Hello everybody, apologies for all of the inconveniences recently with the news, but we are back! Now that we are half way through the season, we have decided to do shorter write-ups… on every team. That’s right, no more complaining about not having a write-up on a team because you get a write-up, you get a write-up, everybody gets a write-up! These will be summaries on your first half of the season. This took a serious amount of effort and even volunteers (namely the wonderful Scottish Solarr and the clutch Crazi) and thus isn’t sustainable, so we will be reverting back to how it usually is after this week. Any comments on writing can be sent to the writer which will be noted and any comments regarding news in general can be sent to myself – Chop.
As a side note, we are currently short of news staff, if you would like to see more news get released regularly and feel like you might be fit for the job, then send in a staff application and we can start getting your work out to the IEL community!
- Team Absolut
- Primal Esports – tied with Crown Gaming
- Crown Gaming – tied with Primal Esports
- Oasis eSports
- Shadow eSports
- RL Ireland
- AEon eSports
- Warlocks eSports – tied with Austrian Force
- Austrian Force – tied with Warlocks eSports
- Built By Us
- Aztecs – tied with Instinct eSports
- Instinct eSports – tied with Aztecs
- Erisean eSports
- DéjàVu eSports
- R3D Water
- Sonic Wave
- NoHope eSports
- Team Ascendant
- Warhawks – tied with iNTACT.gg
- iNTACT.gg – tied with Warhawks
- Throne Gaming
- Bad Karma eSports
- Shamrock eSports
THORIUM: – Solarr
Crown Gaming (9-3)
Crown Gaming top Thorium Division by a mere 0.72% winning percentage but wholey deserve to be ahead of the rest of the pack. Impressive wins over Oasis eSports and Primal Esports in Week 2 show why they are the top dogs so far. TheChewyLewey leads the line for them, knocking in no less than 36 goals already this season. Crown really come into their element when their backs are against the wall with all three starting players having over 40 saves this season. A solid defense and a lethal counter-attack, Crown Gaming are a team to keep an eye on as the season progresses!
Oasis eSports (9-3)
If you’re looking to take a course on offensive pressure, just watch these guys play. Lightning fast rotations, incredible amounts of mechanical skill and the ability to score from virtually anywhere on the pitch make Oasis a force to be reckoned with. They are the highest scoring team in Challenger League, with Eto, Fblade and Moeko all banging in goals for fun. When they lose, it’s by narrow margins. When they win, they blow teams out of the water. A very strong team, capable of suffocating and depraving opponents of boost (or a will to live) who I fully expect to go all the way.
Primal Esports (9-3)
Having lost to both Crown Gaming and Oasis eSports, it seems only fair that Primal are sat in third in Thorium Division. A team that look to spend as much time in your half as possible, Solarr, Tyde and clover will smack shot after shot at you and look to test your mental fortitude. Voxy is a very mechanically gifted player and offers a different playstyle to other three players. Primal looked to have lost ground on the top two teams after a narrow loss to Austrian Force but have battled their way back slowly but surely. They face Team Absolut next, a team that defeated both Crown Gaming and Oasis eSports. Can they do one better?
AEon eSports (7-5)
AEon had a rough start first two weeks but have gradually battled their way back up the division, most notably upsetting RL Ireland last week with a 3-1 win. With the recent, untested, signings of LuisC and Classy alongside Leroni AEon will be looking to push on throughout the second half of this season and secure themselves a Playoffs spot. A very capable team who have found themselves on the end of some narrow losses, a Game 5 overtime against Primal Esports which would have secured a reverse sweep being the most heartbreaking. Keep an eye out for this surprise package!
Austrian Force (6-6)
Thought by many to be under-performing so far this season, the team of CubexX, Blendragon and aDomiiC who qualified for Playoffs last season don’t look like their usual selves (well, expect for the fact that aDomiiC is still a goal scoring machine). Having picked up Vyrok, AF looked like a serious challenger for Playoffs, but things haven’t gone quite to plan. We’ve seem glimpses of what they can do with strong wins over Primal Esports and Team Absolut, but surprises losses to Instinct eSports and Erisean eSports leaves them adrift from the top half of the division. A very physical team who like to get up in your face, I expect them to return to their form of old.
