PRE-PLAYOFFS PROSPECT AND CHALLENGER SEASON 6

With 8 exhilarating weeks of League Play behind us, it all comes down to this! One weekend to end it all. The weak have fallen, but the great remain to play their last games of a spectacular season in which we saw some absolutely magical moments. The knockout format never fails to deliver, and you should expect some top gameplay as well as the wildest of upsets as anything can happen in Playoffs.

This weekend (August 7th-9th) will see Season 6 of the Prospect and Challenger League conclude, with Prospect beginning this Friday at 6pm BST, and Challenger following Saturday at 6pm BST. If you wish to catch the action, please tune into our twitch and watch as the action unfolds! The Master playoffs will also take place a week after, so make sure to check that out as well.


PROSPECT

TEAMS

#1 – Primal Esports (14-2) – Oli
Record-wise, this is comfortably the best team in the division, the most in form-team in the division, and the favourites to win it all. After some early wobbles against Disconnected and RL Ireland putting them to 3-2, but since that point they have gone on an 11 unbeaten run and don’t look to be slowing down. Even with roster changes during this winning period they were unphased and continued on until the end of league play. With the loss of Sweenii halfway through the season there were doubts of their form continuing, but any doubts were put aside as they showed to the league that they are the class of the bunch. Teather, Siyenide and Eagle will have it all to play for and all the pressure is on them to perform in the last stage of the season.

#2 – eNightmare (12-4) – Freddy
For the 2nd seed of playoffs, we have the top team of the Mu conference, eNightmare. They finished with a record of 12-4 and along with that record we should also look at their insane win streak. Midway through Week 3, they had a record of 1-4, which is not ideal, but it seemed like something changed once they got their main player Inza back. After his return, eNightmare went on an 11-win streak, beating out every opponent to get the top spot. They even managed to beat Clairvoyant and Fort Templar who for the majority of the season had dominated the conference, but in the end, eNightmare just showed that they are stronger than all other teams in Mu.

Heading into playoffs, eNightmare are looking good possessing the #2 seed and an insane winning streak, which must have them feeling confident and since they’re in the Top 4 they get a bye for the first round. The team they will be facing in their first game will be the winner of Dormant Esports and Reflux, who both finished their season at 11-5. eNightmare will look at this as a comfortable game as they should have this victory in the bag looking at their form this season.

#3 – Nootz (12-4) – Freddy
In the #3 seed of playoffs, we have Nootz. Nootz has for most parts of this season looked like the most dominant team in Omega, beating out most teams only losing out to Primal Esports, the #1 seed, and Regulars who didn’t get playoffs. They were predicted to be the first seed of Omega for multiple weeks but it seems like something happened when they did their roster change in Week 5-6. They got rid of Kevin999000111 and acquired Borisah who previously played for Bad Karma Esports, and Borisah was a contender for top-scorer in Prospect. This roster change saw Nootz still beating their opponents, but less convincingly than before. They had to beat a lower-tier team in the conference BBU in a reverse sweep, showing that they maybe had some problems after the roster change. Nevertheless, Nootz still looked good, but their Week 8 performance has left them in a worse spot than they probably would’ve liked.
They lost in two Game 5s by Reflux and Team Ascendant, who they should have beat on paper, I might add that Nootz did use a sub as Dynomite wasn’t available for the games.

