IEL SEASON 9 WEEK 0

After a lengthy wait, the Imperial Esports League is finally back for its 9th season! With games already having been kicked off, we take a look at some of the teams to watch in each of the eight conferences. It is important to note that most predictions must not be taken to heart as there is currently not much to go off other than pre-season results, reputation and DSN.

ACADEMY LEAGUE

SIGMA CONFERENCE

Written by Leroni

The Academy League is back, this time even stronger with the skill gap being increased to include players Diamond 3 to Champion 3. There is more space for new players to join with this change and these teams will show how fast they can improve!

TEAMS TO WATCH

Aster

They may have rebranded from Elysian last season but they managed to keep ajwww_1904 (1157 DSN) and have added a completely new player to their team in the shape of sigmoyd (1281 DSN). They can also boast a returning player from season 6 in the shape of Cinereous (1284 DSN). Their sub is a brand new player by the name of joe_yates22 (1065 DSN) and they hope that he can step up when needed. The three main roster players have worked together running and organising multiple leagues outside of IEL but the ability to run a league doesn’t correlate with the ability to play in a league. That being said, the fact that they have worked together for so long should allow them to have incredible chemistry on the pitch.
Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out for them in the pre-season tournament as after a 3-0 demolition of Aardwolf, they followed that up with a 3-1 loss to Auto Celerity and a poor 3-2 defeat to Zenith. They still managed to scrape through to the knockout stage, where they were first rounded by Reflux. Pre-season tournaments don’t necessarily mean everything and they are capable of bouncing back from a below-par performance.

Fidelity Esports

A new franchise in IEL, Fidelity has the highest DSN roster in the Academy League: Ratman_scoop 1284 / Ultimate 1258 / simmissim 1217 / Seth 1055 with a total of 4814 DSN. They played in the pre-season tourney and got into the knockout stage. Last season, the team with the highest DSN were the champions, and with Fidelity having two players with some experience in prospect, this could be one of those teams to keep an eye out for.

eNightmare 

During the pre-season tournament, this franchise showed what they are capable of by taking down several teams in their path, which ended with them winning this tourney. It’s not an easy task to win this tourney and be the IEL Season 9 Champions, but they could do a good amount of damage in League Play. Their roster consists of pinguin rather slow lad / thwaite / CrumpetSir / Nellag, with a total of 4806 DSN this team is one of the biggest rosters.

Silverbacks

The winners from Season 8 are back. Silverbacks is definitely a threat in this conference, due to being the only team that has stayed together since last season and they are very familiar with how this league works. The players on the main roster are only around 30 DSN apart from each other. Their roster is James. / GM667 / GhandisSack / CLiXy Lunar. They didn’t play in the pre-season tournament, but it will be interesting to see how well the Silverbacks will perform.

Override Esports

Override were the S8 Academy winners and coming into S9, they will certainly be looking to keep their name at the top. They have decided to go with QX5Z / RealSpartax / Deimo63 / Homem do Croquete which in terms of DSN ends up being a solid roster and we will have to see how things are going to turn out for them. 

TOP 6 PREDICTIONS

  1. Fidelity Esports
  2. eNightmare
  3. Silverbacks
  4. Reflux
  5. Override Esports
  6. Shadow Esports

OMICRON CONFERENCE

Written by GM667

The Sigma conference in Season 9 contains multiple playoff contenders from last season, such as Disconnected and Team Berserkers as well as some teams which didn’t do so well last season such as Zenith (formerly Puncture) and Overture. Those two teams will be looking forward to putting on a much better showing than what they did last season and there’s no better way to do that than to get off to a good start this season and get some good results under their belts to put them in contention for the playoff spots.

TEAMS TO WATCH

Disconnected Esports

Last season’s finalists will be hoping to go one step further this time out and while they’ve kept one of their players from last season, the rest of their players are completely different. More specifically, xAikx (1280 DSN) is a bit of an unknown quantity, panic (1247 DSN) was a prospect sub a few seasons ago but is prepared to show what they’re made of when given regular game time, and VIIxTobi (1188 DSN) was the shining light in an otherwise dismal shadow team from last season but will be hoping things work out much better this season. Disconnected have managed to hold onto PR0ton (1050 DSN) from last season, except this time he is now a sub but a rather experienced one at that.

They kicked off their pre-season tournament journey with a comfortable 3-0 sweep of Austrian Force before falling 3-1 to Reflux before being dumped out at the group stage courtesy of a 3-0 sweep at the hands of RL Ireland. This must go down as somewhat of a disappointment for Disconnected but pre-season doesn’t mean everything and they’ll be willing to prove that in league play.

