Imperial Smoke Signals Vol. 1

Imperial Smoke Signals Vol. 1

Grab yourself a tub of vegan ice cream, tilt back the chair, and get yourself up to speed with what’s going on around the Imperial Esports League!

by Shaun “Pyre” Richardson, February 2021

A note from the editor

It’s 00:56 on a late January morning, yours truly has been suckered into a “quick” chat about some feedback that’s been received, three hours later, an impromptu management meeting is in full swing. Little did this writer know but on making a suggestion about how to improve information distribution within the organisation, he’d walked himself into a trap!

So here it is; ‘Imperial Smoke Signals’, a monthly love letter discussing behind the scenes goings-on, from a grateful management team to its delightful assemblage of dependables.

Top Stories

The broadcast team’s finest collection of gossiping Babushkas are assembling every Saturday evening to discuss the latest goings-on around the league, casually insult each other’s on-field performances, and occasionally stumble into a correct prediction.

The show has already spawned pale imitations within the community, although often cited as a form of flattery, we should remember that with each replication a part of the original will always be lost.  

Speaking of flattery, has anyone else had that infuriatingly beautiful theme tune pop into their heads at random times of late? Like the host of the tune’s inspiration, I wonder if any of our prestigious cast are willing to put their dignity on the line for their predictions? Could we see Astral or Swaces presenting the show in their boxers? I mean Tofu and Family are surely at longer odds of winning a season than Leicester circa 2016!

Tune in at 19:00 GMT every Saturday evening to find out @

No, it’s not a new retro game mode chaps and chapesses, it’s an entirely new game!

IEL big wigs have been actively constructing a pen for the latest stallion in the stable of esport competition. The upcoming ‘Roller Champions’ title from Ubisoft pits two teams of 3 against each other in a merry-go-round of basketball on skates, both teams looking to outsmart the other with choreographed dance moves set to an 80s soundtrack…okay, so the last part was just this writer having flashbacks of early 90s roller-discos and trying not to fall over to House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’.

With an open beta now…open, Interested parties should roll on over to this discord to sign up for IEL’s appropriately named tournament ‘Roller Royale’ complete with open qualifiers, group, and knockout stages. The boys even had a whip-round for a prize fund!

Tales from the Crypt

Stats Team

I don’t know much about stats, but life has taught me that on average, everyone has one testicle!

Everyone’s nerdy friend, the stats team have been maintaining a mean distribution of information this season. With its former leader becoming the true outlier, our very own Mutschuk has stepped into the void (no, not the astral void!).

Joining Muts is a new entry to the charts in the form of Wlowns, welcome to the team, remember, as a statistician you get paid to make errors! Yeast is also back…there is a cream for that right?

The team is also hard at work preparing the empirical truth for the broadcast team to trip over in the form of player and team stats on ‘The Aerial View’.

Rubenofski’s Applicators

The team has earnt a well-earned cool down after our busiest signup season ever with over 800 applications and counting! Retzy and Roks have both signed up as reputable supplements to a team only rivalled in numbers by the band of incorrigibles currently plying their trade as broadcast talent.

A conveyor belt of automation has allowed the application team to streamline acquisition of MMR peaks, DSN calculations, and discord acceptance notifications via the delightful workings of our very own ‘Tutan’ bot.

Tournament Teamsters

Here’s a team that has seen a turn around in recent weeks, a veritable army of staff have joined the last man standing GT0. TBurger, Babs, Dispatchio, GM667, and Strength now fall under Dynomite’s tutelage, here’s hoping they don’t have any seizures when filling out their weekly availability! 

Fresh off the back of pre-season success, the team having switched ranks over to Battlefy, ‘The Clash’ is now upon us; London may not have been calling since before they were all born, but the team have laid down the gauntlet for all to come and prove their worth. I’m contractually obliged to implore everyone to bring your teams for a Zero Fox shaped smackdown on the following dates:

13th Feb – Week 2: Prospect
20th Feb – Week 3: Challenger
27th Feb – Week 4: Master
6th Mar – Week 5: Prospect
13th Mar – Week 6: Mid season tournament
20th Mar – Week 7: Challenger + Academy Tournament
27th Mar – Week 8: Master + Academy Tournament

Saturdays 4pm start (registration closes at 3.30)

For the attentive among you, yes you read it right, a mid-season tournament is in the works, more details will flow forth soon enough!

Lastly, which one of these fine upstanding gentlemen is Tburger and which one is Gt0, it’s a mystery!

Arrested Development

Of all the development teams, in all the world, Quis has to walk into this one, yeah you read that right, broadcast extraordinaire TheSunderlad has console.log(’d) his way straight into 404 Brain Not Found territory. Just remember fella, with you onboard .titanic {float: none;} is all on you now!

Whilst the promised land of an all-inclusive web app seems as distant as a package holiday to Croatia (that’s next to Sicily right Quis?), work continues nonetheless. Focus has shifted to building a caster dashboard to filter and display all those lovely stats we talked about earlier. The hard work here for this development team is producing something even Swaces can understand!

