IEL SEASON 8 WEEK 0

After a long off-season, Season 8 of IEL is finally here! With it comes the introduction of the Academy League, The Clash and even more exciting action to watch. In the last few days, we saw four pre-season tournaments elapse, but with League Play starting tomorrow, this when the real action begins!

In this article, we take a look at each of the conferences, discussing some of the teams to watch and predicting a Top 6.



ACADEMY LEAGUE – LERONI

With IEL getting bigger and better every season, in order to reach out to more players and to spice things up, a new amazing league has been born! Before the introduction of the Academy league, players of this level had to play in prospect as a substitute to face C3/Low GC players or not even getting a chance to be involved in Prospect because of their low DSN. 

That is changed now, with a fair and fun league for anyone between Diamond 1 and Champion 1! There are 2 conferences filled with 8 teams each, where only the Top 2 are guaranteed a playoff spot. What could you expect here? Well, those who like to watch a good whiff compilation, have come to the right place! In all seriousness, we are in unknown lands due to the number of new players and the brand new league, so what could happen for now is a mystery.

SIGMA CONFERENCE

TEAMS TO WATCH

Override Esports

Currently the highest DSN team with the maximum amount of 4560, Override will be looking to make a huge impact into this league. Their roster consists of james? 1217 DSN / OTB Snow 1205 DSN / GhandisSack534 1166 DSN / toast 972 DSN. The 3 main roster players are only 51 DSN apart from each other and two of them are in the 1200 area, which so far seems to be a very good combination and it will be very exciting to see how much impact this team will make into the Sigma Conference.

eMerge Gaming

This franchise is another one with a very good roster and expensive in terms of DSN with 4553, staying in 2nd place tied with Elated. Coming into the IEL as a new franchise, it will be interesting to see how these new players are going to perform especially in the Academy League where everything is a mystery! Their roster is Kajit 1265 DSN / Bombi 1229 DSN / D4nnyDaGOAT 1159 DSN / winner25er 900 DSN. The two main players in terms of level are pretty big but their sub has the minimum DSN for the Academy, which could work out well in League Play.

Galamo Esports

Galamo’s Academy team besides being in 11th place in Terms of DSN with 4475, in this pre-season tourney they managed to take down a good amount of teams and got into the finals which is something good going into League Play. Their roster consists of Helte 1234 DSN / pain. 1163 DSN / bullet_r1dden 1106 / NotNormi 972 DSN. Besides being close to winning the pre-season tourney, League Play could show to be something very different and they will have to bring in their best game in order to reach far.

OMICRON CONFERENCE

TEAMS TO WATCH

Team Berserkers 

About Team Berserkers, in terms of DSN, they are sitting at 9th place with 4514 DSN. Besides being in that spot, this team has a powerful roster with el_druvo at 1274 DSN / BopAdin at 1240 DSN / Samxy_ at 1060 DSN and their sub, LionLi with 940 DSN. There was a pre-season tourney for every league, in the Academy one their journey was great, in the Group Stage they took down Elysian and RL Ireland with a solid 2-1. After that, in the Knockout Stage, it was Austrian Force’s turn but AF didn’t have any success and lost 2-0. Shaman Esports (Semi-Finals) and Galamo Esports (In the Finals) tried to take down TB, it was a close battle but TB beat Shaman 2-1 and beat Galamo 3-1, and managed to win the pre-season tourney! Congrats for them and good luck in League Play.

Disconnected Esports 

Disconnected is the only franchise that has two big main roster players that aren’t from Europe, TRL with 1267 DSN and DesertScrubb with 1251 DSN, which is a questionable move due to the number of issues that can exist. These two players will need to be able to take on the lag and adjust their timezone in order to not have huge difficulties, so it’s a big question mark on how Disconnected will perform during league play.


PROSPECT LEAGUE

MU CONFERENCE – OLI

Season 8 is finally upon us and it is looking to be the most highly skilled season of the prospect division’s history, with the DSN cap being the highest it has ever been and for the first time the prospect division is not the lowest division in the IEL due to the introduction of the Academy league. The Mu division specifically looks to be a strong division with previous winners in Fort Templar and Auto Celerity and consistently high flyers in RL Ireland. Promising newcomers are also making their debut in the division, such as Elysian and Silverbacks. It is certain to be an exciting season for the teams in this division so keep your eyes peeled.

