Four weeks of League Play have now passed in the CRL Spring 2022 season, meaning there’s only one week left. Many teams currently hovering around eighth place in League Play rankings will now be on crunch time to win their final matches in an effort to qualify for the Conference Playoffs, so we’re sure to see some sweaty, extremely competitive gameplay in this final week. Listed below are the top 10 teams collectively across both NA regions according to casters, coaches, and members of the CCA community. These rankings are based on both their performances this season and in previous seasons. We will discuss why they have been ranked in this order as well as covering their performances over the past week.
- UCF: Still placed #1 in the Eastern Conference with a 12-1 record, UCF were also ranked #1 in power rankings for this week. The University of Central Florida didn’t play any new matches last week, as they’ve played most of their matches ahead of schedule. However, they’ve looked amazing in every match they’ve played, only losing one series to the OSU Beanz, which was a major upset. This team, consisting of players “Bambii,” “Luke,” and “Azfura” have shown time and time again this season that they are rank 1 for a reason, and have already secured a spot in the Playoffs regardless of the results of their final two matches against Stockton and Akron U.
- Northwood Blue: Northwood Blue came in second in power rankings this week again, currently holding fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 9-1. Northwood didn’t play any new matches last week either, and though they hold fourth place this week, they held second last week with the same record. This experienced team of players “Pirates,” “Buddy,” and “hockE” is one of the most talented in the league, and they have a very high chance of coming back for that second place slot (if not first) once they play their final matches against OSU, Seton Hall, the St. Clair Saints, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Stockton University. Though, this handful of teams are very talented in their own right, so we’ll see…
- Columbia College: Columbia College hold the third place slot in power rankings again, currently holding first place in the Western Conference with a 12-0 record. Columbia played a total of 3 matches last week, sweeping both LSU and UT Arlington 3-0, and beating UNT 3-2 in a close matchup, which was almost an upset considering they’re placed eighth in the Western Conference right now. Columbia College continue to hold a perfect record, however, and if “Cryptic,” “cam.,” and “CosmicFlippy” continue to play as perfectly as they have been, they have a great chance against the top East teams and even the top European teams on the world stage if they can make it past the National Championship.
- Stockton University: Stockton currently hold second place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 10-2, and have been placed fourth in power rankings this week. Stockton and Columbia College actually hold the same number of votes in this week’s power rankings, so their third and fourth place slots could really be used interchangeably. Last week, they played a total of 4 games, sweeping the University of South Florida 3-0, beating Valleyfield 3-1, winning a close 3-2 series against the Akron Zips, and finally losing a close 2-3 upset against the Indiana Hoosiers, (the eighth placed team in the Eastern Conference). Stockton’s roster of “TopCheese,” “Dripinho,” and “Busse” are all incredibly talented players, and this team has great potential if they can improve their dynamics enough to hold off Northwood Blue and UCF, 2 of the 3 teams they have left to play in League Play, the third being the University of Florida.
- St. Clair Saints Gold: Last week, St. Clair were placed seventh in power rankings and fourth in the Eastern Conference. This week, they’ve moved up to fifth place in power rankings with UNLV taking their former seventh place slot, and the Saints have moved up to third place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 10-2. This record is shared with Stockton, who hold the second place slot in the Eastern Conference. However, what places Stockton above the Saints is Stockton’s game difference of 21; the Saints have a current game difference of 17. Last week, St. Clair swept both OSU and the Indiana Hoosiers 3-0, and beat Valleyfield 3-1. “Spoods,” “Comp,” and “Jay,” the St. Clair Saints’ roster, are showing major improvement over their performance last season where they came in eighth place in League Play, and they continue to look more solid with each week that passes.
- LSU: Louisiana State University ranked sixth in power rankings this week and currently place second in the Western Conference with a record of 11-1. LSU played a total of 6 different matches last week, sweeping 5 teams 3-0 (UNLV, Mizzou Gold, CSUF, Cal Poly, and the CSU Rams) and being swept 0-3 by Columbia College. LSU’s roster of “ayjacks,” BrohnB,” and “Ravenyyte” are top-tier players, and it really shows through their major success this season. Despite being swept by Columbia, LSU are still a top contender in the Western Conference, and they have already secured a spot in the Playoffs with their impressive 11-1 record regardless of how they perform in their remaining matches.
- UNLV: As mentioned above, UNLV held the fifth place slot in power rankings last week, but have been moved to the seventh place slot this week, most likely because of their 0-3 loss against LSU. UNLV still hold third place in the Western Conference, however, with a solid 9-3 record. Last week, they had an even record across the four games they played, winning 3-0 against Boise State and 3-1 against Ottawa, while losing 0-3 against LSU and 1-3 against UTA. While some anticipation for this team may have been redistributed to other teams like St. Clair and LSU, UNLV’s roster of “NytroDryft,” “Garenn,” and “Tuv” are very gifted, and have a lot of potential past League Play as they’ve most likely already qualified for the Conference Playoffs.
- VESPA: VESPA and UTA switched spots since last week, with VESPA formerly holding ninth place and UTA formerly holding eighth. This week, despite VESPA not playing any new games, they have moved up to ninth place in the power rankings, currently holding the sixth place slot in the Eastern Conference with a record of 7-5. VESPA’s roster of players “Aekoh,” “fayble,” and “Nivo” is pretty solid, and if they’re able to hold their sixth place slot in the Eastern Conference, or at least stay above ninth, we’ll see them compete in the Playoffs.
- UTA: UT Arlington’s demotion to ninth place in the power rankings could have something to do with them getting swept 3-0 by Columbia College, but either way, UTA are still ranked fourth place in the Western Conference with a record of 9-3, the same as UNLV. UNLV’s game difference is 9 games higher than UTA’s, which is why they’re placed higher, but this roster of players “Adverse,” “Samba,” and “Nava” still hold a high level of skill and potential that the 12 other teams placed below them haven’t yet been able to achieve. Last week, UTA played a total of three games, losing 0-3 against Columbia College as discussed above, but winning 3-1 against UNLV and 3-2 against Boise State. UTA shouldn’t be underestimated; they could surprise us in the coming weeks, even after League Play.
- Akron Zips: Finally, the Akron Zips were ranked tenth in power rankings again, and have moved up to fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 8-5. Last week, they played a total of 3 games, winning 3-1 against both the University of South Florida and Stevens Institute of Technology, and losing 2-3 in a close series against Stockton. Akron’s roster of players “Buzz,” “Reticence,” and “Fal” have shown clear improvement since last season, and we could continue to see them prosper, especially considering the fact that Buzz and Reticence are multiple-time CRL champions.
Make sure to tune in here for the last week of League Play to see how these teams do, and how accurate these power rankings really are!