IEL SEASON 9 CHALLENGER PLAYOFF PREVIEW

It’s finally the Challenger’s turn to have their long-awaited Playoffs this weekend! This article will feature everything you need to know about each team ahead of the action.

The Playoff will take place from Friday (today) to Sunday and will be streamed on our Twitch. Make sure to tune in at 6 PM BST to catch the action!


GROUP A

RL Ireland (Seed 2)

RL Ireland has been looking very strong all season, and they’re up there for a contender to win it all. RL Ireland finished with a record of 14-2 and a with a 73.88% win rate so they are looking really solid. 

They appear to be strong all around, as they’ve scored a lot of goals and not conceded too many. Scoring 181 and conceding 86 leaves them with a Goal Difference of 95 only behind Zero Fox Gaming who finished 15-1 they sit with 119 Goal Difference.

Statistically, LovelyCans is their star player as he sits at 14th in MVP rating, 16 in points per game and goals per game, and top 4 in assist per game. So it seems that Cans can both score goals and set up many goals with that many assists.

RL Ireland went 4-2 against the other playoffs teams, losing out to Zero Fox Gaming and Galamo Esports, but beating Team Berserkers, Overture, Aardwolf Esports, and Zero Mercy they look like one of the teams that could go all the way.

Predicted Finish: 5th/6th

Reflux (Seed 3)

In the third position of Delta, we find Reflux. With a 13-3 record and a 66.67% win rate. The team has scored 170 goals (6th highest) and conceded about 111 goals, ending up with a 59 goal difference. The team is composed by Jay-loof, GT0, Kxrma and misuto.

As for stats, Kxrma seems to be the goal scorer, with 0.97 goals per game, and also the assister, with 0.85 assists per game. GT0 is the one that does the most saves, having 1.45 saves per game. Kxrma has the most MVPs in terms of rating.

Predicted Finish: 2nd

Aardwolf Esports (Seed 6)

Aardwolf have had an up-and-down League Play and thought their season was over after Week 8. However, after Silverbacks pulled out, they have been given a second chance to make a mark on the season. This doesn’t make their chances any better, however, with the level of competition, they will face in the Playoffs. They went 3-3 against other Playoff teams during League Play, however, which means that they could really be a threat despite their seeding.

Predicted Finish: 7th/8th

Team Berserkers (Seed 7)

Team Berserkers finished League Play with a record of 12-4, 3rd in the Zeta conference. They were convincing throughout, winning their last 7 out of 8 games. They went 3-3 against other Playoff teams which means they should be able to go pretty far. Despite their strong record and a strong winning percentage of 65.08%, they have an underwhelming goal difference of 18, so they aren’t the most dominant team.

Predicted Finish: 5th/6th

Fidelity Esports (Seed 10)

suffered, making them have a 26 goal difference. This is Fidely Esports, a team composed by Dasher, tareq10, Evoke and TeaJayy.

Going to stats, tareq10 is the goal scorer, having an average of 1.06 goals per game, while Dasher does the most assists (0.76 per game). To end it, TeaJayy is the player with most saves per game (1.47).

tareq10 is the player with the best MVP rating on the team.

Predicted Finish: 9th-12th

Bad Karma Esports (Seed 11)

With a measly record of 9-7, Bad Karma have qualified as the 10th seed. They haven’t looked too convincing during League Play and will need to be at their best if they wish to make much of an impact in Playoffs. Bad Karma have actually conceded more goals than they have scored, conceding the most goals of any Playoff teams in the IEL alongside Override Esports’ Academy team. In League Play, they have a record of 1-4 against other Playoff teams, 1-5 if you include Silverbacks and won just 4 of their last 8 games.

Predicted Finish: 9th-12th

PREDICTIONS


GROUP B

Zero Fox Gaming (Seed 1)

In the 1st position of Zeta conference, is Zero Fox Gaming who have been one of the most consistent teams, with only one loss and a great win rate (83.33%). The team has made 180 goals (3rd highest of the division) and conceded only 61 (lowest in the division), making it a 119 goal difference, the highest in the division! With that said, we can expect a very strong defense and an equally very good attack! The team is composed by yeeeeesssssiirrrrrrr, XzyleTB, Mizery and SnUwU.

On average, Mizery seems to be the striker of the team, with an average of 1.57 goals per game, the highest in the whole challenger division. Then, for assists, we have Xzyle, with 1.08 assists per game, the 3rd highest in the division, and also has the most saves for the team (1.50). 

Mizery is the player with the most MVPs, not only in Zero Fox Gaming, but also on the rating overall. Zero Fox Gaming also leads in stats like goals, assists, and points, being in some of these only behind Silverbacks.