TEAMS TO WATCH

Elysian

Elysian are a new Franchise in IEL but their GM, Films3, is a previous champion so they should be a franchise with a winning mentality from the off. This was proven in the recent pre-season tournament as they reached the semi-finals of the tournament after making it out of a tough group with teams of the likes of Reflux, who they convincingly swept 2-0. They did eventually get knocked out the tournament by Fort Templar in a close 3-1 loss but this team is looking like a favourite from the get-go for playoffs and possibly the automatic positions.

Fort Templar

The season 6 champions will be looking to recreate the form they had 2 seasons ago with this new roster they have assembled, although they are one of the lowest DSN main rosters in the league they have shown very promising signs early on and were the highest placed team from the Mu conference in the Pre-season tournament. Only getting beaten in the grand finals by a dominant Dexterity has put them in the conversation for a top 6 finish. Time will only tell us where they will finish but if they continue this form they seem to be a contender.

RL Ireland

A constant presence in the playoffs is back again for another season and looking as strong as ever. RLI’s prospect team has always been tough opposition but they have never quite made the impact they would be hoping for as they still have no championship under their belt, this will be the season they are hoping to go for glory led be long time star GraHa. It would not have been the start they were hoping for in the pre-season tournament, as a team like them will be looking to win anything they put themselves into and although they won their group, they progressed no further and were knocked out in the first round of the knockout stage. It was not a disastrous start but they have to build from this to be in the fight for the top places at the end of the season.

PREDICTED TOP 6

  1. Elysian
  2. Auto Celerity
  3. Fort Templar
  4. RL Ireland
  5. Built By Us
  6. Silverbacks

OMEGA CONFERENCE – NEXTFOX

The Omega conference has about ten teams with 5700 or more team DSN, so when it comes to the teams that go to playoffs, its going to be quite disputed!

After those ten, we have four teams in the range of 5600-5700: Austrian Force, eNightmare, Tofu and Family and Natural Disaster.

Below that, we have Team Berserkers and Hive Athens EC.

Since we don’t know how the teams will play and how they will do, the team DSNs are going to be the factor to know what we can expect on this conference

Disconnected, Shaman and Zero Fox Gaming enter on the top three teams of this conference, due to having the highest DSNs.

TEAMS TO WATCH

Shadow Esports

Champions of last season, this season they keep two players of that roster that won the prospect division (Dennis and Infernox), and with two new faces (fnx and Genesis), its going to be interesting to see how this team will perform, but keeping those two players that won last season, its going to be a tough team to beat, even if they are on the bottom of the 5700 DSN teams.

Disconnected Esports

After the franchise not being present in season 7, they are now back in season 8! And there is an old face from the challenger division: Roks! Being also the team with the highest DSN on the Omega conference as well, it’s for sure one of the favourites to win the league, but time will tell.

Reflux

Last season, Reflux had all of their teams in the playoffs, with the prospect team reaching semi-finals on the final bracket, being beaten in game 7 against Auto Celerity. With that in mind, Reflux is also quite high DSN wise, we’ll see how they do!

eNightmare

Lastly, lets cover eNightmare, a team that got out in quarter-finals in the final bracket, has now nearly a completely new roster, only MardyJosh being the exception here. DSN wise, the team is on the bottom five of the conference, so the expectations aren’t super high, but we never know what will happen!

  1. Disconnected Esports
  2. Reflux
  3. Shaman Esports
  4. Shadow Esports
  5. Zero Fox Gaming
  6. Aardwolf Esports

CHALLENGER

DELTA – CRISPY

With league play about to start, here is a look at some of the teams in the Delta Conference and what we can expect from them!

TEAMS TO WATCH

Fort Templar

Fort Templar’s challenger roster is one of the most evenly spread out in terms of DSN in the league, with the highest and lowest player separated by just 34 DSN. This may mean that they can rotate their roster in whatever way is the best during league play. One player to watch on this team is Ollie, whose mechanical ability may prove crucial for FT doing well this season.