RL Ireland

Their academy team finished in mid-table last season, missing out on playoffs as they never really got going. This season they will want to make amends and finish in a playoff spot at least. Just like Disconnected, RL Ireland kept one of their players from last season and changed the other three. Their roster this season consists of their GM, Dave, Forehead (1277 DSN), CK (1210 DSN), P1ayer 0n3 (1192) from last season, and kevinfitz1520 (1133 DSN). This might not look like a team that can challenge near the top but they have the potential to secure a playoff place at least.

They got off to the worst possible start in the pre-season tournament, being swept 3-0 by Reflux before getting a 3-0 sweep themselves against Austrian Force before booking their place in the knockout stage with another 3-0 sweep against Disconnected. They managed to overcome Auto Celerity in the first round 3-2, despite one of those game losses being 7-1 and then followed that up with a satisfying revenge 3-2 win against reflux in the semi-final but eNightmare proved too strong of an opponent for them in the final, losing 3-1. Despite the heartache of losing in the final, RL Ireland can take plenty of confidence from their performance in the pre-season tournament and possibly use that to kick on in the first few weeks of league play at least.


Team Berserkers

This team reached the semi-final last season, pulling off somewhat of an upset against Galamo to get there and their end of season form almost saw them reach the final, only for their playoff run to be cruelly ended by Disconnected. That being said, they will be looking to better that this season and have kept half of their old roster, namely: El_druvo (1288 DSN) and LionLi | Neelz (1050 DSN), but have 2 new players, in the shape of Justinnn (1220 DSN) and Canathan (1216 DSN) to help them try and go further than they did last season.

Their run in the pre-season tournament was short-lived, however, firstly losing a closely fought 3-2 series to Bad Karma, before bowing out prematurely after their second, equally close 3-2 loss to eventual winners eNightmare. This isn’t the first time Team Berserkers have been hard done by and they will be hoping that they aren’t so desperately unlucky this time around.

Zero Mercy

This franchise did not have an academy team last season but they are certainly taking it seriously this season, bringing in Jambon Ron (1316 DSN), Bubzzz (1215 DSN), Simsy (1151 DSN), and JustTooSpooky (1091 DSN). Simsy, in particular, is an absolute bargain in terms of his DSN being so low and JustTooSpooky has experience of being a sub at this level so Zero Mercy have a lot to bring to the table when it comes to how good they look on paper at least.

TOP 6 PREDICTIONS

  1. Zero Mercy
  2. Disconnected Esports
  3. Zero Fox Gaming
  4. Team Berserkers
  5. Aardwolf Esports
  6. RL Ireland

PROSPECT LEAGUE

MU CONFERENCE

Written by Yeast

The prospect division is back and stronger than ever with old faces looking to stand their own and a few new faces trying to show that they belong here. The Mu conference sees last seasons prospect winners aster looking to retain their crown and new faces of Hamburg Sharks and Ignite Esports 

TEAMS TO WATCH

Aster

Last seasons champions Elysian are running with a new name but are still running with an extremely strong roster with a combined roster of 5790 DSN, they’ve retained a champion, Minty, and with new players AngryPuppur and Joekimbo, they are looking to stay as dominant as they were last season.

Shadow Esports

Shadow Esports have been looking very strong in preseason, making the final of the preseason tournament losing out to Aardwolf. Their 1520 DSN player styled is hungrier than ever to make playoffs having not made it for multiple seasons now. With Ponk, Marcy and Infernox by his side, this season has a lot of potential for the season 7 champions 

Reflux

Reflux have always been a team to fear in prospect with teams that could’ve won it in the past. That hasn’t changed this season. They have 2 1500 players with CaptainQuark and Jeffery_5194 at 1520 and 1500 respectively. Wicky and ViolenceWars completing the roster makes this one of the scariest rosters to play against as they are just 2 DSN below the cap. Reflux aren’t messing around this season and could really make moves this season. 

Ignite Esports 

Ignite are one of the new names in IEL but aren’t new to Rocket League having been in RSC for many seasons, their GM Dispatchio is on this roster and I asked him a few questions. “I hopefully want to get back to where I was in season 7 after last season was disappointing. I think we have a good chance to make playoffs in our conference but it looks really stacked, but I’ve never not made playoffs and don’t plan on changing that. With himself ShinxisS and one of the best deals in the league, Anschlo on the main roster, they are definitely a team that should be feared.

TOP 6 PREDICTIONS

  1. Reflux
  2. Ignite Esports
  3. Silverbacks
  4. Auto Celerity
  5. Aster
  6. Shadow Esports

OMEGA CONFERENCE

Written by Oli

The new season is upon us and the Omega conference looks as strong as ever. There is some real quality in the conference with teams such as RLI and Overture who are always favourites, as well as new teams for the season with Valor and the return of Vinctio. This is for sure going to be a great season for this half of the prospect league.