Built By Us (6-6)
BBU made a fantastic start to Season 4, going four series unbeaten. But a 3-1 loss to Primal Esports sent them on a downward spiral, losing six series in a row before upsetting RL Ireland in Week 6 with a 3-1 win. Despite a tough three weeks, Obh, Lionrawless and Kenzy have stuck it out and look to be on the up. Another defensive team, with Lionrawless already at 61 saves this season! With an even distribution of scoring, there’s no real standout striker on this team but they can rely on a player to put one away. A team capable of dispatching lower teams but struggling to take it to the higher teams. A chance at Playoffs, but improvements needed.
Instinct eSports (3-9)
Another team thought to be underperforming, Instinct. George. Adam. Steblood. All players who’s names carry weight throughtout IEL, so what’s gone wrong? Do their players just not gel? Is there rotational or communicational issues? Is George’s constant ping issues playing a part? Only the boys over at Instinct will know. Rumour has it George is moving to the UK, so here’s hoping that solves one issue at least. All incredible players, with Adam, George and Steblood all making Playoffs on at least one occasion. I’m really rooting for these guys to find the solution but, at the moment, Playoffs looks unlikely.
Erisean eSports (2-10)
A very rough first half of the season for them, possibly already written off as Playoffs contenders unless things change hugely and quickly. Having said that, Traske has changed his roster. Releasing Hypno and StealthyWoolf, replacing them with Ikingy and bttos. Could this turn their season around? Possibly. Can they make Playoffs? Mathematically, yes. In practice, no. With their only genuine win coming against Instinct eSports and a forfeit win claimed over Aztecs, it’s hard to see any way back for Traske and the boys. I don’t want to see them give up though, they have the potential to create a few upsets and keep this division interesting!
URANIUM: – Solarr
Team Absolut (9-3)
Leading the pack in Uranium Division are Team Absolut. A team that has already taken down the top two teams in Thorim Division too, with their only real stumble coming against Austrian Force. Despite losses to Prophecy and unbeaten DejaVu eSports, Absolut have shown exactly why they are regarded as one of the best teams in Challenger League. The well rounded team of Itsflamesword, Lyaneii and spectre are capable of it all. Lyaneii being their leading goal scorer, with Itsflamesword assisting his teammates 33 teams this season. They have a reliable fourth in Independxnce making them a strong case for a Playoffs run.
Last season’s 3rd seed for Playoffs haven’t had it quite so easy this time around, as all four losses have come to their closest competitors. Losing to Team Absolut, RL Ireland, Crown Gaming and Oasis eSports. A lightning fast team, capable of throwing some serious offense which many have struggled to handle this season. andasAP, Rubenofski and Francesko have bolstered their roster with the signing of C4.DEN but have found themselves having to defend more often than not. They put themselves in a good spot to make Playoffs but will have to avoid any complacency.
RL Ireland (7-5)
Having gone 6-2 in the first four weeks, the beginning of Actinide Conference series has thrown a spanner in the works for RL Ireland. Losses to Primal Esports, AEon eSports and Built By Us has seen them lose ground on Team Absolut and Reflux. There have been some dominating performances so far this season, with sweeps over Reflux and Enigma to name a few but the team of LittleDude, Kipp and Luachara have hit a bit of a rough patch. RUFFS has not seen much game time so far this season, although that doesn’t seem the problem for such a lethal team infront of net. Is there potentially an underlying problem that teams are starting to catch out?
Shadow eSports (7-5)
Shadow were beginning to look like a mid-table team and though they are still in that frame for the time being, a roster change seems to have benefitted them. Just one loss in five series, Game 5 against Primal Esports. With Crown Gaming and Oasis eSports still to play, they have a real potential to build something special. LeonTheTree is the same Stat Demon that we know him to be and with teammates like Dx, Hypno and ryse (honestly, how did they all fit under that cap?) they have a serious chance at making Playoffs, going from strength to strength as the season progresses. A class act and one to watch for sure.