Reflux

This roster has 3 IEL champion titles between them, with last year’s challenger winner and MVP Francesko alongside AndasAP, who triumphed in seasons 6 and 7. Retzy should be a very solid 3rd player to complete the main roster – he’ll be hoping to build on his playoffs appearance last season and make this team a success as well.

Shadow Esports

Shadow should be a formidable force this season.Their roster of Mr. ShoSho, Spooks, Hazar and Strafe looks very strong, with three of these players having previous experience in IEL playoffs. This is another team with potentially no clear main roster or sub, so it will be interesting to see how this team develops over the course of league play.

The Neon Flamingo

Wlowns was one of the best players in prospect last season, taking The Neon Flamingo’s prospect team to the playoff semi-finals. He is back on the franchise this season captaining the challenger roster. Freddy and Kevin make up the rest of the main roster, and they both were in playoffs last season – so they will be hoping to do the same this season and perform well.

PREDICTED TOP 6

  1. Shadow Esports
  2. Reflux
  3. The Neon Flamingo
  4. Fort Templar
  5. LA Gaming
  6. Auto Celerity

ZETA – FREDDY

Welcome back to yet another season of Challenger League! Looking at the teams from the Zeta conference, it seems that this conference will be dominated by 3-4 teams and the rest is going to be an all out battle for the last 2-3 playoffs spots.

This conference has top teams like the Pre-season finalists Zero Fox Gaming, the Pre Season Winners, Elysian as well as Dexterity who made a decent run in Pre Season.

Those 3 will definitely be teams to watch as their performances are just going to get better and better as the season continues.

Another team to watch out for is Aardwolf Esports. They’ve had some problems within the team that could mean the end of the team if they don’t do well in the 2 first weeks. Aardwolf Esports is one of the strongest team in Challenger this Season with the Highest DSN total as well as they hit the Maximum of 6480 on the dot. If they win their games, this could prove to be bad for other teams in the conference but if they lose they could very easily disband which makes them a very easy team to beat.

TEAMS TO WATCH

Zero Fox Gaming
At the top of Zeta as the #1 seed, we have Zero Fox Gaming. A team with the last season’s Challenger Finalist Rvfrsh is always going to be a good team and this is indeed the case. Rvfrsh has decided to team up with the Season 7 Playoff Contender Kebabs and Season 6 Challenger Champion The_Yellow_Krab, and their team looks nothing but frightening.

This roster is definitely going to make it far as we saw in the Pre-season tourney as they made it to the final before eventually falling to Elysian. 

We can all expect good things from this roster as they’re only going to get better as time passes by.

Elysian

Elysian is another great team in Challenger this season. The roster consists of last season’s Prospect Winner Huwgo, as well as TBrood and Dwis. 

A team with players of this quality is bound to impress, but I can’t imagine many people expected them to beat out Zero Fox Gaming in the Pre-season Tournament Final.

They looked quite comfortable in their gameplay, and it looks to be a relatively painless League Play for them, making it to Playoffs without too many problems.

Dexterity

Another team to look out for this season will be Dexterity. They did fairly well in Pre-season tourney considering they were using their sub, Colin. They managed to take a game off Zero Fox Gaming which isn’t an easy task, so that is very impressive from the team. 

Eventually, once the main roster of Viu, Indydl and Statick starts to get going, it is to be expected that they will do really well as this is a strong roster that is set up for a good season.

PREDICTED TOP 6

  1. Zero Fox Gaming 
  2. Elysian 
  3. Dexterity 
  4. Overture 
  5. Natural Disaster
  6. Austrian Force

MASTER

ALPHA – MATTY

This season of the Alpha Conference will see 16 of the 32 participating franchises battle it out to see who will come out on top as the best team from the Alpha Conference. Defending champions Reflux will want to reassure their supporters that they are still the best franchise, with Serve and AndasAP making way for new recruits Spider and Jauert, joining RonJayy and Rubenofski on the roster. Other teams to keep an eye out for include Fort Templar, RL Ireland and Shadow Esports.