Going into playoffs, Nootz sit well at #3 seed meaning they get a 1st round bye. The team they’ll face will be the winner of RL Ireland and Tofu and Sons, and considering that Nootz beat RL Ireland earlier in the season, and Tofu and Sons sit at #11 seed with a 10-6 record, then there shouldn’t be a reason for Nootz to worry about their first playoffs game

#4 – Fort Templar (12-4) – andasAP
On the surface, it seems that Fort Templar have had a great league play throughout, consistently staying at the top other than Week 1. Since Week 1, they only lost two series against one of the best teams in Prospect eNightmare, and Puncture, which would be a disappointing loss. Though they may seem to have been solid, they have certainly not been all stable, nearly losing out to Hyve Central, Lions Gaming, Conquest, Dormant, Triumph and Deathmask, with all of those series going to Game 5. The Hyve and Dormant-series are acceptable, however, nearly losing to dead-last Triumph, second-to-last Conquest, bottom-side Lions and mid-table Deathmask is certainly disturbing and one could think that Fort Templar perhaps do not deserve going into playoffs with a Round-1 bye. It should also be said that the Mu-conference is considered to be a weaker conference than the Omega conference, and with the lowest seed from the Omega conference having a record of 11-5, it could prove to be a difficult weekend for Fort Templar.

Heading into playoffs, they possess a great seed, but it still looks rather bleak for them. In their first game, they face Team Ascendant or Delta, and with Ascendant proving to be one of the best teams in the Omega-conference, they may be looking at a lower-bracket run, despite their high seed. If they are to fall into the lower bracket, they will likely face Prophecy, though they could also play Clairvoyant and Primal. I don’t think that game will fall in their favour, and they could very well be looking at getting first-rounded unless they can turn those close wins in their favour.

#5 – Team Ascendant (12-4) – andasAP
Team Ascendant are a solid team. They’re a team that I would place right outside the contenders to win the league, and in my personal (probably biased) and result-heavy opinion would be my #7 seed. The Omega-conference team showed throughout league play that they were a good team, but tended to come short against the top teams, losing to Primal, RL Ireland and Prophecy. It must be said that they did do well in Week 8 to beat the #3-seed Nootz 3-2, but with Nootz fielding two subs, the accomplishment feels a lot less impressive. The other “top-team” they beat out was Reflux, which was all the way back in Week 1, where Ascendant also managed to lose 3-1 to Team Berserkers who ended 9th in the table. Though I have spoken rather negatively of Ascendant, there is a reason for my opening statement. They really are a good team, but will need to elavate themselves a little higher if they are to mingle at the top in playoffs.

Coming into playoffs, their goal should be to get into Day 2 of playoffs, which could prove challenging. In their first game, they face Delta which should be a simple task. Following this, they will have to play against 1st-seeded Primal which is the most difficult opponent according to seeding and they may be looking at a grueling lower-bracket run.

#6 – RL Ireland (12-4) – Freddy
Coming into playoffs as #6 seed we have RL Ireland and their season has been nothing short of amazing, finishing with at 12-4. They have shown their consistency beating out teams like Primal Esports as well as Team Ascendant this season, showing they can compete with the top teams in the league. However, they have also shown that they can lose out to the other top teams in the conference, as 3 of their 4 losses come from the playoffs teams from Omega, those teams being Nootz (#3), Prophecy (#9) and Reflux (#10=, showing that they are maybe not as dominant as it would seem when it comes to taking on the top teams.

RL Ireland goes into playoffs with a 2-0 Week 8, but this week was maybe not as convincing as RLI would’ve liked. 1 win was a FF win vs the last place Juicy and their other win was a game 5 win vs #14 team in Omega that being Golden Age, having to stop GA from reverse sweeping them. RL Ireland certainly has to perform better than that, as that consistency will not get them far in playoffs, especially when you consider they play #3 Nootz if they can manage to beat Tofu and Sons in the first round.

#7 – Dormant Esports (11-5) – Freddy
7th seed Dormant Esports come into playoffs with a solid 11-5 record, finishing Top 3 in the Mu conference. They look to be a solid team being really consistent throughout the season, only really losing out to top teams eNightmare, Fort Templar and Tofu and Sons, as well as taking a loss to Puncture in the later weeks, which was a sub-game so they shouldn’t be seen as a worse team because of that loss.

