Good evening, everybody! Alongside the special release of the Season 5 trailer, which was brilliantly crafted by Shepsi and Shadey, the news team is bringing you our thoughts on each league’s signings in the first week of the transfer market being open! A lot has happened thus far and I expect that we have even more to deliver to you in the following week, when the transfer market nears a close. If you wish to help us write even more and better content for the now 1500+ members of IEL, then send in a staff application and you’ll be gotten back to. With that out of the way, please enjoy!
MASTER – Chop
I will be going through each team will three or more players and my thoughts on them. There is little to go off currently, so the subjective parts are likely to be incorrect.
Austrian Force – a returning favourite – have already secured themselves a full four man roster that is consisting of: Manuel, aDomiiC, mdnmatthew and Gordy. Gordy and aDomiiC have been brought up from the challenger league this season, so their team is a narrow 123 DSN above the master minimum cap. Manuel and mdnmatthew were both strong players in their teams last season (Austrian Force and R3D Water, respectively) and so should be able to bring aDomiiC – season 3 pro finisher – and Gordy to their level easily enough, due to these two challenger players being such menaces in their own league.
Auto Celerity also have obtained a full team. The only recognisable name to many will be McLovin, a R3D Water player who accomplished playoffs last season with his team. The new kids on the block (kjjcrl, Meow and Rope) will all be excited to prove themselves in the new franchise. I expect McLovin to be the standout player in this team that is only 54 DSN below the maximum cap, but with no huge names in this roster, they will have to prove themselves before we can assume playoffs.
Bad Karma return from their prospect win last season and miserable master run. GM Do0m has been giving it his all in discovering the talent that made his prospect team so successful last season in his master team. With JWeyts, Nox, his son Tyla and quick-to-improve prodigy Noure as the contents of the team, they look outstandingly promising. JWeyts and Nox are two powerful foes, so they will have to rub off on Tyla and Noure to gain the success that Do0m’s prospect team withheld last season. It’s too early to accurately predict anything, however at this current stage in the season, I would bet on this being a playoff team.
Next up is the rebranded Insanity: Clairvoyant. Talented and veteran players Milne, KC29 and Bigmac are already signed, leaving a whopping 1835 DSN to spare! This allows Clairvoyant to sign almost anybody in the league, which makes me think that an already impressive team is about to get a whole lot better. If they sign a strong head of the team next, then this team will be aiming for the title!
CrossFade make a quick name for themselves by already signing GM Cruzey, veteran Lukzy and season 3 pro champion Brucy (formerly known as Flux, at the time). Two big names alongside an impressive DSN Cruzey. CrossFade only has 1649 DSN left to spend on a third main roster player, so they will have a fairly tight range of DSN across the roster, but not much to spend, still. Potentially a strong team, but they must prove themselves, because we currently don’t have a lot of information on this quiet team.
The second best franchise of season 4 – DéjàVu eSports – return to try and get their first title by signing a roster of purely returning players. NuggeT, K3 and Serve are the constituents of the primary roster. All 1700 MMR players make a terrifying team to play. Serve is potentially the fastest improving player in the IEL, so we could see an 1800 or two by the end of the season. Mitt is the final player and the sub, allowing the team to be only two DSN under the maximum cap, which makes him the best sub that DJV could have signed. If this team doesn’t make the top four in playoffs, then they will have successfully repeated the failure of Primal masters during last season.
eNightmare have been struggling for the past two seasons at the IEL and with the DSN of their new master team, it unfortunately looks like history may repeat itself. Only 12 DSN above the minimum cap and a colossal 288 DSN below the maximum cap leaves this team in the 1600s. The most promising news for these are that they picked up a win against myself, Rubenofski and Wizzo in a 2-1 series before achieving the lowers quarter-finals. Despite this, they did drop a game against a prospect and two challengers, so they will most certainly be struggling against the master teams of their league, unless they can use their chemistry together to defeat their opponents.
King of the Alps already have four players, but don’t look particularly frightening. LB appears to be the star player, looking at the DSN. However, three 1500 DSN players, one of which is the minimum DSN and another one above the minimum DSN, makes it seem like LB may end up carrying this team. Hopefully, the other players can hold their weight and be not only good as a team, but importantly great individual players, to improve their MMR in ranked.
Oh boy. Where to begin with Primal? One of the best franchises in IEL and a miserable master performance last season. A returning player – Feral – is the beast of the team. He was with Primal during their breathtakingly long losing streak last season and is determined to not allow history to repeat itself! He’s alongside Spectre and Flynn, from two good franchises last season (Absolut and R3D Water respectively), so he hopefully will have a much better performance this season. Not only that, but the Scottish Legend (allegedly the greatest player of all time) Solarr moves up from Primal challenger to Primal master! This team will likely fluctuate, with surprising wins and losses, all based on Feral’s mentality. A lot of pressure and eyes are on this man, but if he is feeling good, then Primal will undoubtedly do amazing.