Predicted Finish: 1st

Galamo Esports (Seed 4)

Galamo Esports has had a stellar season, looking very good the whole way through. Going 13-3 with a solid 70.97% Win Percentage.’

Galamo is another team that seems to just outscore their opponents quite a lot. Scoring 170 and conceding 67 they are at +67 Goal Difference, which is the 2nd best in their conference just behind Silverbacks and 4th best in total.

They seem to be a team that’s very good together as they’re very close in stats, but looking at MVP ratings, both josh1248 and Marvls are on that list in the top 23 which means they probably stand out most on their team. Marvls. is 13th in points per game and 4th in saves per game, but on the other hand, JBGaming is 10th in assist, so as I have said it seems they are just a very solid team all around.

Galamo Esports went 4-2 against the other playoffs teams they played, Losing to Reflux and Shadow Esports, but beating out RL Ireland, Fort Templar, Fidelity Esports and Bad Karma Esports, so they have been fairly decent against the other playoffs teams.

Predicted Finish: 3rd/4th

Fort Templar (Seed 5)

4th in Delta conference, with a 13-3 record and a 66.15% win-rate, Fort Templar have scored 158 goals (5th highest) and got scored on 123 times, giving them a 35 goal difference. Composed by Koupe, LewisHendo, Rattles and Stainless.

In terms of goals, Koupe is the one that scores the most (1 goal per game), who assists the most (0.71 assists per game), and also who saves the most (1.74 saves per game), which makes Koupe the most complete player on this team! Will definitely be a player to look out for. It’s also the player with the best MVP Rating on the team.

The team has the highest average of saves per game from all the playoff teams, meaning that they can be quite tough when it comes to defense, even though they get scored on quite a lot as well.

Predicted Finish: 9th-12th

Overture (Seed 8)

Overture have made an absolutely incredible comeback and have managed to finish League Play with a record of 10-6. They will go into Playoffs as one of the favourites to go far, having won their last 8 games. After going 2-6 by Week 6, Rukia was brought in and they have not lost since. Rukia is the 3rd top goalscorer in Challenger and is most certainly the star player on this team. They went 1-4 against Playoff teams, but went 1-0 in the second half.

Predicted Finish: 3rd/4th

Shadow Esports (Seed 9)

Shadow Esports has had a bit of an up and down season but still end up with a solid record of 12-4 and a win percentage of 65.45%. Despite a rather low win percentage, it still seems Shadow dominated most of the games they won and kept the games they lost close as their goal difference is 52 which is solid. Scoring 147 and conceding 95 is very good with a rotating roster.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Huwgo is their best player as he just sits at the top of every accolade and is 5th in MVP ratings, as well as being 1st in points per game with 470.85. He is 10th in goals per game with 1.00per game, 5th in assist with 0.85 per game, and 3rd in saves with 1.85 per game. Needless to say, he looks very good based on stats alone.

Shadow Esports went 2-4 against other playoffs teams so based on that alone it doesn’t really look like they are as solid as their record would seem as they have just lost to most of the other competition in playoffs.

Predicted Finish: 7th/8th

Zero Mercy (Seed 11)

Zero Mercy has barely scraped playoffs with a record of 9-7 and a win percentage of 54.41%. Looking at a record that is not even in the double digits and a very low win percentage for a playoff team it’s going to be interesting to see if Zero Mercy really has anything to offer against these other top teams who just have better records and just seem more solid.

With a goal difference of 6 scoring 147 and 141, that is also just very close and it may indicate that their defence is not as good as it should be.

They do not have a player in the top 45 for MVP ratings where other teams have 2 or even 3 players from the team in there so this is not a good thing either. They are not looking the best on individual stats either, but Patinq has managed to be 16th in saves with 1.48 per game indicating that he probably sits back a lot as his goals and assist per game are not really close to that at all.

Zero Mercy went 1-5 against other top teams, losing to Reflux, Aardwolf Esports, Overture, Zero Fox Gaming, RL Ireland and only beating out Team Berserkers in a shocking upset in Week 8.

Going 1-5 against other playoffs teams is not a good indication but beating out Team Berserkers might have been the fuel to start a good run in playoffs.

Predicted Finish: 9th-12th

PREDICTIONS


FINAL BRACKET PREDICTIONS

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PS5 Giveaway - Terms and Conditions

One entry per person. Entrants must have completed the following prerequisites to be entered into the draw taking place on the final day of Season X Master playoffs:

Entrants must remain in the IEL Discord server at all times following sign up until the announcement. Entrants must receive no more than one league play or server infraction during the season. If the winner is in a location where it is unreasonably expensive (>£700) to get a PS5 to them, we will provide the winner with a gift voucher for a relevant store for £650.