TEAMS TO WATCH

Zero Mercy

Zero Mercy are a team that has stuck with a couple of their previous players, with Hoggy and Hazza staying with the franchise, and after the heartbreak of last season they can only be considered contenders from the off. The team were mightily unlucky on the final day to miss out on the playoffs after leading the Mu conference for a sizable amount of time. This season, playoffs have to come for this roster and with their combination of skill and experience I cannot see anything else occuring.

Zero Fox Gaming

On paper Zero Fox have to be considered a favourite for the league. Out of every team in the league they have the most established playoff grade players. With last season’s top goal scorer in Gilzo and 3 time playoff contender in Fusical, this was a team that was built with one aim, winning it all and anything other than that has to be seen as a failure. This is the team to watch in the conference and there will be much success for this roster.

Aardwolf Esports

Aardwolf were a team that many thought would be in contention for playoffs but after their victory in the Pre-Season tournament, they have to be thought of as a possibility to win it all. This team is composed of solid Prospect players such as Marbs and Woozy Panda but they have found some great chemistry and as a result are off to a winning start. They can only hope to keep it up from here.

TOP 6 PREDICTIONS

  1. Zero Fox Gaming
  2. Zero Mercy
  3. Aardwolf Esports
  4. Disconnected Esports
  5. Skorch Esports
  6. Valor Esports

CHALLENGER LEAGUE

DELTA CONFERENCE

Written by Freddy

We’re back for yet another season, and it looks like this season is going to be one of the most dominant seasons yet, with several teams having insane rosters. The Delta Conference will be dominated by three or four teams that are featured in my Top 6 Predictions. All these teams have very good rosters on paper so they should all be looking good this season. This conference has top teams like Pre-season Finalists, Reflux and Auto Celerity with Swaces and Magreebas who last season managed to go 12-0 after their roster changes, so they are once again coming back for a dominant season. 

TEAMS TO WATCH

Auto Celerity

Swaces and Magreebas are back for another season at Auto Celerity and instead of Rope, they have f19shy who teamed with Swaces back in Season 7 when they almost made a good run to get Playoffs but didn’t quite manage. This team looks very scary on paper as f19shy is 2 DSN of the cap to be Master and we also saw Swaces and Magreebas go on an insane run last season that I can imagine they would want to do again. Auto Celerity is going to be a scary team to look out for.

Shadow Esports

Huwgo is once again back at Shadow after winning them the Prospect League in Season 7 and with previous teammate Alanis and former Master Loopnovaa this team looks very good. Last season, Huwgo got 13-3 with Elysian not losing a single game with Main Roster before Playoffs which was an unfortunate run from them. We also saw Loopnovaa reaching Master Playoffs, so I really do have a feeling we can expect great things from this team.

Reflux

The Pre Season Finalists Reflux also looks to have a very strong roster this season. They managed to reach the Pre Season Final with their sub, Misuto. Kxrma and GT0 look to just be each other’s glue as they compliment each other very well playstyle-wise. Such a performance with a sub is very promising from them and I expect that we can see them making it quite far this season.

TOP 6 PREDICTIONS

  1. Auto Celerity
  2. Shadow Esports
  3. Reflux
  4. Silverbacks
  5. Fidelity Esports
  6. Ignite Esports

ZETA CONFERENCE

Written by NeXtFoX

Welcome to IEL Challenger, more specifically the Zeta division! Since this season conferences are equal across all divisions, we can also say we are going to cover the division on the “right” on this one!

As it is Week 0, we don’t know how every team plays, so we don’t know which teams are going to be the better performers, or which ones are going to be the worst performers.

Anyway, let’s dive in to the first article of this season for Zeta, shall we?

TEAMS TO WATCH

Zero Fox Gaming

One of, if not the biggest favourite for this season! It’s definitely a team that will be worth watching, and possibly going to be the winner of this conference. The team also won the pre-season tournament with mostly sweeps playing with a prospect player, so we are yet to see their full potential! The team is composed by yeeeeesssssiirrrrrrr, XzyleTB, Mizery and SnUwU, and should be one of the teams with the highest DSN in Challenger, with 6396 DSN. In the first week, they are going against Vinctio and Austrian Force.

Dexterity

With 6387 DSN, Dexterity seems to be also one of the teams to top this conference, their roster being composed by Nerivell, 5p3nce, The_yellow_krab and Sweenii. Last season, 5p3nce played for The Neon Flamingo, Nerivell and The_yellow_krab for Zero Fox Gaming, and Sweenii for Fearless Esports, all of them in challenger. Going to be interesting to see how they will connect, counting with the fact that two of these players played together last season, which may give them an advantage when it comes to chemistry. In the first week, they are going against Disconnected eSports and eMerge Gaming.