Prophecy seeks to promote themselves from an average franchise to a great one. Master is no different to the rest of their franchise, so they signed two spectacular main players and a low 1600 to balance out the DSN. However, with 54 DSN left to spend, they could have gotten a better third or even a sub who wasn’t brought up from challenger. This could be costly, although they still seem strong despite this. They will likely be contending for playoffs, but it will be a rocky road ahead of them.
Reflux return from the master finals last season, looking to get the win, this time! Their star player joins them yet again, in the form of Syracks. He’s placed with Olli, Einar and Matty. Einar is the defensive rock, hailing from R3D Water and Matty was the Reflux master sub last season. Olli is a main roster player here, so he will undoubtedly be trying his hardest to keep up with the three big names in his team. It’s obvious that this team will make playoffs, but the competition is deadly this season and so the finals may not be all too easy for them, this time. Still, do not count them out, as they have one of the best shots at the title in the league.
Following the finalists are the opponents who took the title home: RL Ireland! Their MVP, Jxffa, returns home to support Redeyes in his debut and Luachra in his promotion from the challenger finals last season. A winner, a finalist and a deadly newbie make this roster the most likely, so far, to claim the title. There has never been a two-time winner in a row at IEL, but Dave Forehead is looking to make that streak come to an end.
The joint oldest franchise – Royals – have signed two 1700s and one of the best 1600s we have in the league: Limits. Royals have been unlucky in the past few seasons and with this master roster, look like one of the greatest and likely to break their unfortunate trend. Fluzzrex will be the star of the show, so watch out for him, as he may take Royals to the top!
Sonic Wave have three 1500s signed, meaning that they require a 1631 player to meet just the minimum cap. Unless the final player is a miracle, that means that this team will be the underdog of the league, competing against much better rivals. They will surely not do well this season, however their goal may be to build chemistry for a future season, so even if they do poorly here, they could end up a terrifying team in the future.
Team Berserkers have one of the most expensive players in the league signed to them: Rednels, as a 1900. He teams with two 1600s and at best a player at the minimum or one above the minimum for a master player. They will be scraping the team cap of 6670 DSN, yet the vast skill gap may be transparent in rotation. If the team can keep up with Rednels, then this team will be extremely deadly this season and certainly contend for playoffs, if not a top 4 position.
The Swanky Squad are the new kids on the block, but Laskiri ensures a bit of league experience in the master team. He comes from R3D Water challenger and was the star player that got the team third in playoffs and he is improving rapidly. Somehow this impressive experience is shadowed by the two 1700s he teams up with. TSS may be lacking in the other leagues, but their master team could be looking to make the same run that Laskiri made last season.
Finally, Vinctio is the rebirth of Absolut, who made third last season in master playoffs. However, Lemon, Cindy and Dutchy need to prove themselves. Successful scrims so far are promising, but three names without much punch don’t threaten the opponents. Do not underestimate this team, though, because Crusader (the GM) would not sign a poor team. Whilst they may not be aiming for the title, I am excited to witness their push for the playoff spot and the hurdles they must endure to do just that!
CHALLENGER – Fluffalz
Who’s been signed?
Flamesword → NoHope Esports
After participating in playoffs in the last 3 seasons Flamesword is back and burning! With a premade team he acquired through tryouts he has signed to NoHope Esports. Definitely watch out that you don’t get sliced and diced by this team when they’re on fire!
Bad Karma’s Prospect Team → Challenger Team
They have proven themselves in the Prospect Division but now a new Challenge awaits … quite literally! As our Prospect Champions from last Season enter the higher skill level, facing tougher opponents and some old rivals who have also gotten stronger, only time will tell if they can develop enough to take on this task before them.
Who’s looking to get signed?
The return of Super! Returning to the IEL after his Season 3 run, Super is now looking to join a team where he can develop his gameplay and reach new heights. Having experience in both Reflux and R3D Water, even winning a Prophecy Tournament full of Challenger Teams, he has proved he can keep up with the rest and come out as the best!
If you are looking for a more laid back player, this also returning player might interest you! Nieli wants to help his team and enjoy the season. With previous experience in the IEL and a DSN of 1429 this would be great addition to any roster!
PROSPECT – Crispy
First up, we’ll take a look at all the franchises with 3 or 4 players already signed to the prospect roster.
The first of these is my own franchise, Built By Us. This team consists of TheSunderlad and Crispy, both playoff contenders last season, and xL iNations, former GM of Xero until that franchise sadly folded. MrFluffyBunny completes the roster as sub. With some positive scrim results so far, this roster could be very scary for other teams going into the season.