Dormant Esports will be playing the #10 seed Reflux in the first round. Reflux also sits with an 11-5 record so this game should be a real nail-biter as both teams need that first win if they want to have a good 1st day of playoffs. If Dormant should beat Reflux they will be facing eNightmare, who beat them earlier in the season so Dormant will want to get revenge here to show that they’re the better team.

#8 – Clairvoyant (11-5) – Oli
This has been one of those quietly successful teams, beating the teams that are below them and keeping it close to those above, unlike most teams this season, Clairvoyant have been very consistent. The experienced team of Crazi, Deadeye and xL iNations was a favourite from the very start, going 5-3 in the first 8 games and then 6-2 in the second, this consistent form shows their ability to perform well week in week out and is an extremely desirable trait to have for playoffs with those teams able to not get affected by losses and that have made a habit of consistency usually prevailing in the 12 team tournament.

#9 – Prophecy (11-5) – Oli
A season of two halves is definitely the best way to look at Prophecy’s season and a roster change that flipped the teams form right around. The first half saw season 5 finalists Oliskil1s and Roast team up with Oscardoo in what looked to be one of the most dangerous rosters, with the highest combined main team dsn in all of prospect. However, early promising signs were quickly put to bed when the team refused to pick up form and at the halfway point of the season they found themselves 4-4 and some way off playoffs. This was clearly not working so the decision was made to drop Oscardoo; at this same time the 6-2 Nootz roster had dropped one of their star players Kevin999000111, so it was a no brainer to team up and what a roster change that turned out to be. In the final 8 games of the season this team has gone 7-1, the form that could be crucial to getting into the deep stages of the playoffs.

#10 – Reflux (11-5) – Freddy
10th seed Reflux come into playoffs with a comfortable 11-5 record from the Omega conference. Reflux looks like a solid team having beat out teams like RL Ireland and Nootz from their conference as well as going to Game 5 against Prophecy, barely losing out to them in a nail-biter of a high scoring final game of the series.
Reflux was hit hard this season as their sub decided to leave them the moment after they lost to Prophecy, the sub deciding to join the same team that had just beaten him. This was a real set-back for Reflux as they had already played all 3 sub-games, but now they had to play 2 more with their new sub.
Despite this sub situation, Reflux managed to get the job done at the end of the day, getting a crucial win in Week 8 against Nootz securing them a spot in playoffs, as well as sweeping Elated Esports.

Reflux is coming into playoffs with huge momentum from their Week 8 performance, and now that subs can’t be a set-back anymore, they will look to prove that they’re a good team. They will be facing Dormant Esports in the first round and they would look to take this game as the momentum they would get from a first-round win would help them massively versus eNightmare in the 2nd round.

#11 Tofu and Sons (10-6) – Freddy
11th seed Tofu and Sons come into playoffs with a decent record of 10-6. They have had a decent season, beating out some top teams but also losing out to some odd teams which puts them in a strange spot in playoffs, as it seems like they may have some consistency issues. Their Week 8 performance is a perfect example of this as they beat Hyve Central who had looked good ever since their Week 2-3 roster changes, but Tofu and Sons managed to beat them convincingly. Then in their next game, they lost to Team Peculiarity who was far from a top team.

This inconsistency is something Tofu and Sons will look to get rid of as they face #6 seed RL Ireland who have a 12-4 record which is a lot better than their own record, and if they don’t step up they could quickly end up in the lower bracket. If they end up beating RL Ireland, they will have an even tougher task at hand as they will have to face #3 seed Nootz who have looked even better than RLI for most of the season, but if Tofu and Sons can keep the momentum from their first series, maybe we can see an upset from one of the lower seed teams.

#12 – Delta (10-6) – andasAP
Delta are the last seed in playoffs and you can see why. With their performances in league play they are clearly a level or two below the top teams. In Week 7, they were swept by eNightmare and beaten 3-1 by Hyve Central who painfully failed to make playoffs and in my opinion should have Delta’s spot after an incredible comeback. They also barely beat Deathmask 3-2 and lost to bottom-teams Eidolon and Deathmask – not what you’d expect from a top team. Credit to them, however, they did well against most of the lower teams and managed a sweep against Fort Templar albeit in Week 1.

