SEASON 4/5 OFF-SEASON
Greetings, everybody! This is the first and final post that the news team shall bring you during the off-season. Pre-season will officially begin this week, with the opening of the transfer market at 8pm GMT on Sunday, allowing GMs to finally sign those players that they’ve been trying out. We bring you a short piece today, an interview with the best GM of last season: Dave Forehead. Alongside this interview will be a discussion from myself on the franchises based on the extremely little information we have from them, so far. Vokelska!
INTERVIEW WITH DAVE FOREHEAD
Fluffalz: So first off, please introduce who you are and what your franchise will be for the season?
Dave Forehead: My name’s Dave Forehead, although contrary to popular belief my real name isn’t actually Dave, I’m the GM for RL Ireland and unofficially the best GM of season four.
Fluffalz: Some fighting talk already! Are there any goals you wish to accomplish this season with your franchise?
Dave Forehead: Hehe you know it! Last season, we won the master tier and got into finals of the challenger tier, so I think for this season, as ambitious as it may sound, I’d like to try make two finals, again. As a prospect player myself, I’ll of course be putting a little more focus into getting our prospect team into a final if I can, but I’m confident I can get three strong teams.
Fluffalz: Wow! Going all out on all fronts is something to be admired! Can we be expecting some major roster changes to help aid this goal or will you be sticking with the same recipe?
Dave Forehead: Yeah, it might be something to be admired but it’s something I hope my fellow GMs can also accomplish. Keeping the same rosters from last season will be tricky, people’s DSNs will have changed and one or two people just aren’t able to play again this season, so yes, hopefully you’ll see a nice balance of old and new in our teams this season.
Fluffalz: That sounds great! Speaking of other GMs, will there be any old rivals or new challengers you are already looking out for?
Dave Forehead: I dunno, luckily we haven’t really been around long enough to make any serious enemies! I’ve always tried to keep things friendly with other GMs and captains, anyways. I like playing against Built By Us, their GM – Chung – is the reason that I entered RLI into IEL in the first place, so I owe him that, but also it’s great to get one over on a GM that I know.
Fluffalz: Well being friendly is also a nice way to go about things! So to finish off, what would you like to tell the people reading this, whether friend or foe?
Dave Forehead: Enjoy coming 2nd! No, no, no, I’m only messing. We all do this in our spare time as a hobby and to relax, I hope that people have fun in the new season regardless of results.
Fluffalz: Thank you very much for your time and I wish you the best for the season!
Dave Forehead: No, no thank you very much, this was a lot of fun!
There has been quite a lot of changes to the IEL during the off-season, many of which are changes to the league itself. A league two-thirds the length, only two divisions, playing up a league and new DSN player caps consist of the biggest differences between season 4 and season 5.
These aren’t the only changes, though, as many franchises have undergone some of their own! The largest change from any franchise has been the separation of the Reflux heads: Francesko and Rubenofski. Two former teammates during season 3 and season 4 part ways, with Francesko leaving to make his own franchise – Eidolon Esports – and Ruben staying with Reflux.
To find the reason for this departure, I asked Fran for a comment and he stated that he “didn’t feel like we’d work that well together, anymore”. He believes that Eidolon is the better franchise of the two, due to Eidolon being “a lot more active” for a consistent ten months. When asked about his rivalry with Reflux, he made it clear that he doesn’t have “any bad blood with them” and doesn’t “see Reflux as our rivals”. However, he did also add that “they seemingly do”, which could indicate that Reflux care a lot more about beating Eidolon, than Eidolon do about beating Reflux. Even then, Fran’s only goal is to “win the league” and as such, Reflux will certainly be on their radar as a contender.
The most common change has been franchises undergoing rebrands for various reasons. The R3D Water organisation collapsed during the tail end of last season and as such, they have returned to their season 3 brand of R5. Team Absolut has passed the GM mantle down from Fouldsy to Crusader, who decided to change to Vinctio. Similarly, the infamous Sell gave his torch of Insanity to Crazi, who has now rebranded to Clairvoyant.
Standard name changes have also occurred, with the same GM in charge, for example: Instinct to Team Berserker and Shamrock to The Squids. In fact, out of the 32 franchises, only 14 have remained the same, despite 23 returning GMs from previous seasons.
With all of these changes taking place and so much to keep up on, how can you tell who’s the best around? Well, you curious cat, I have the solution! I’ve devised my pre-signing predictions for a general idea of who may be the best. This isn’t based on the franchise’s teams, as they haven’t got anybody signed yet, but rather the GM in charge, the track record of the franchise and the players in their tryouts.
The ten best teams, in alphabetical order: Austrian Force, Built By Us, DéjàVu, Eidolon, Primal, Reflux, RLI, R5, Shadow and Vinctio.
Franchises like NoHope, Clairvoyant, 4KingzGG, eNightmare, The Squids and Nootz are very notable, as well, but could very easily go either way. Whilst every franchise could be the best, as we really don’t know a whole lot just yet, these franchises are somewhat of a dark horse. NoHope, for example, has a great track record, but with their favourite returning players being at the low-end of master, they’re relying heavily on chemistry for the top league. They have also been strangely quiet so far, however I still imagine that they’ve been doing tryouts and doing well, despite their lack of noise. Nootz are completely new, but they have some impressive players in their tryouts. The challenge for them will be actually signing them, as many of the players they are gunning for lie in the hands of other franchises’ tryouts as well, such as DJV, R5 and Vinctio. The others I mentioned all have their reasoning, but you don’t want a novel to read, so I can sum up the majority of the rest with “track record and/or GM” for these dark horses.
You can expect plenty more from the news team and much bigger than this during the pre-season and on-season for the IEL! We take pride in our content and love giving people something to read on the league and themselves, so if you’d like to help out, then we are always recruiting! Just fill out the staff application form that can be easily found in our Discord in the #staff-application channel and you’ll be gotten back to!
In addition to that, if you are not signed up to the league, then give it a shot! You’ll play an intense and competitive eight weeks of league play, desperately trying to make the playoffs. If you can push through everyone to make it, then you’ll have an entire weekend to play a double-elimination playoff tournament, where the winner will receive a cash prize and champion role in our Discord! There is a £380 prize pool and £200 of that is for the master winner alone! To get involved and join our tight community, then join our Discord and head on over to the #links channel to find the signup form, which takes a mere five minutes to complete at most. You’ll be treated to large streams in the same format as the RLCS, regular content such as interviews, write ups, match previews, power rankings and more, detailed stats that are automatically handled by Ballchasing.com and a friendly community! We’d love to see you around and hope that you give us a go! That’s all from us here at the news team and we’ll be bringing you more content next week!