Next up we have CrossFade, the team of the IEL’s commander-in-chief Tutan (formerly Brydus). He teams up with Deadeye, and long-time IEL member Ding0h to form an outfit with plenty of experience. As long as a solid sub is picked, this team could prove very dangerous if used well in the league.
Last season’s prospect runners-up Deja Vu have assembled a complete roster for this season’s prospect league. R0binNL, SnUwU, Bearded and Skyba make up this team who have had some good performances in scrims, even with their sub being used. With some solid practice with the main roster, this team could be a force to be reckoned with.
Another on the list of franchises with complete prospect teams is eNightmare. GM Andyux has put together a roster consisting of two high DSN players, Mattbellfinger and HoodedPrawn, and two fairly low DSN players, CrumpetSir and Rory the Explory. This distribution of players could work well for them, but it may be an uphill battle to get the lower ranked players acclimatised to the higher pace of the prospect league.
Next we have Galamo Esports, who sport a main roster of TomBaste, Sierra Romeo and Hisoka, three very high DSN players, with a sub that is almost the minimum DSN for prospect . This kind of weighting seems to be the go-to for some GMs when assembling prospect teams this season, and if it goes well, this team could be very dangerous.
While NoHope Esports have had some troubles signing players in the other 2 leagues, their prospect team is shaping up nicely with Timmeeehh, Apostoler and VictorVTM being signed so far. The potential trouble for the team is that all 3 of these players are between 1200 and 1300 DSN, right in the middle of the prospect range. This could pose a problem, as this team may be overpowered by rosters with a higher dsn main roster.
A new franchise coming into season 5, Nootz Esports have got to work quickly, signing 3 prospect players to the roster so far. These are Breedoraz, Fr1ghtx and Hiroki. With a good amount of DSN left to spend on a 4th, this roster seems to be striking a good balance between a strong starting team and a competitive sub.
A historically strong franchise, Primal Esports have signed a prospect team of Shimmy, a s4 challenger who seems to be a steal in the prospect league, Sweenie, KB and mjsa04, reprising the substitute position he occupied for the franchise last season. If they gel well, this team could be an extremely promising prospect (no pun intended) for the upcoming season.
Prophecy have shown serious intent this season signing a sub, Stuffyweb319, with the minimum possible DSN, meaning they can get a very high ranked first team. GM StockoGaming heads up the team with season 4 teammate Oliskil1s, and former IEL champion Thunds completes what should be a threatening lineup.
Lxwey, the GM of the franchise, and his teammate from last season Veqa make up the top 2 spots on the Puncture prospect team, with Mendonator in what will likely be the sub role. Depending on the player who is brought in to complete the roster, this team could have a great chance at following in the footsteps of Lxwey’s franchise Enigma pre-rebrand and making it to the prospect playoffs.
Art3mis, squid_g and GM Dave Forehead make up the main roster of RL Ireland. With Solo as sub, this team will be hoping to put together a better run than season 4’s prospect team who had a fairly unsuccessful outing. The 3 1300+DSN players on their team make it look like they are well-placed to do just that.
Veteran franchise Shadow Esports have what appears to be a strong main roster consisting of GM and staff robot Mutschuk, Eagle and Axiom. With space left for a competitive sub, this outfit could be very strong if they can put work into developing chemistry.
It’s IEL media team central at Team Beserkers as CowardlyViking and A Random Chicken head up the roster that also contains Arnie and Diggin8. This team could be very dangerous if Viking and Chicken can actually devote any time to playing rather than making fantastic IEL promo videos.
And to round off this section we have Vinctio. This team consists of Dynomite, Mlti and Derg, which on paper is a very strong outfit. Inside sources tell me that scrim results have been mixed so far, but with some more work this team has serious potential.
Some notable franchises with just 1 or 2 players signed so far:
- Eidolon Esports have two very high DSN players on their team currently, which could shape up well if they can get well-thought-out picks for the other two spots.
- Despite pinching Yaiba from another franchise (as rumour would have it), Hit or Miss Esports only have two players signed, and are in an awkward spot as they are both fairly middle DSN.
- In a similar position is Reflux, where GM Rubenofski has signed two 1200-1300 DSN players for the roster so far. Smoothing out the roster in a way that keeps all players happy will be a challenge for these franchises.
Also in the position of having 1 to 2 players signed are Auto Celerity, King of the Alps and nTice Esports.
For certain franchises with no prospect players signed, this fact is not for the want of trying; sources suggest that Bad Karma Esports, Clairvoyant and R5 Esports are extensively trying out players before offering them spots. On the other hand, 4KingzGG, Austrian Force, Crown Gaming, Rocket Core, Royals, Sonic Wave, The Squids and The Swanky Squad have a lot of work to do in order to put together a prospect team without relying on the luck of the draft to give them players.