USC makes first-ever appearance in College League of Legends poll

USC made its first-ever appearance in the College League of Legends top 25 this week with a debut at No. 24 in the rankings. Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire

The Maryville Saints remained at No. 1 in the ESPN College League of Legends coaches poll after strong showings in the ASU GSV tournament the past two weeks.

The ASU GSV event has showcased multiple top-25 matchups at a time in the College League of Legends season where most top teams don't get to face off. Several teams have taken advantage, while others have dipped in the rankings as a result of the side tournament.

Winthrop, Arizona State and USC are among the biggest benefactors from the tournament. Winthrop, the No. 18 team entering the season, has picked up wins over four programs ranked in the preseason thus far in ASU GSV: UT Dallas (17), Harrisburg (3), Grand View (20) and Arizona State (13).

The Eagles will face the winner of a scintillating matchup in the offline stage of the tournament bracket: No. 1 Maryville vs. No. 2 Columbia College.

The Sun Devils, despite their loss to Winthrop, made noise with back-to-back sweeps of then-No. 4 UC Irvine and then-No. 11 Robert Morris. UCI, however, was without its starting jungler and managed to hang on to the No. 4 spot as a result.

The Anteaters will hope to make a statement as well with upcoming matchups against top-15 programs in Stony Brook and a potential matchup with Harrisburg.

USC jumped into the top 25 for the first time in program history with a victory over then-No. 10 Texas and UT Dallas at ASU GSV. The Trojans debut at No. 24 after losses to Maryville in the winners bracket and a close 2-1 loss to fellow top-25 program Waterloo in the lower bracket.

The Sixty Six Games Open Division League of Legends tournament, which featured amateur, semi-pro and collegiate teams, also led to some movement in the Week 2 rankings. Illinois Wesleyan took second place in the tournament and held its spot in the top 15 after losses to Harrisburg and Waterloo in ASU GSV.

Purdue got some attention for its results at the Sixty Six Open as well. The Boilermakers forced Robert Morris to three games in the upper bracket of that event and forced Arizona State into two close games before being bounced from the tournament. Purdue jungler Kyle "ClamSparkle" Bautista, a Challenger-tier player, could help the Boilermakers make some noise in College League of Legends regional play.

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Below are the full results of the preseason top 25. Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of first-place votes for a team. The ESPN poll aggregates picks from nearly 40 coaches across North America every other week during the College League of Legends season.

  1. Maryville (29)

  2. Columbia College

  3. Harrisburg (1)

  4. UC Irvine

  5. Western Ontario

  6. Winthrop (1) 12

  7. Illinois (1) 1

  8. Stony Brook 1

  9. Arizona State (1) 4

  10. Waterloo 2

  11. Michigan State 4

  12. Illinois Wesleyan

  13. Robert Morris 2

  14. Toronto

  15. Texas 5

  16. British Columbia 1

  17. North Carolina State

  18. Grand View University 3

  19. Miami-Ohio 1

  20. Ottawa

  21. UT Dallas 5

  22. George Mason 1

  23. York University 1

  24. USC

  25. Purdue

In: USC, Purdue

Dropped out: Ohio State, Michigan, Maryland

Also receiving votes: Rochester Institute of Technology, Ohio State, Maryland, Cal Poly, Ryerson, Michigan, Boise State, UC Berkeley, Virginia Tech