Warlocks eSports (6-6)
It was a strong start to the season for Warlocks, 4-2 after week three with those losses coming against Team Absolut and Reflux. The departure of MxtchyTaylor seems to have rocked them, just one win in five saw them drop into 5th place. With Jakeadams still finding his feet and Warlocks seemingly having availability issues, it’s going to take a fair effort from the boys to keep up with the pack and force their way into a Playoffs spot. It’s far from an impossible feat, but considering Shadow’s recent turn of form and RL Ireland’s ability, it’s not going to be easy. Can Team Captain Eclipse find the right formula?
During pre-season, Prophecy were looking hot. Despite hardly playing together, they seemed to gel rather nicely. Unfortunately for them, Alpha had to pull out of playing this season due to other commitments and since then, D4nni3 at the boys have yet to find a fitting replacement. Despite a huge upset over Team Absolut in week one, they’ve not had terribly much to shout about. D4nni3 is a complete package, serious shooting capabilities, brilliant understanding of rotations, brick wall of a defender and pin-point accuracy passing. It’s not too late for Prophecy, but they need to find their rhythm soon.
Another team suffering from inavailability. Of the twelve series so far this season, Aztecs have forfeited a quarter of them. Only one win against Triumph and a forfeit win over Bad Karma eSports is all that’s keeping them off rock bottom. Aztecs have recently revamped their roster and we may see a drastic change in fortunes for them, but any hopes of Playoffs seems to be a lost cause at this point. This new look roster of Alpha, Jacksean, Tinny and Krazzie may cause a few upsets along the way and keep the battles at the top interesting!
Poor old Triumph, it just has not been a good season for them. Six sweeps in the first three weeks, three forfeit losses in their last four series and only one win this season coming against Shamrock eSports (A team who, themselves, were rather disjointed). With Frate currently on holiday and his replacement swiftly departing from IEL, things only seem to be getting worse for Triumph. Playoffs is realistically out of the question.
TITANIUM: – Crazi
Insanity have kept things rather close with the teams lower in their division. With the loss of G-meme the team was pushed into adding an extra player to replace. With gain of Nova the team is looking in a strong position, looking like he makes a good switchup from the stereoscopic 3D team we have seen so far of: DenDen, DirtyDuck and Dot. With just recently losing their 7 series winstreak to the strongest looking team in their conference they may be looking like they will want to take revenge on the rest of the teams in their conference and look strong pushing into the division rematches 2 weeks from now. Can they remain at the tippy top of their division, or will they lose their top spot?
Glacier are sitting in a positive spot in their division, with a top 2 spot halfway through the season all they must do is maintain. Recently taking dejavu to a game 5 series they look to be possibly be the stronger of the top 3 teams in their division, with just a single match win away from the top spot while holding a win over the other teams in their top 3. This could serve as an ace up their sleeve on rematches. With an unshifting team of KursedWolf, Machtfisch, Timmy? and AlphaYui the team is building up chemistry that can only get stronger as they scrim together ready for the second half of the league. Can a strategy of keeping a solid team ready to take on all competitors hold them steady? With a rematch against insanity in the final week for seeding could play a deciding role in how the conclusion of this league takes place, who knows?
Enigma are sitting just an arm’s reach behind their playoff spot, with a consistent team of Hyst, Nosteee and OberDave with the backup of That Small Boy they appear to be looking in a strong spot to stand as kingslayers for their higher competitors, standing with a win over the top of their division. With a spot in the cards for playoffs and a situation mirroring all of enigma’s other teams we may see a large push for that precious top 2 spot on all fronts. But with the challenger team slowly approaching the walls of DejaVu’s house, there may be some of this tale to still be a bumpy ride all the way to the end. Can they crack the other team’s playstyles and come out on top, or will they be cracked themselves like the enigma tale of old?
