5 weeks of action have passed, and the battle for playoff qualification is most certainly on! In this article, we take a look at the teams to watch in each of the conferences.
Written by Oli
RL Ireland (8-2)
This was one of the most vital weeks of the season with the tight positions of teams at the top of the table, and with the cross-conference games, it was tighter than ever. RL Ireland had an extremely tough week with 2nd place Neon Flamingo as their first test, who they beat in a close 5 game series and also Team Berserkers who are a solid cross-conference matchup, but RL Ireland put on a great display to dispatch them in 4 games. This next week doesn’t get much easier for them, as they have to play 3rd placed Override Esports, which is surely going to prove to be a great contest. With the Playoffs pretty much sealed, it is now about trying to maintain their top spot in the conference for the rest of the season.
Fort Templar (8-2)
There are many parallels that can be drawn between RL Ireland and Fort Templar, both teams are 8-2, both teams were 2-2 after the second week and both teams are full of experience and talent. The only thing that distinguishes the two is Fort Templar’s slightly inferior win percentage but this is something that they have looked to improve upon this week with two wins, one of which being a sweep. It has to be said that, on paper, this was an easier week for Fort Templar with a struggling Puncture being swept aside and a game 5 thriller with a Zero Fox team they were expected to beat. Just like RL Ireland, Playoffs are pretty much secured and with both games this week being played with a sub, the Fort Templar team is looking to bring the fight to the top of the table in the remaining games.
The Neon Flamingo (6-4)
This week was the test of the season for The Neon Flamingo and unfortunately for them the week did not go how they would have wanted. At the start of the week, they were sitting in 2nd place and straight away they were put into a 5 game series with RL Ireland and they couldn’t convert the final game. This may have knocked their confidence somewhat as they went into their game the next day as strong favourites against Austrian Force but crumbled under the pressure and ended up being swept. They are still in a good position for the rest of the season but there are no guarantees, so they have to forget about this week and move on with the confidence that put them in that 2nd placed spot in the first place.
Game of the Week: Fort Templar vs Override Esports
This game will be a game for consolidation in the playoff positions for whoever can win. The 2nd and 3rd place teams will go head to head. With only 5 losses between them they are not used to losing but someone will have to and it is a close one to call, as these games of the weeks usually are. However on paper FT have a better record so they have to be put up as a slight favourite for the fixture.
Prediction: Fort Templar 3-2 Override Esports
Predicted Top 6
- RL Ireland
- Fort Templar
- Override Esports
- The Neon Flamingo
- Built by Us
Written by NeXtFoX
The second half of league play has officially begun and last week was the cross-conference week. These games are always interesting to see how teams will perform against their counter-part from the other conference (playing the team that is on the same position).
Zero Fox Gaming (5-5)
Composed by Caff, Doomdots, Pyre and qF Yeti97, this team is in 10th place with a 5-5 record and a 48.84% win-rate, meaning they are tied with five other teams in terms of record, a win below the next three teams and two down from the top 3. There are still six matches left, so it’s definitely still possible to get those top 4 positions or the wildcard spots.
As for this week, Zero Fox gaming lost their cross-conference match against Fort Templar (3-2) and were swept by Fearless Esports (3-0), ending up in a negative week for them. We’ll see how they do next week, where they will go against Dexterity (located in the top 2 at the moment) and eNightmare (last in the conference).
In second, we find Dexterity, made up of shay, redport, DrunkenPanda and Sark. The team has a very good 7-3 record with a 65.79% win-rate, with a very clean and positive Week 5, sweeping Silverbacks and Team Berserkers. They’re looking to be a very tough team to beat as well!
Next week they are going up against Zero Fox Gaming (10th in the conference) and Aardwolf (5th in the conference).
Game of the week: Reflux 3-0 Zero Mercy
The cross-conference match between these two teams ended up in a sweep for Reflux!
Just looking at the teams and their positions in their conferences, it was expected to be a very balanced matchup, but it ended up being a clear win for Reflux.
The first game ended up in a 3-2 overtime win for Reflux, which could be a signal of a balanced match, but the next two games ended up 5-3 and 6-1, ending in a series win for Reflux.
Hazza_rl had the most team MVPs for Zero Mercy, while Shapi got the most for Reflux.
Game to watch: Austrian Force vs Shadow Esports
Two teams in the top half of the table are now going against each other, a match that might put Austrian Force with a two-win advantage over Shadow, or equal their two teams’ records.
This is going to be an interesting and important match since both are looking for those playoff spots, which can be reached both by the Top 4 or by the wildcard spots, in which the record and win-rate are going to be important.
Since the last “Game to Watch” predictions made ended up in sweeps, we will predict the same here, but it can end up to any side and end up in any result!