Ahead of playoffs they look to avoid getting first-rounded which looks highly unlikely with the calibre of opposition they face. Their first opponents will be Team Ascendant who are a stellar team, and it looks like a certain defeat on paper. Given they lose and fall into the lower bracket, they will likely face either Reflux or Dormant with eNightmare as a possibility. It does not look good for the and it would be a spectacular upset for them to win any series.


ROUND 1 PREVIEWS

Featured Game: Clairvoyant (8th) vs Prophecy (9th) – Oli
This game is being streamed on the IEL Twitch Friday 9th at 18:00 BST!
Even though the seeds may make it seem as if this will be a tight 50/50 game, most likely it won’t be, although the two teams are on the same record, Clairvoyant are in the easier conference and have worse form than prophecy so I can only see this going one way. With the two teams being in separate conferences however there is not really any comparable data, especially due to the removal of cross conference games. Really there will not be any way to tell what the outcome of this game will be but on paper Prophecy look to be in the lead position out of the two teams.

Team Ascendant (5th) vs Delta (12th) – andasAP
Likely the least competitive series playoffs will see, and certainly in the first round, this game seems decided before it’s even played. Team Ascendant come into this game and will not be far off viewing it as a bye, looking beyond Delta to the second round where they would face Fort Templar. Due to this, Delta could take advantage and catch a complacent Ascendant off-guard, and with Ascendant playing with their sub, RyZe, there could be an upset, especially with the unpredictability that playoffs has shown us time and time again.

Featured Game: Dormant Esports (7th) vs Reflux (10th) – Freddy
This game is being streamed on the Gaming Alliance Twitch Friday 9th at 18:00 BST!
The match between Dormant Esports and Reflux will be one of the biggest clashes between the 2 conferences. Both teams sit at the exact same record of 11-5, and they will want to prove that their conference is the superior one.
Both teams had a good Week 8, beating out both teams they played against. Dormant swept #16 place Conquest and 3-1’d last place Triumph. Reflux, on the other hand, had to go up against #2 place Nootz in one of their matches, and they managed to win this game in Game 5, even though they were using their sub. Later, they also swept #11 place Elated Esports making them finish at 11-5. This momentum Reflux comes in with after what looks to be a tougher Week 8 than what Dormant Esports had could very likely end up giving them the upper hand in this matchup, but this might not affect Dormant as they have shown that they’re more than capable of keeping up with the top teams in the league. They barely lost out to #1 place eNightmare and #2 place Fort Templar losing both games 3-2 and Dormant also managed to beat Clairvoyant who for the majority of the season was considered a top team.
This match is going to be a good one as both teams will want to give it their all and that should spark a very interesting match. Considering both teams’ records and their form this season this match could end up going all the way as both the teams look oh so close.

RL Ireland (6th) vs Tofu and Sons (11th) – Freddy
The match between RL Ireland and Tofu and Sons looks to become one of the more interesting matches of the 1st round, as both teams throughout this season have shown that they can beat out the top competition, but also be able to lose out if they can’t quite get a grip on the match. This 1st round of playoffs is extremely important for every team, so it is now that these inconsistencies must stop if they wish to make it far in Playoffs. 
Coming into the match, RL Ireland’s record looks significantly better than Tofu and Sons, having 2 more wins also meaning 2 fewer losses. This shows that RLI’s consistency may be better than Tofu and Sons, and it could end up getting them the win as all they have to do is play like they have for most of the season. On the other hand, we have seen Tofu and Sons step up when it matters the most, beating out Hyve Central in Week 8 and smashing them 6-0 in Game 4 to end their playoff dreams.
This match could go either way so it’s going be an exciting one and it is very likely that if both teams come into this match and play with confidence that we could see it go all the way to Game 5.


