ACADEMY DIVISION PLAYOFF PREVIEW | IEL SEASON 8

Written by Leroni

With League Play now being over, we turn our attention toward the Academy Division Playoff! There has already been a great deal of talent on display and heading into the playoffs, we are very excited to see what these teams are capable of. Only 6 out of the 16 teams in the division qualified for the Playoff which will be happening on the 6th of March from 4 pm until 9 pm.

Elated Esports (6-2) 

Elated has managed to secure 1st seed with a big finish in Week 4. They took down eMerge Gaming 3-2 and swept Galamo, which put them top of the Sigma conference, ahead of Galamo. They have proven to be a scary team to deal with and their chances of making it into the grand finals are good, but this depends on how they will be performing.

Being the first seed, they have a bye. Their first opponents will be either Elysian or Override Esports. Elated has already played both of them, losing 3-1 to Elysian and 3-2 to Override. They will have the perfect chance to redeem themselves and this will be an exciting series to watch!

Predicted Finish: 1st

Disconnected Esports (6-2)

One of the underdogs at the start of League Play, Disconnected ended up being very connected with each other in their series and came out on top with the 2nd seed. This is another team that finished strongly, taking down one of their rivals, Elysian 3-1, and sweeping Shaman. With these results, they finished 1st place in the Omicron Conference, just missing out on the first seed by 4.41% win percentage.

Their first opponents are going to be either Galamo Esports or Team Berserkers, both of which they have already played. They beat Team Berserkers 3-1 but fell 3-0 to Galamo, so this could be a tough series for them if they are to face Galamo. Despite being predicted 3rd/4th they have good chances of going higher than that.

Predicted Finish: 3rd/4th

Galamo Esports (6-2)

Galamo has shown to be a good team in League Play with consistent results, having the longest unbeaten run in the division. However, that changed due to a weak finish in Week 4 as they lost 3-1 to Austrian Force and 3-0 to Elated. This ruined their dreams of an unbeaten season and lost them 1st place in the Sigma conference. This may have been caused by Galamo letting their guard down after already having qualified for the Playoffs, but they will have to do better this weekend.

Their first opponents are going to be Team Berserkers. This series should be winnable for them since their opponents are 6th seed, but given the unpredictable nature of the Playoffs, it is impossible to know.

Predicted Finish: 2nd

Elysian (5-3)

Elysian’s explosive performances throughout League Play in the Omicron conference kept them in the Top 2 and ensured their qualification to the Playoffs. In Week 4, they lost both games against Puncture (3-2) and Disconnected Esports (3-1), which put them in the 4th seed. This team has shown to be capable of playing at a high level, so if their consistency is on point and if they pull out some amazing plays against these top teams, they could reach far into the bracket.

Their first opponents are going to be Override Esports, which could be a very tough opponent, as both teams share the same record, just 0.89% win percentage separating them.

Predicted Finish: 3rd/4th

Override Esports (5-3)

Let’s talk about Override. Coming into the season, they had the highest DSN team in the division, so things were looking good before League Play even started. They had a quiet start, ending Week 2 with a record of 2-2, but with a new mentality and some rosters changes heading into Week 3, they managed to climb up in the standings and get into the top 2. Two wins in Week 3 and a decent finish in Week 4 secured Playoffs for them, and they are ready to fight!

For their first game, they face Elysian which is no doubt going to be a difficult game for them.

Predicted Finish: 5th/6th

Team Berserkers (5-3)

In the Week 0 writeup, we mentioned that Team Berserkers was going to be one of the teams to look out for, and it certainly turned out that way, as Team Berserkers qualified for the playoffs as the 6th Seed. In League Play, they had a shaky start, going 0-2, but with time, the tables were turned and in Week 3, they started to build some momentum, securing a 3-3 record. Last week, they had their easiest week of the season, facing Shadow and RL Ireland. They didn’t even get to play Shadow because they forfeiting the match, but they took down RL Ireland 3-2.

Their first opponents are going to be Galamo and the odds are not looking in their favour, however, we don’t know what could end up happening.

Predicted Finish: 5th/6th

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