Category: Features

Playoffs Preview: Master League, Round One

The season 11 playoffs of Minor League Esports officially get kicks off this Saturday, with the Conference Quarterfinals in Academy League, Champion League, and Master League. Each Quarterfinal matchup will be a best of five, unlike a series of five during the regular season. Knowing how close the regular season is across all leagues, no favorite should be considered right from the outset. So let us do a deep dive into Master League, looking at each matchup in the Blue and Orange Conference and making a claim as to which team may make it through the first round.

Orange Conference

#2 Elite vs #7 Shadow: Saturday 8 pm EST on mlesportsgg2

The Elite clinched a second seed with an impressive 46-24 regular-season record. Their three-headed monster of Swellz, Elegance, and Hotwiredbug secured them a 10-4 series record while going 5-1 through divisional play. Elegance led the way with a 30-10 game record while being in the top 10 of OMVPR with a 3.85. Swellz and Hotwiredbug also threw up some impressive numbers. Hotwiredbug leading the team in goals saves, shots, and MVPR (5.15) with Swellz not far behind (4.52 MVPR). Elegance will most certainly be taking to the pitch come this weekend and whoever has the hotter hand between Swellz and Hotwirdbug may be joining them.

The Shadow comes into the playoffs as a #7 seed, with a 39-31 regular season. Their top player for most of the season, M0rg, ranked into the Premier League before week 10. Before their rank out, M0rg was their offensive catalyst, who sat with a 22-8 overall game record, with a 5.95 MVPR and 3.95 OMVPR. Even after their departure, they lead the Shadow in goals and shots at the end of the season. More importantly, they finished with a 17-23 record after M0rg’s rank out, with Akina stepping into some pretty big shoes. Based on salary, their top pairing would be Akina and Nyyankeesrd at a 16.0 each, with Nyyankeesrd coming off the reserve bench mid-way through the season. However, based upon their sub 500 record since M0rg’s rank out, the Shadow may just play the pairing with the greatest synergy, which may be Euronate and Fruity, both being on the main roster since the beginning of the season.

Whichever pairing the Shadow end up going with, they have a tall task ahead of them. The Elite are 2-2 against winning teams, but with those two losses coming from their lower pairings. Knowing they will be sending out a dynamite roster to the pitch, and the Shadow’s struggles to end the season, the Elite look poised to take this one.

 

#3 Rhinos vs #6 Outlaws: Saturday 9 pm EST on mlesportsgg

The Rhinos were able to grab the third seed, with a 43-27 record. They are a bit of an enigma, going 28-12 against winning teams while going 15-15 against losing squads. We will have to wait and see which Rhinos team takes to the field, but we do know this, their star player RED will not be taking to the pitch. Similar to M0rg, RED ranked out of Master League and into Premier League after week 10. RED left the Master League with a very impressive 6.53 MVPR, averaging over 700 points per game, while not losing a single series. Filling into the top pairing for the Rhinos, alongside Reverse Fridge, will be Xequter001. The pairing of Reverse Fridge and Xequter001 went a modest 7-8 during the regular season. However, they took a close 3-2 series win over the Outlaws’ top pairing only a couple of weeks ago.

The sixth seed Outlaws, with their top pairing of KyleSpanx and Llama, look for a sweet case of revenge against the Rhinos to take the first-round win. The Outlaws finished with a 41-29 record, going 10-4 in series overall. Of some concern is their winning percentage against winning teams, clipping in under par at 45%. This being said, a major bright spot for the Outlaws has been the play of Llama. Coming in at a 16.0 salary, Llama currently sits fourth in the Master League for MVPR at 5.89. Finishing with a 7-1 series record, the Outlaws will continue to look for Llama to carry the offensive workload. He finished the regular season in the 95th percentile, in terms of his involvement in the Outlaw’s offense for the entire season.