ROUND 2 PREVIEWS

Primal Esports (1st) vs Clairvoyant/Prophecy – Oli
Even though there is the possibility for two different matchups in this game, there is only going to be one result, a Primal win. Clairvoyant, although they will have the momentum if they have already beaten Prophecy, will surely be easy pickings for this 14-2 Primal side and there won’t be any reason for any other result to anyone else. If the two Omega conference sides matchup the game will be of much higher quality than the week two matchup that saw Primal prevail 3-1. The obvious result will still be a Primal win but with these two in form sides the matchup will be one that could shape the outcome of playoffs. No matter what Primal are the obvious candidate for advancing but they will have to hope for a Clairvoyant win in round 1 for it to be smooth sailing

Featured Game: Fort Templar (4th) vs Team Ascendant/Delta – andasAP
This game is being streamed on the IEL Twitch Friday 9th at 19:00 BST!
Assuming that Team Ascendant beats Delta, I think this will be a highly competitive match that could go either way. Both Ascendant and Fort Templar are solid teams, even if they aren’t quite up there with the very best. Both teams have solid defences so it will be up to who can take the risks and maintain good pressure on their opponents. The game could go either way, but I think Ascendant will just about edge it out, despite playing with their sub, who is a good player.

eNightmare (2nd) vs Dormant Esports/Reflux – Freddy
The matchup between eNightmare and either Dormant Esports or Reflux will no doubt be a good game as all these teams want to prove that they’re the best in the league.
If Dormant Esports go through they would like to look for their revenge against eNightmare having lost out to them in Week 5 where they lost 3-2. This could be a huge chance for Dormant as they come in with momentum from the Reflux game and this time they’re going to show that they are the top team of Mu, and this would only help their confidence even more going further into playoffs.
If Reflux beats Dormant Esports in the first round, it could be harder for them as they have less knowledge of how the team from the other conference plays. The momentum from the previous game against Dormant could also be the catalyst that sees Reflux take out the top team from the Mu conference and at the same time proving that Omega might be the tougher conference. Nonetheless this matchup between eNightmare and either of the 2 teams that might play them will be a great one!

Featured Game: Nootz (3rd) vs RL Ireland/Tofu and Sons – Freddy
This game is being streamed on the Gaming Alliance Twitch Friday 9th at 19:00 BST!
The matchup between Nootz and the winner of the RL Ireland vs Tofu and Sons game could also end up being a very interesting series. As mentioned before, both RLI and Tofu and Sons have struggled with inconsistency issues against the top teams of the conferences, and going up against #3 seed Nootz will be no easy task. Nootz might look a little bit weaker since their roster change from Kevin999000111 to Borisah, still beating out the teams they needed to, but also losing both games in Week 8, showing that they also have flaws. It should be said that in both the matches, they played with Nerivell, Borisah, and a random prospect sub, so cutting them some slack after these losses is fine.
The winner of the match between RL Ireland and Tofu and Sons will still be in for some game as Nootz top the league in most stats – Nerivell is top in goals/assists/shots as well as being 2nd in total points. He is definitely a force to be reckoned with and if he plays well in this game it could be easy for Nootz as both RLI and TaS can struggle with inconsistency.
Either way, this game should still be a good one as the winner of RL Ireland and Tofu and Sons have that winning momentum which gives them a chance to upset a team that has been considered the best in the league for most of the season.


CHALLENGER

TEAMS

#1 – Dormant Esports (15-1) – andasAP
With the best record in the IEL this season, Dormant dominated the Delta conference, only picking up one loss on the very last day of League Play. After going 6-0, tburger decided to drop two of his players in favour of andasAP and CammyB, which seemed to be a rash decision at the time, but after some time it seemed to pay dividence. Winning 15 games in a row, sweeping 10 of them, they seemed untouchable. That was until the final game of League Play against 2nd-place Hyve Central, a 5-game series on stream in front of 120 viewers. A back-and-forth series saw Hyve finally take down Dormant and denied them from making IEL history. A storyline from heaven.