Nellag’s favourite pet, Tutan (bot), continues to evolve, learning new moves at every stage. Upgraded modmail and 6mans systems are currently in testing phases, with more to come. If Tutan ever learns to make a cup of tea, it’s all over…

Game Administrators

With Shapi vacating his seat on the battle bus, the Game Admin team have recruited several new contenders this season. Infernox, Roks, Keryx, itsMagik, and Ethereal have stepped up to deal with the inevitable barrage of rule violations, refuting accusations of smurf accounts, and transfer markets more volatile than a stock exchange circa 2008.

As the expanded team comes to terms with season eight’s adapted ruleset, emphasis has been placed on holding franchises and players accountable to transfer window commitments. Keeping the flood gates closed has already shown dividends with marked progress in games remaining unscheduled at an all-time low.

Every strong Dojo needs good students, something this season’s fresh crop of Academy teams have proved once settled in for class.  Although lessons have been rough around the edges, our illustrious game admins have been nimble enough on their feet to roll with the punches: expect an improved experience for next season’s enrollment!

Pitch Perfect Production 

Only a blank page needs no editing, but enough of the inspirational signs above my kitchen sink!  Flooding the editing bay floor this season are new recruits Vsiky, Kaj, and Films3, the lads will need new chairs ordered in as Chop was last seen rolling his out the door.  

With ‘The Clash’ and ‘The Aerial View’ already in production, the addition of our forthcoming venture into Roller Champions means the team has it all to play for this season. Preparing a weekly selection for the goal of the…um…week, silky smooth overlays for Roller Champions, and oven-fresh promo videos for the whole organisation,  it’s enough to have me considering stonk options in Monster at this point.

New types of articles are en route, the team are also busy working on cross-conference reviews, in-depth franchise spotlights, and my personal favourite, the odd ‘throwback’ article into seasons past (please give Season 6 Delta a miss, the scars are still raw!).

Just remember chaps, when you eventually fall asleep at your desks, make sure to have a knife close by…you never know when someone will break in and bring you cake!

Market Ratings

Marketing, marketing, marketing…I only know one joke about marketing, so I hope it doesn’t lead to a lack of engagement past this point.  What is the safest place to hide a body? Page 2 of Google!  I’ll er, see myself out, it’s fine…

We’re in luck though, it turns out I don’t need to know anything about marketing as Mr Elliot of the tofu variety has been appointed grand schemer in chief of all things, er, marketing related!  Joining Elliot’s team so far are the charmingly named duo of Huwgo, and BlitzLeague,  just remember fellas, your boss is just like a nappy (diaper), always on your backside and usually full of…

Work is aplenty in this department with an enterprising expedition into the realm of Roller Champions afoot, a complete rework of Imperial’s social networking efforts, and an impending search for sponsorships.  Do I smell the production team working on mid-roll for RAID SHADOW…hmm, on second thoughts maybe not…phew!

Supporting the Moderators

The only departments sporting more tags than a battlefield surgeon, our very own support and moderation teams have been helping each other clean up #general, introduce new policy changes to server emotes and donator commands. 

Further automation comes to the department in the form of name change requests no longer needing a peer-reviewed dissertation piece to be written on the back end, simply pop into your local #request-name-change and sit down for a brief chat with ‘Tutan’ who will now forward your request for approval before sorting out your paperwork.  If only the ‘real world’ was this efficient, I probably wouldn’t have been engaged for 19 years and counting!

It is only fair to congratulate both Astral of void fame, and Badger for joining the department’s ranks, both are men with more roles combined than the cast of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. 

Speaking of Python, what have the Mod team ever done for us?  Well…they are currently arranging a prize fund for the revived 6mans leaderboard, details to be announced by a friendly Discord mod shortly I am sure!


ESPN literally hired a potato for one of it’s broadcasts, why, you ask? Well they needed a common tater of course!

Expanding our very own patch of vegan talent are quite the spread of names from all over Europe; Duts, Pablex, it’sCalski, and Epg are plying their trade behind the camera.  Upfront, the entire troupe has filed through make-up and surprisingly, been cleared for air, newcomers include; Vekta, Klein, Sierra Romeo, Hyferia, and once again, Epg.

A core group has been arranged, with fixed pairings setup on weekly rotations.  Rotations that are in need as a fourth straight night of broadcasts are in order this season, bringing twelve games a week to our screens.

Average viewership is up on the same timeframe from season 7 by approximately 10%, with revenue up a whopping 46%.  With the hype trains we’ve experienced of late, Muts might look to declare the IEL an official religion for tax purposes!

Well, there we have it, a little on the lengthy side for a first edition but we all felt the first one out should set the tone for how Imperial Smoke Signals should be used to disseminate our thoughts and intentions to the wider community.

So, what do we do now Brain?
Same thing we do everynight Pinky…

Table of Contents

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.