Sonic Wave (7-5)
Sonic Wave have seen a season thus far of ups and downs, with a few forfeits in the mix to hold them back they may be stronger than a quick view of their halftime position may actually tell. With a team of 4 very talented individuals and no clear main team: Nailer, Tsvalentin, Capra and Tyla are doing their best to even out their stats as much as possible this season, continually trying to best each other in hopes they may be on that playoff dream team. This may be a team using their sub spot not as a benched last player, but as a method to add those subtle differences that really hurt an opposing team’s mentality. This in turn creating a lowered expectation that throws a curveball when rematches come around. Will they let their middling position get to them or will they blast back with a roaring shout? Only they can provide the evidence.
Xero are currently rather bipolar, their wins are highly likely to be a 3-0 sweep, however teams that have pushed them beyond towards game 4 and game 5 have looked much more likely for victory. Xero running a sprint and not a marathon here in the IEL. Their main roster looking to be: Otzl, Berry1997 and Gib since losing fire ^.^ has seen them stay steady. With a new addition of Hallacks looking to be a well rounded addition to the team, it would not be surprising to see this team evolve more as the season goes on. With losses against all 4 teams higher than them already on the cards, but more luck found in the cross-division matches, who knows what this team will shape up to be come rematch time. Will they be able to stand their ground against the titanium top 4? Or will they faulter and lose those all important game 5 marathon series, there’s Xero way to tell.
Throne Gaming (4-8)
Throne Gaming have had a rocky start to the season, with them looking stronger at the start of the season their step into the past few weeks has took a turn for the worse. Cross-division looming over them as well as a rather high mountain to climb come rematches, we may not see Throne hit the playoffs. With an established and consistent roster for half the league play time: Vicks EU, LixmG, Oldhamste and EthznRL, with EthznRL leading his own roster from the frontlines it may be a bit of an problem to see that the chemistry may not be there by now. Something needs to change among this team, they need to start being able to pull teams into longer series and play to their strengths or make a change from their established roster and try something new. If it aint broke don’t fix it, but if its sputtering… Give it a good kick.
eNightmare haven’t really had the dream season they’d hoped for. With a team lacking momentum and chemistry post week 3, its been a hard ask to get them back to competing form. With ample use of their prospect roster they’ve managed to take a few games back from cross-division games yet it just doesn’t feel like a challenger level roster. With the team of: Dutchess, Blue, Malicious115 and Atrox, with help from most notable Mattbellfinger of their prospect roster they looked like they had a fighting chance early on, but as problems with attendance have arisen double dipping into prospect to pick up the pieces just surely can’t be the answer they could win with. Can it?
Royals were stumbled on the first hurdle in their start to the season, its sad but it was a truth. However, they may actually be the best underperforming team in challenger with many 2-3 losses just an inch from victory. Although there may not be playoffs hopes for the team without a miracle, there may still be a hope for this team to make it towards the upper half of their division. With a stable duo established, the more prominent players: Rice and Papa stand by their third and Ropey as well as a new as yet unannounced fourth player coming into week 7. Could the changing out of Nuno for a new player be just the switch this team needs to do in order to survive? Or will it stand as one of the less than perfect decisions they could’ve made this season.
CHROMIUM: – Chop
DéjàVu eSports (12-0)
Flawless. These lads haven’t lost a single series, yet. If they repeat this first half throughout the latter then they would be 24-0, which is unbelievable to consider. So, how doable is it? Not as certain as you may think. Whilst the Prophecy tournament is most different to a league play series and especially a playoff series, it still holds some knowledge. DéjàVu were eliminated from this tournament by R3D Water 2-1 with their new roster. Is the new RW a threat to their clean record? Most certainly possible, but the tournament isn’t particularly a gold standard of ranking skill, either. We will absolutely see this team in playoffs and most certainly see them in the top 4. Many would even be shocked to see this team fail to reach the finals, but we must keep an eye on them if they are to lose, because that tiny inkling could eat at them just enough to ensure that they fail at playoffs if they have a weak mentality.