Heading into playoffs, Dormant’s confidence may be weakened after that one win, but they are still the favourites to win it, alongside Hyve, and possibly Juicy. In their first game, they face Auto Celerity or Fort Templar, both of which should be winnable, but Fort Templar especially could give them a run for their money with a hot streak of performances towards the end of the season.

#2 – Hyve Central (14-2) – andasAP
Hyve is the second seed for playoffs, and after beating Dormant in Week 8, some consider them favourites to win it all. They have been less consistent than Dormant in league play, losing to Clairvoyant and being swept by BBU, so it is hard to tell. Regardless of the Dormant win, however, they were one of the top contenders to win the league, and after a spectacular League Play look to go the distance. After Locks’ departure, they signed Ollie to replace him and they have performed well despite the change. With two very stellar players in Nostic and Semtex they – as displayed in Week 8 – can most certainly beat anyone and no team will look forward to facing them.

In the first game, they face either Reflux or Built By Us, both of which are top teams. With Built By Us having swept them in League Play, there would be an extra level of worry if that match-up is to occur, so it could go either way with how close the Challenger League is.

#3 – Juicy eSports (14-2) – Crispy
This team finished right at the top of the Zeta Conference and therefore are given a bye in the first round. Although the league table shows that they were the best team in the Conference across the whole season, this doesn’t mean it will be plain sailing for them, as they were only ahead of three other teams in the table by one series win. They will hope to live up to their no. 2 status, but it will take some work.

#4 – Nootz (13-3) – tburger
Nootz had a phenomenal league play as despite the occasional upset they finished with a 13-3 record however they boast the 2nd best win % in the league with an astonishing 75% only 2nd to Dormant Esports’ 81%. They are a team who have shown some weaknesses and cracks against the relatively weaker sides however I have no doubt they will storm past whoever they face whether it be RL Ireland or Primal Esports. If Mizery is on his day they will be looking at taking this success even further however their 3rd round match will be a humongous game as on paper, they should be playing Dormant Esports and both these sides who have never played each other before  will be looking to get the edge over each other.

#5 – Primal Esports (13-3) – tburger
Primal Esports had a rather flattering league play as despite them coming from the supposed easier side of the bracket they face seed 12 in RL Ireland, Primal finished 3rd in their conference with an astonishing 13-3 record and with a very strong 67% win percentage. They will be looking to start playoffs strong and against an inevitably weaker RL Ireland side they will be expecting to take a win to start their playoff campaign right, however should they beat RL Ireland they will come up against a very inform Nootz team who on their day will be unbeatable.

#6 – Golden Age (13-3) – Crispy
Golden Age were dominant for much of the season, winning all but one series in the first 5 weeks of the season. By their own high standards they seemed to fall off slightly in the later stages, losing two series in the final 3 weeks. This could be due to a roster change they made during the season, but either way they are a top team going into playoffs, and are definitely able to go far.

#7 – Built By Us (11-5) – andasAP
Built By Us are a good team, but tend to be a little on-and-off, with some inconsistency throughout league play. They comfortably beat the bottom teams, but losing to Fort Templar and RL Ireland, they can be shaky. Saying that, they do have peaks as well as they managed to sweep Hyve Central in Week 5. They must still be feared by most teams in playoffs as they can be very good.

In their first game, they play Reflux who will be a very tough opposition if scrims translate to playoffs. If they beat Reflux, which may be tough, they would face Hyve Central which could be scary for Hyve who may look back at their game back in Week 5 and being worried.

