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2019 League of Legends College Championship Play-In Preview

Mike Plant  | 
The Columbia Cougars are among our early favorites for qualification to the LoL College Championships. (Photo courtesy of @Cougar_eSports / Twitter)

The Columbia Cougars are among our early favorites for qualification to the LoL College Championships. (Photo courtesy of @Cougar_eSports / Twitter)

With the conference championships down, we’re onto the Play-In stage for the 2019 League of Legends College Championship. Sixteen teams will compete for the final four spots in the College Championship from April 4 to April 13.

CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIED

University of Illinois – Big Ten Network
Maryville University – North
University of California Irvine – West
University of Western Ontario – East

By virtue of past College Championship results, the North, West, East, and Big Ten Network champions earned an auto-berth to the College Championship:

PLAY-IN FORMAT

The runners-up in the North, East, West, and Big Ten Network join the top-two finishers in the South, Big East, East Coast, Landmark, Mountain West, and Peach Belt conferences in the Play-Ins.

The Play-Ins consists of two stages: the Group Stage and the Bracket Stage. In the group stage, teams are split into groups where they play best-of-one round-robin matches against the rest of their group. The top finisher in each group will advance to the College Championship, while the second- and third-place teams will advance to the Bracket Stage.

The second-place finishers will play the third-place finishers in a best-of-three match. Each winner will advance to the College Championship.

PLAY-IN PARTICIPANTS

Group A

Villanova – Big East
San Jose State University – Mountain West
Southern New Hampshire University – East Coast
California State Polytechnic University Pomona – West
Juniata College – Landmark
University of Waterloo – East
Columbus State – Peach Belt
University of Texas Austin – South

Group B

DePaul University – Big East
Boise State University – Mountain West
New York Institute of Technology – East Coast
Columbia College – North
Drew University – Landmark
Michigan State University – Big Ten Network
University of South Carolina – Peach Belt
North Carolina State University – South

EARLY FAVORITES

Historically the East, North, West, and Big Ten Network have performed the best collegiately, so that bodes well for Waterloo, Columbia College, Cal Poly Pomona, and Michigan State. Columbia College, in particular, made it to the 2018 Finals and just missed an auto-berth by dropping an epic 60-minute game five to Maryville in the North Championship. It would be shocking to see them miss out.

UT Austin didn’t drop a series in the South, including a 3-0 win over North Carolina State for the South title. Even in the historically weaker conference, they have shown to be a legit contender in 2019. The Big East and Mountain West have shown quality play as well, so don’t discount any of DePaul, Villanova, San Jose State, or Boise State.

Our early favorites for qualification for the College Championship are Columbia College, Waterloo, UT Austin, and Michigan State based on their body of work over the course of the season. But anything could happen in this pressure-packed Play-In stage, so be sure to follow along!

Mike Plant
Mike Plant
Michael Plant has been playing League of Legends since 2010 and analyzing it nearly as long. More recently, he's been interested in the developing PUBG and Fortnite scenes. When he's not playing or watching video games, he's more than likely following one of his Houston sports teams.