Disconnected Esports

With 6356 DSN, we find Disconnected, composed by NeXtFoX, LewisHendo, freddy. and Roks. We still don’t know how they will play overall, however, three of these players were present in the season 5 challenger final, being them LewisHendo, Roks and NeXtFoX. Two of the players in the roster played in Masters last season, being those LewisHendo (Disconnected) and NeXtFoX (Elysian, now Aster), while freddy. played for The Neon Flamingo Challenger and Roks played for Disconnected Prospect, which left the team by about week 6. It will be interesting to see how they will perform! In the first week, they are going against Dexterity and Zero Mercy.

Aardwolf Esports

Composed By Ottkurt, Hex, LivaiRL and CuberCube, the team tops at 6381 DSN. Going to be interesting to see how the team will play, specially since its one of the teams that will possibly finish in the top 6 of the conference! We have to wait and see. In the first week, they are going against Zero Fox Gaming and Fearless Esports.

TOP 6 PREDICTIONS

Top 6 predictions are mostly based on DSN

  1. Zero Fox Gaming
  2. Dexterity
  3. Aardwolf Esports
  4. Team Berserkers
  5. Overture
  6. RL Ireland

MASTER LEAGUE

ALPHA CONFERENCE

Written by Brun

We are back for a brand new season! As we start league play, we see which teams will look strong and which teams will most likely fall short. Teams like Auto Celerity, Reflux, Shadow Esports and Silverbacks will most likely continue to succeed this season, along with a new team; Fidelity Esports.

With arguably the tougher side of the conference, it will be exciting to see how this season will play out for the Alpha side.

TEAMS TO WATCH

Auto Celerity

The preseason tournament winners Auto Celerity are among the great teams this season once again, with a roster full of new players for the franchise. Ronjayy, Serve and Bope have already found success before the season has even started and are most likely to continue their dominant form throughout the season. This team all have had good previous runs with Bope making top 4 last season and Ronjayy and Serve winning in season 7. In terms of DSN, they have a well rounded roster with Ronjayy being their highest at 1887. Can this team continue their success?

Fidelity Esports

For some this may come as a surprise, but I believe this team has the potential to make the top 4. Although not much is known about this team as they have not had any previous good performances in IEL, the team is made up of AiiAiiRON, Poddy and Treefork who are all incredibly good players who are considered to outclass their DSN. They were able to make the top 4 in the preseason tournament, unfortunately losing to Auto Celerity in the semis who then went onto win the tournament. I believe Fidelity Esports will find more form in league play and will continue to perform amongst the top 4. 

Reflux

This season, Reflux has brought back Marmoan to the roster in hope to bring them more success. They have also picked up KingKong and BigBadWolf as the sub. In the preseason tournament, Reflux managed to claim a 2nd place whilst playing their sub, which is an incredible result for the team. Moving forward, the team will hop to reclaim their season 7 glory with Rubenofski claiming his second title. They will be one of the best teams moving forward into this season, and will most definitely give Auto Celerity a run for their money and may even swipe the title from them. With hopes high, will they be able to perform once again?

Silverbacks

This season, Silverbacks pick up Jacksean once again, who has dropped almost 300 DSN this season, coming in at 1754 along with Ducky and Demize. These players are all incredibly skilled and will be a tough team to beat as Jacksean still stays as good as he was last season, whilst being able to have even better teammates than last. This means they will surely be a better lineup than last season and should be able to finish in the top 4. Things are looking good for this team, although we have yet to see them play. 

TOP 6 PREDICTIONS

  1. Auto Celerity
  2. Reflux
  3. Fidelity Esports
  4. Silverbacks
  5. Shadow Esports
  6. Bad Karma Esports

GAMMA CONFERENCE

Written by Wlowns

The Gamma conference this season is looking very strong with the number of teams who could potentially overachieve from their expected finish. Some teams should go comfortably into the top 4, but the mid-table battle is looking good for the last 4 spots with the likes of Fearless, Disconnected and Team Berserkers edging slightly over teams like eMerge Gaming and Overture.

TEAMS TO WATCH

Zero Fox Gaming

Zero Fox, last season finalist only falling short to a formidable Fort Templar in the end. Milne ended up being 9th in the MVP standings last season overall and is hoping that Crusher and Kie can push that extra bit further to bring them the league. 

Dexterity

Capra is back on Dexterity, this time captaining his team with high hopes yet again. Completing the roster is Azza, Wlowns and a 7-time in a row sub returning to Dexterity yet again, Mattymoomoo03. With last season’s performance seeing Dexterity reach the final day of playoffs they will surely be looking to replicate or even surpass last season’s performances. 

LA Gaming

This team could be full of surprises. A team composed of some of the more dominant challenger players last season, Rvfrsh who was league MVP and winner of challenger league and Badger who led his Fort Templar team to an 11-0 record before leaving. Joining the list is Lukas and the returning Semtex who is the only one who played for LA last season.

  1. Zero Fox Gaming
  2. Dexterity
  3. Aardwolf Esports
  4. LA Gaming
  5. Fearless Esports
  6. Team Berserkers 

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