Prediction: Austrian Force 0-3 Shadow Esports
Predicted Top 6
- Shaman Esports
- Natural Disaster
- Disconnected Esports
- Shadow Esports
Written by Crispy
Fort Templar (10-0)
Will this team ever lose? Well, it remains to be seen, but they had possibly their toughest week yet in week 5, and prevailed with their unbeaten record intact, just about. First up was their cross-conference game against Austrian Force, the top team on the Zeta side. After a very tight series, FT prevailed in a game 5 to take the win. Next stood a very formidable BBU team who had swept each of their last 4 series. They fought hard and took it to another game 5, but once again FT took the series 3-2 to go 10-0. No team in IEL history has had an unbeaten league play season, and every week it looks more likely that Fort Templar challengers will be the first.
Built By Us (4-6)
This team had their comeback season somewhat halted by Fort Templar in the aforementioned series, but they will still be keen to push on and get results in the rest of league play. Their season started poorly with an 0-5 record, but then after a roster overhaul, they didn’t drop a game in their next 4 series, taking them all 3-0. They only just lost to by far the best team in challenger last week, so they will be desperate to prove that they have what it takes for the rest of the season and make a bid for playoffs.
Fearless Esports (5-5)
If you haven’t looked at the league standings for a couple of weeks, then you may be surprised to see Fearless this far down the league, having previously been 5-1 and near the top of the table. They have lost their last 4 series, in week 5 winning just a single game after a 3-1 loss to Overture and being swept by Override. There is still opportunity to turn this dip in form around, but they have a very tough week ahead of them with games against Fort Templar and RL Ireland.
Game to watch: Auto Celerity vs The Neon Flamingo
With the playoffs fight heating up as league play reaches its later stages, every win counts for the teams in and around the wildcard spots. AC and NF sit at 4th and 5th in the table respectively, so both will be eager to make a statement with a win in this one.
Predicted Top 6
- Fort Templar
- LA Gaming
- Auto Celerity
- The Neon Flamingo
- RL Ireland
Written by Freddy
Elysian have been on a hot streak since their loss to Overture in Week 2, currently, they are on a 6 win streak and it looks like they will keep going. They have even played all their sub games so their conference should be easy enough to handle from now on as they have already played most top teams as well already.
Last week, they swept The Neon Flamingo in a very convincing win and they also beat Aardwolf Esports 3-2 to go 2-0 in the cross-conference week.
Next week, they play against Dexterity (3-7) and Galamo Esports (1-9) so this should be very straightforward for Elysian to go 11-1 and qualify for Playoffs.
Team Berserkers (8-2)
Team Berserkers have looked very solid this season, only losing 2 games. The first of which being to an in-form Austrian Force, and the second they taking place in their cross-conference game against RL Ireland. Their other game in Week 5 against Hive Athens they won 3-0.
Next week, they play Natural Disaster (4-6) and probably the best team in the Zeta Conference, Overture (9-1).
This week could see Team Berserkers getting their 3rd loss as Overture have looked unbeatable since adding Merverlin to their roster. Their game against Natural Disaster should be theirs to take and if they lose that it could end up hurting them.
Austrian Force (6-4)
Austrian Force have been on a bad streak ever since the end of Week 3, not having won a game since then. In Week 4, they lost 3-1 to Zero Fox Gaming and were swept by Puncture. In Week 5, they lost 3-2 to #1 seed in the Delta Conference Fort Templar who are yet to lose a game being 10-0, and they also lost to Overture who I’ve already said look very good.
Next week, they played Hive Athens (4-6) and Galamo Esports (1-9) so this could be the time for them to end their bad streak and take two wins.
Game to Watch: Team Berserkers vs Overture
Both of these teams look very solid this season, only losing 3 games in between the 2. Overture looks like the better team right now though as their streak since roster change has been very good. Team Berserkers also look very good, but losing to RL Ireland in cross-conference game puts them behind Overture in my opinion. This game is definitely going to be a game to watch so let us hope it is a streamed game.
Prediction: Team Berserkers 1-3 Overture
Predicted Top 6
- Team Berserkers
- Zero Fox Gaming
- Austrian Force
Written by Matty
With Week 5 all wrapped up, it’s now time to once again review this week’s series to see who came out on top in the cross-conference series.
Fort Templar (8-2, 2nd)
Despite a narrow defeat in Game 5 to Dexterity in their cross-conference series, Fort Templar managed to beat rivals LA Gaming in a convincing 3-1 win earlier on in the week, placing them 2nd in the standings, only behind Shadow Esports. This week, they’ll play Natural Disaster and Elated Esports, two teams that are currently on 3-7 win records, which will mean that these wins could e crucial when deciding the final positions at the end of the season.