R3D Water (8-4)
Second only to the flawless titan of challenger, RW are certainly contesting a safe playoff spot and even a top spot in playoffs if they can continue their current streak with the new main roster. Switching out Peak, who had remained at the team with Wizzo from last season after making playoffs for rookie Super who had just been removed from Reflux was a bold choice given their current positive standing. However, a 2-0 record with the new lineup is certainly proving to have paid off so far. Insanity is preparing to fight next week and this will be their biggest fight until DJV before playoffs, so winning this would certainly boost this team to a top 4 contender for playoffs.
NoHope eSports (6-6)
NoHope currently have fallen two wins behind second place, which is a bad position to be in headed into the latter half of the season. If this continues then they will have to battle not only the rest of the division still, but the Titanium division as well. This is not the position that the former number one seed last season would like to be in due to the high win percentages of the other teams, and thus they shall be expected to perform even better than they already have done to attempt to claim second place and confirm the playoff spot they deserve! I believe that we won’t see Tails and Cape especially go down easily, rather claw at every opportunity they can, similar to their gameplay.
Team Ascendant (6-6)
The team made of 1400s and lead by veteran Kross sits equal to NoHope and in a similar position. They’re hoping that they can steal the second spot as to not rely on win percentage, because they currently sit 6.02% below even NoHope, never mind the likes of Xero and their 57.45% win percentage with the same record as Ascendant! So, Ascendant need to concede less. They have the greatest accumulation of goals against and this is where their losses lie. Ascendant need to have a defence ready to save the counter, which could be critical training in order to clutch the second spot and safely secure playoffs.
Warhawks enter the second half of the season with a 1.15% greater win percentage than Team Ascendant, which does actually put them in possible place for playoffs. It would be very difficult to accomplish, but if they can defeat most of the teams from Titanium then they could bring their win percentage low enough that Warhawks take the wildcard spot. This would require a big change to start getting these victories, which they have attempted to do. Warhawks have released both Jack and Yamey and instead signed season 3 playoff contender Peak and season 3 GM of Infinity, a team that made both playoffs and even the pro finals, Lukefos007. With such big changes and experience to the team, we could be seeing a different Warhawks and on paper these changes seem to be quite promising for them.
iNTACT can have their problem quite simply summed up by looking at their goal distribution. They have scored 31 goals, less than a third of the amount DJV have scored in total. They have a good goals against, though; 51 goals scored on them and thus 12 less than that same team: DJV. The problem here is clearly rotation. People are too far back and thus can save a lot of shots, preventing the opposition from scoring quite so easily; however this also indicates that they are not upfront scoring goals. It’s all well and good saving a shot, but if a counter is not made then it was just delaying the inevitable. iNTACT need to work on rotation and following up clears for this to change, because right now every single player has double or more the amount of saves to their goals scored, which will not hold up amongst the best.
Bad Karma eSports (3-9)
Whilst the season is far from over and some teams will still have a surprise or two left to demonstrate, only three wins makes Bad Karma’s season all but over, most likely. The main roster has both high and similar MMRs, looking quite fearful on paper, but as this season has clearly shown, it hasn’t translated into games. Patrick is the lowest MMR of the main roster and has played the most games of the three, yet lacks many stats to show for it. He needs to step up his game, because a team is only as strong as it’s weakest player, and then we may see a bit more fight lingering from Bad Karma.
Shamrock eSports (2-10)
With the departure of Flux, Shamrock hasn’t been the same. Once predicted a playoff spot by the power rankings, yet alas they have fallen into last in their division and furthermore, conference. Flux, season 3 pro league champion, was clearly the difference maker for them, as their replacement to his void, Baders, clearly isn’t working out for them. In addition to this, they are playing their significantly lower MMR player, Captivace, more than their main lineup. Whilst he is indeed a season 3 pro league champion, he was amidst Flux and Vy, a master player, so it would have been difficult to not do well. He may not be able to handle the heat of the challenger league as a main player just yet, or maybe his teammates aren’t allowing him to shine quite the way Shamrock allowed him to last season. Either way, they can put up a good last fight, but they will sadly not be making playoffs, anymore.