TEAMS TO WATCH

Fort Templar

After an average Season 7 performance, in which they placed 8th in their conference and barely missed out on playoffs, Fort Templar have decided to rebuild their roster around Azza, bringing in PeaKy!, DLynch and duts to complete the roster. PeaKy! has proven himself to be an impressive player outside of IEL, making the RLCS main event twice so far, meaning that he will be the one that the others may look out for to come out on top in crucial scenarios.

RL Ireland

After finishing 7th-8th in last season’s playoffs, the Season 4 and 6 champions will be looking to bounce back from last season’s performance in dramatic style. After keeping Pandaa and Enwrong from last season’s roster, Dave Forehead has resorted to bringing back former RL Ireland players LTXSam and Jao to complete their roster for this season. LTXSam was a part of the team that managed to win the Season 6 playoffs, despite entering the playoffs as 12th seed, showing that he is capable of leading his team to victory.

Reflux

Last season’s champions will be coming into this season with a lot of confidence due to their triumphant Season 7 playoffs run, which saw them beat Bad Karma in the grand final 4-3 to take the title. However, since then, Rubenofski has decided to stick with only RonJayy from the previous roster, with Serve departing to Dexterity and AndasAP joining the Reflux challenger roster. Ruben has decided to sign Spider and Jauert, two players who have clearly caught his attention, hoping that they will provide Reflux with their second consecutive masters title.

PREDICTED TOP 6

  1. Reflux
  2. Fort Templar
  3. RL Ireland
  4. Shadow Esports
  5. Austrian Force
  6. Fearless Esports

GAMMA – BRUN

This season, the Gamma conference looks particularly interesting and includes a plethora of new teams and also some returning faces. In terms of top teams, we may see teams like Dexterity, Aardwolf Esports, Auto Celerity, Silverbacks and Hive Athens EC rise to the top whereas teams like The Neon Flamingo and Tofu And Family fall to the bottom.

There are a large number of teams that look very good on paper this season in Gamma, however, there are some certain teams that you may want to keep an eye on.

TEAMS TO WATCH

Zero Fox Gaming

Zero Fox Gaming seem to have taken over previous season’s Dormant Esports, as they pick up ex-GM and two-time challenger champion Tburger and master semi-finalist Marmoan. This roster also includes three-time finalist Milne who will hope to take home a title for the first time. This roster has incredible potential to gain a playoff spot but also may crumble if Tburger fails to keep up with the master standards. Time will tell if the team is able to hold their own together and they should end up near the top of the table. 

Dexterity

Dexterity also seems to be at the top end of the conference as they pick up Master Champion Serve and former teammates Capra and Bope who made semis last season. This roster is sure to get a high placing as they feature some of the top master players from previous seasons all of which know how to play in a playoff environment. They are unlikely to crumble and have a high chance of working perfectly together. Can they keep their previous season performances? Zero Fox Gaming vs Dexterity will surely be a match to watch as they battle it out for a top end spot. 

Hive Athens EC

Another team to watch may include Hive Athens EC. Formerly on team Golden Age, this team has been together for three consecutive seasons now and packs a punch as they have made playoffs every time. They will be aiming to secure a title and are sure to be close with their solid chemistry and consistent performance. With a likely to stay together team, this will be a very good contender for the Season 8 Master Champion title.

Auto Celerity

Auto Celerity looks to have another good master roster this season with high-end players Antmn and xeGi. However, their third: Previous master sub, Azazel may struggle to keep up with the master standard. In previous seasons, Azazel has consistently performed well in his sub games but coming in at 1692 DSN may be a worry for the team. This team has serious potential if Azazel can keep up with the high-end Master players and are sure to do well with teammates Antmn and xeGi, both coming in at extremely high DSN. Auto Celerity are definitely looking to have another brilliant team. 

PREDICTED TOP 6

  1. Dexterity
  2. Zero Fox Gaming
  3. Aardwolf Esports
  4. Silverbacks
  5. Auto Celerity
  6. Hive Athens EC

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