin – One of Ireland’s top junglers in recent history, the domination of NSG has seen him play second fiddle to xJ. But, as has been seen with his success in eStars, Dakin has the potential to dominate the competition when teams aren’t as well established. Look to him to control the pace of the game for his team.
Maynooth have historically been the most dominant team in Irish Collegiate Esports, winning every tournament since its inception bar the last. The team will be hurt by the move of their premier carry in Voyna to TCD, but with a mix of veteran experience and young talent, the Kamikaze Bees hope to restore the university to its former glory.
Star Player: Rayezor – A veteran of the Irish scene, Rayezor’s past tournament experience will help the newer players of the team maintain focus on objectives and map movement. His Evelynn will almost certainly draw bans, freeing up his team to find their comfort champions.
After taking 2nd place in Division 2 of the Irish Collegiate Championship, the DCU Titans are looking to test their mettle against the best Division 1 has to offer, with some new faces joining pokémon moon and Witzel. The roles played by each player could very easily swap, so it will be difficult to prepare an effective pick and ban against them. This could enable them to find some upset victories in a group that has some titans of its own to face.
Star player: Niallation – While not taking on the mantle of top lane that he is used to, his experience from playing carries should transition as he fills the role of ADC for the team. Expect aggressive play as he looks to dive in on champions like Kai’Sa, Vayne and Lucian.
DIT’s second team in Division 1 bring some new faces to the college scene. The competition will be fierce for this new side, having to overcome skilled opponents with a great deal of competitive experience behind them. Their relative anonymity in the scene may grant them the opportunity to grab some early upsets, but they would have to play above the level their ranks would suggest.
Star player: Drę – The highest ranked player on Ditsu, it will be up to Drę to seize control of the game for his team. Influencing as much of the map as possible through strong jungling could help his team find leads that they might be unable to acquire themselves through individual laning.
With the departure of Celtic Tiger, Stark and Deviilz, the winners of the most recent Irish Collegiate Championship unite with their sister team to take on the Winter Bash. With a good mixture of pre-existing synergy between its members and strong carry potential coming out of Voyna and h0wl, the TCDoggos will look continue their winning ways.
Star player: Voyna – Consistently one of Ireland’s top ADC players, Voyna has been a player who can be relied on to carry a game. He will be separated once again from Blaise, which could affect his laning, but it’s difficult to imagine him struggling against any of the opposition.
The main DIT roster make their return to the Winter Bash, with the well tested bot lane of Domo and bluebullberry returning. This time, they are joined by two of Ireland’s premier top laners in Moo and Renghis. Some role shuffling might be to DIT’s disadvantage, but the plethora of experience and talent on this roster should be enough to give them a strong showing.
Star Player: Renghis – Ireland’s undisputed best (native) top laner, Renghis should be able to gain leads for himself with strong carry performances on champions like his signature Camille, or meta picks such as Aatrox and Urgot.
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The dark horse candidates for Division 1. NCI don’t have the strongest roster on paper, but they are more than capable of taking games from any of the teams on a good day. Their respective experience in past tournaments and strong individual performances will make them serious competition that should not be overlooked.
Star player: Candies – The artist formerly known as Mimicri. Time away from the competitive scene could be to the team’s detriment early on, but once any rust is gone he has the potential to pop off on assassins or be a massive threat in team fights with good play on control mages.
DIT’s third entry for Division 1 of the Winter Bash comes in the form of the oddly named DIT Team 1. Another team of relatively unknown quantities, they appear to be relatively stronger on an individual level than their compatriots on Ditsu Gaming. However, they find themselves in a group that is stacked with talent. Perhaps if they find some early cohesion as a unit they can find some wins, but barring that, they will struggle against the more veteran opposition.
Star player: mezy – Strong performances from their ADC could be an avenue through which DIT Team 1 find their victories, relying on solid mechanics and good laning to stay competitive in the mid-late game.