With their last series being a close contest and both squads finishing with nearly identical records, this series aims to be incredibly tight. In the previous 3-2 Rhinos’ win over the Outlaws, four out of the five games were decided by a single goal. To come out on top this time around, the Outlaws will need to watch out for Reverse Fridge’s speed. He led the Master League in time spent supersonic at over 3000 seconds. The Outlaws will need to match that speed or look to neutralize it, by not overextending and giving Reverse Fridge space to attack. If Reverse Fridge and Llama can go toe-to-toe and both put up solid numbers, this series may be decided on how Xequter and KyleSpanx perform in crunch time.

 

#4 Pandas vs #5 Demolition: Saturday 10 pm EST on mlesportsgg

The “pan // das’’ come into the season 11 playoffs sporting a 39-31 record, with dan720 looking to carry them on a deep playoff run. Dan is the man, leading the Pandas in every meaningful offensive category including shots, goals, assists, and MVPR.  Who will join dan720 this weekend is uncertain. Both Unforgiven and Zona finished with nearly comparable numbers. Unforgiven with a 4.26 MVPR while Zona finished with a 4.28 MVPR. Zona finished with an overall game record slightly above 500 and Unforgiven was slightly below 500. Knowing this, along with Zona’s lower OMVPR, Zona may be the one to start alongside dan720. This is good news for Panda fans, as the pair went 9-1 across two series this season.

The fifth-seeded Demolition, alongside the Rhinos and Shadow, also had their star player rank into the Premier League. GoldenLuigii, who was drafted first overall this past Master League draft, posted impeccable numbers. Posting a 28-12 game record, with a 5.89 MVPR and smothering their opponents with a 3.75 OMVPR. GoldenLuigii was also a massive aerial threat, leading the Master League with time spent high in the air, at over 700 seconds. Losing a player of GoldenLuigii’s caliber is a tough loss for the Demolition, but they hope to fill that void by bringing in Dye, a previous reserve for the Bears. Dye is an unknown, not having played in a single series all season, nor is there any relevant 4mans stats that can be gleaned off of. Joining Dye will be Miko, who ended the regular season with a strong 4.71 MVPR.

Many unknowns surround this series. Who will be joining dan720 and will they be able to contribute offensively? How will Dye fair in their first MLE series? Will Miko and Dye be able to develop the chemistry quickly enough, to the levels that Miko and GoldenLuigii exhibited? The answers to these questions will be made known come Saturday.

Blue Conference

#2 Sabres vs #7 Knights: Sunday 8 PM EST on mlesportsgg2

The Sabres come into playoffs as the #2 seed in the Blue Conference, securing a 44-26 record. A welcomed but surprising bright spot for the Sabres this season has been the play of Godkitty. Godkitty started the season on the bench but got onto the starting roster a little over halfway through the season, after the departure of their previous star player, JSMR. Since then, they have been on an absolute tear, going 18-2 with a 5.90 MVPR. Joining Godkitty will be Phoenix, a prior starter on the Bears who was released after week 6, and subsequently picked up by the Sabres on waivers. The pair of Godkitty and Phoenix have done well in two series, finishing with a 9-1 record. Just as impressive, both players finished top 10 in the league in shooting percentage.

The Knights were declared the number one team in the Master League, by the Power Rankings Committee, at the start of the reason. Such high favor, before any games were played, was given out for good reason. The Knights sported a highly balanced team filled with incredible talent. Therefore, coming into the playoffs as the seventh seed may not have been the regular season results they were hoping for. Regardless, they qualified with a 41-29 record and are poised to make some noise. Their offensive juggernaut, Prosperity2K, will look to lead the way. They finished top 5 in goals, top 10 in shots, and posted a solid 5.73 MVPR. Now who will be joining Prosperity2K is more uncertain, simply based on the strength of their collective roster. Anyone of Galaxy, Barry Allen, or MikeisMyIke, could step in and put up stellar numbers. Galaxy led the team with a 3.81 OMVPR, which means the Knights could look towards Galaxy shutting down the Sabres’ offense while Prosperity2K keeps the offense moving forward. However, Galaxy also posted the lowest average opponent salary on the team, with a 15.79 average opponent salary. MikeisMyIke has a 16.5 salary, like Prosperity2K, so sporting their highest salary pairing may be the play. There is also Barry Allen, who finished with a 4.40 MVPR, with his average opponent salary coming in at 15.96.     