Austrian Force (4-6, 11th)
After beating The Neon Flamingo in their cross-conference series in 4 games, Austrian Force also managed to beat eMerge Gaming earlier in the week, putting them on 4 wins and 6 losses heading into the final three weeks of league play. A tough fixture against RL Ireland faces them this week but could prove to be an upset that Austrian Force is capable of achieving.
Fearless Esports (6-4, 5th)
Playing two series back to back on Wednesday, Fearless started off their evening with a Game 5 defeat to Gamma Conference rivals Built By Us, but they managed to bounce back in their series against Donde Esports, sweeping them in a dominant fashion. They’ll play Galamo Esports and Elated Esports this week, and they’ll be wanting to win both of these series to put them in a good position heading into the final two weeks.
Game to Watch: Shadow Esports vs LA Gaming
After beating Fort Templar on stream in Week 4, Shadow Esports should be coming into this series feeling confident with their performances as of late, despite losing their first series of the season, at the hands of Zero Fox Gaming. LA Gaming, on the other hand, lost both of their series last week, being swept by Silverbacks in their cross-conference series and then losing to Fort Templar as well. Because of this, I believe that it will be a relatively easy series for Shadow, and I could see this series ending in a sweep in favour of Shadow.
Prediction: Shadow Esports 3-1 LA Gaming
Predicted Top 6
- Shadow Esports
- Fort Templar
- LA Gaming
- Fearless Esports
- RL Ireland
Written by Brun
After an explosive week of cross-conference action, the Gamma conference has taken a massive shape up. We see the Top 2 of Dexterity and Skorch Esports whereas at the bottom, we see Puncture and Override who have both fallen short at their playoff chances. Dexterity managed to take down a strong looking Fort Templar to secure their top spot in my match of the week which I predicted Fort Templar to win 3-2. With a few interesting roster changes to add to the mix with these teams, the battle for a playoffs spot is sure to get interesting.
Skorch Esports (9-1)
Taking 2nd place, Skorch Esports managed to take out Puncture and RL Ireland dominantly last week and have to play a tough match versus Zero Fox Gaming next week as well as a match against Disconnected Esports. Both of these matches should be wins for Skorch Esports as they are better on paper. However, they have undergone a roster change towards the end of last week. 1858 DSN player Kephi who was previously in Team of The Week was released and signed by Fort Templar. This will prove troublesome for Skorch Esports and could get in the way of their playoffs potential as they sign 1744 DSN player Brucy who is 100 DSN below Kephi. Brucy will need to step up to the plate and surpass his DSN if they wish to keep their second-place spot on the table and continue to dominate their opponents. With a dramatic midseason roster change – will they keep up?
Going from 1-5 to 5-5 is no easy feat and Overture have done exactly that. After facing the majority of the top teams, Overture were left at the bottom of the table with low confidence of reaching a playoffs position but after beating Elated Esports and The Neon Flamingo last week they are holding their heads high. However, they still have to play Built By Us (this week), Zero Fox Gaming and Silverbacks games that on paper they would lose. This means the team will need to perform an upset if they want a chance at playoffs otherwise their playoffs dreams will be dashed, on the other hand, they do have a lot of momentum on their side and will have high confidence when going into the top half games. These guys will need to perform at the top of their game if they want to gain a playoffs spot but I would say they have the best chance of doing so out of all the mid-table teams, even with the fact they have to play three strong teams because they have had 4 consecutive games and momentum makes all the difference. Will this team achieve their goals?
Hive Athens EC (3-7)
After teaming together for the 4th season, UnstableKoala, Standi, KingKong and Basicbull have always gotten a playoffs spot. With a 3-7 record, this may be the first season they aren’t in master playoffs as a 9-7 record rarely makes a playoffs spot. This means Hive Athens EC need to win every single game ahead of them, meaning they have to beat third-place Silverbacks. Hive Athens need a cinderella story if they wish to move up the table and are going to need to bring out all the stops as one more loss means they are out of the competition. One advantage they have is that they have played most of the top teams apart from Silverbacks, including Auto Celerity who currently sit below Silverbacks on the table who dominated Hive Athens on stream. These guys are in an incredibly dangerous position and will most likely miss out on a playoffs spot, although it would be an amazing story if they managed to take down Silverbacks.
Game to watch: Zero Fox Gaming vs Skorch Esports
This match will truly test if Skorch made a good roster change as they take on 5th place Zero Fox Gaming. If Skorch Esports win, they retain their position or become number one, if Zero Fox Gaming win they get a top 4 spot and send Skorch Esports down in the rankings. Entertainment wise this will be one of the best matches this season as they both come extremely close in skill.
Prediction: Zero Fox Gaming 3 – 1 Skorch Esports