#8 – Fort Templar (11-5) – andasAP
Fort Templar had a rollercoaster of a season, but managed to maintain a great record regardless. With a rebrand and the whole roster departing it’s been a memorable season, both in the positive and negative sense. They are currently on a hot run after a mid-season breakdown where they lost to Lions and eNightmare. After the poor mid-season display, they have beat some very solid teams in Built By Us and Bad Karma and also managing to fend off easier opposition. They did lose to Hyve Central, but as Dormant showed in Week 8, anyone can.

Heading into playoffs, the Delta-team do look good with the strong end to the season. Round 1 is certainly winnable as they face a reduced Auto Celerity, but it’s afterwards they should start facing some real problems as they bump into #1-seed Dormant who will be hungry to prove themselves after failing to make history in Week 8 after marginally losing to Hyve.

#9 – Auto Celerity (UK Uni RL) (11-5) – andasAP
In the first half of the season, Auto Celerity was not performing like a top team. Being swept by Elated, just barely beating bottom-teams Prophecy and Ascendant and losing to Deathmask, the Zeta-team couldn’t really be mentioned in the same conversation as “the Top 4” Nootz, Primal, Golden Age, and Juicy. It was in Week 5 and 6 that their breakthrough happened where they swept Nootz, got to Game 5 against Golden Age, and beat Primal 3-1. This is the level that AC should play at in playoffs, and if they do so, they could go far. They picked up their last two losses in Week 7 against Reflux and Juicy, both of which are very good teams, and getting to Game 5 against Reflux, it wasn’t that poor of a performance either.

Ahead of playoffs, despite their performances in the latter half of League Play, they aren’t viewed as the dangerous team they can be, with one of their players, oceanman not being able to play. This has forced them to find a replacement, which is not ideal, especially with such a short time to get used to their new player and the level they need to maintain in playoffs. In their first round, they face Fort Templar who had a hot end to League Play, and I don’t think they’ll be able to get the better of the Delta-team with a sub. If they lose to Fort Templar, they will face Golden Age, Bad Karma or Juicy, all of look difficult.

#10 – Reflux (11-5) – andasAP
Don’t let the record mislead you, Reflux have had a bumpy ride this season. Plagued with roster changes, they had to survive through 4 main-roster players leaving the team at different times, and a grand total of 8 people playing for the team throughout League Play. Now, however, they seem to have found their roster, winning all their games with their new main roster, including the Game 5-win against Auto Celerity. It is hard to judge what they will look like in playoffs, as there are only two games to go off in League Play, but judging off scrims, they have shown that they could be up there with the very best, despite their low seeding. Only time will tell how good this wildcard team will be.

Heading into playoffs, it’s hard to tell their true quality, but going off scrims they can beat any team if they perform to their full potential. Due to their seed, they have arguably the hardest first two rounds in the league as they face Built By Us, and if they win, Hyve Central. The series against BBU could go either way, but Hyve should be able to fend them off. Beyond that, an epic lower-bracket run could very well happen.

#11 Bad Karma Esports (11-5) – Crispy
This is a team with plenty of IEL prestige – two players of the roster (Keiirs and Sup3rm4nX) were part of the Bad Karma Prospect team in Season 4 who became Prospect League Champions for that season. They are somewhat underdogs here, being the 11th seed out of 12 teams. They were an underdog in that season too however, so anything is possible for this team

#12 – RL Ireland (11-5) – tburger
RL Ireland’s league play was a league play full of ups and downs, the main roster of Fassbendered, Solo and Art3mis had a very strong record and only lost out to some of the major teams, however for playoffs. RL Ireland will be forced to play a somewhat weaker side as their team have had problems with availability, I expect them to immediately go out as they face a very tough start and even if they pull off some miracle and beat Primal they face an even tougher challenge in the following round as Nootz will be taking no prisoners come this weekend.


ROUND 1 PREVIEWS

Fort Templar (8th) vs Auto Celerity (UK Uni RL) (9th) – andasAP
A decent game that could have been a great one. With Auto Celerity missing oceanman in playoffs and Fort Templar’s seemingly great form, Fort Templar are the clear favourites to win it. Templar have shown their ability to beat top teams, and Auto Celerity is certainly not above their weight-class, if not below. I predict a 3-1 win to Fort Templar.

Featured Game: Primal Esports (5th) vs RL Ireland (12th) – tburger
This game is being streamed on the IEL Twitch Saturday 10th at 18:00 BST!
Primal should have too much in their locker for the weakened RL Ireland side to keep up and they should take it with relative ease however I wouldn’t put it past RL Ireland to nick a game off them. I wouldn’t put it past RL Ireland to pull of some surprise here as a roster with plenty of experience might pull of one almighty upset. Depending on the RL Ireland roster which is available this game could indeed go either way, if fassbendered and Solo are able to play then RL Ireland are still a team to be taken seriously.

Built By Us (7th) vs Reflux (10th) – andasAP
A highly competitive clash to decide who faces Hyve Central in Round 2. Built By Us didn’t have the greatest end to League Play as they were swept by RL Ireland in Week 7, but with the wins they accomplished otherwise in the season, they are still a great team. It’s hard to tell what level Reflux will be at with the limited games played with their new roster, but – again – judging off scrims they look very strong. This is a game that could go either way, and certainly a stream-worthy game!

Featured Game: Golden Age (6th) vs Bad Karma Esports (11th) – Crispy
This game is being streamed on the Gaming Alliance Twitch Saturday 10th at 18:00 BST!
This should be one of the best games of the first round, and has the potential to be very entertaining. Golden Age come in from a somewhat disappointing end to league play, with two far-from-convincing wins against much lesser opposition in the final week. Bad Karma took 5 games to win both of their last two series, so both of these teams are showing weakness despite their good performance in league play as a whole.


ROUND 2 PREVIEWS

Featured Game: Dormant Esports (1st) vs Auto Celerity (9th)/Fort Templar (8th) – andasAP
This game is being streamed on the IEL Twitch Saturday 10th at 19:00 BST!
With Fort Templar favourites to beat Auto Celerity, Dormant don’t have the easiest of starts, though that cannot be said about any team in playoffs. With Fort Templar having a very strong end to playoffs and Dormant struggling in Week 8, there could be room for an upset, but Dormant should be able to take it. Only losing one series out of 16 must give them the edge against Fort Templar, who can be strong, but surely not quite strong enough to beat a Dormant team who have dominated all season.

Nootz (4th) vs Primal Esports/RL Ireland – tburger
Primal will be heading into round 2 brimming with confidence however I am fairly sure this will get shut down immediately as on paper Nootz are the stronger side heading into this matchup. If Primal cause an upset no one should be too surprised, however. If Primal can take a game off Nootz to begin with potentially the tilt session may begin and Nootz could lose their heads. I would still put Nootz as heavy favourites to advance out of these 3 teams.

Featured Game: Hyve Central (2nd) vs Built By Us/Reflux – andasAP
This game is being streamed on the Gaming Alliance Twitch Saturday 10th at 18:00 BST!
Regardless of the winner in Round 1, this should be an outstanding game, with all teams involved being some of the very best in the Challenger League. Hyve Central have shown that they may just be the best team in the league after beating Dormant last week, and with Built By Us having swept Hyve in League Play and Reflux performing so well in scrims, it is sure to be a remarkable game. Hyve Central just edge it out on paper with their Week 8 performance, but it could go either way, especially in Playoffs.

Juicy eSports (3rd) vs Golden Age/Bad Karma Esports – Crispy
The winner of that game will face Juicy in the upper round 2. Whoever it is will undoubtedly have momentum going into this game, which they could use to get the win over the higher seeded team. Juicy will be hoping that lack of momentum will not be an issue, and they will show why they were top of the Zeta Conference. Neither team will want to lose this one and be sent to the lower bracket, so it should be a good clash.

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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.