Whoever the Knights end up fielding this weekend, the Sabres have a difficult task ahead of them. The Sabres can hold faith in the fact that the Knights this season finished with a sub-par record against winning teams, only going 14-21. Compound that fact with Godkitty’s lights-out performance down the stretch, this one looks to be an incredibly close contest.

 

#3 Jets vs #6 Aviators: Sunday 9 PM EST on mlesportsgg

The Jets go into these playoffs wielding a three-headed monster of Bond Brother, Ripperr, and Indy. All three of them put up impeccable numbers. Bond Brother and Ripperr both finished top 10 in MVPR, with a 6.52 and a 5.82 MVPR, respectively. Indy finished not too far off with a 5.31 MVPR and a 18-7 game record. The Jets were second in the league in total goals and third in winning percentage against winning squads. The Jets were flying high most of the season and look to continue their ways with any pairing they decide to field.

The Aviators clinched the sixth seed with a 42-28 record. Like the Jets, their offensive output was executed by committee, with Mario, Jdubbz, and Craymin all playing key roles. Mario led the team in goals, Jdubbz led in assists, saves, and MVPR, while Craymin led in shots, demos, and OMVPR. Their well-balanced attack resulted in 252 goals, which was good enough for fifth in the league. They may go with the more winning pair, considering their team balance, meaning Craymin and Jdubbz would suit up on Sunday. Both players finished with a commanding 5-2 series record. However, is that both losses for both players came from the hands of playoff-bound teams.   

The Aviators and Jets both have well-rounded squads, which is key to achieving regular-season success. Come playoff time, that necessity becomes less meaningful, with teams looking to field their ace line ups each series. What makes the Jets scary is they can legitimately claim two “ace” line ups, which puts the Aviators in a tough spot. Craymin will need to continue to his defensive stance for this Aviators squad and try to neutralize the Jets’ offensive chances. The key to this series is Jdubbz, who had the second-lowest opponent average salary (among starters) at 15.57. If the speed of the higher salaried Jets’ catch them off guard, with it being something they are not used to, the Aviators’ hopes at a deep playoff run may be short-lived.

 

#4 Hurricanes vs #5 Hawks: Sunday 10 PM EST on mlesportsgg

The Hurricanes were able to clinch the fourth seed, with an overall record of 40-30, while going 9-5 in series played. They had a sub 500 record against winning teams but were able to make the playoffs with their divisional play, going 20-10 against their divisional opponents. Everything the Hurricanes do goes through Privileged Pear. Coming in at a 16.5 salary, they finished top 10 in the league in goals, saves, and shots. A very impressive campaign for Privileged Pear, who looks to cap off a successful regular season with a dominating playoff run. To make that a reality, their 16.5 counterpart, Nerr97, will need to match Privileged Pear’s play. Nerr97 looks poised to do so, leading the team in assists at 37 and demos with 39, going 5-2 across all series played.

As we have seen with other playoff-bound Master League teams, the Hawks had their star-studded player rank out during the regular season. Pletheros led the league with an astonishing 6.82 MVPR, going 6-0 in series played while scoring 2.5 goals per game. To replace Pletheros, the Hawks grabbed Plumato from waivers after the Wizards moved them to reserves. Plumato has had a more disappointing season, going 5-15 with the Wizards and 2-8 with the Hawks in games played. This does not paint a full picture, necessarily, for Plumato went 2-3 against the Aviators, a series that went to three overtimes, and a sweep at the hands of the top pairing from the number one seeded Hive. Plumato will look to have a strong playoff start alongside Bandi, who finished with a 5.17 MVPR.

The #4/#5 matchups in both conferences are surrounded by unknowns. Will Plumato be able to step up and be that offensive catalyst the Hawks need them to be? Will the Hurricanes be able to perform at a higher level against a winning team? Both Plumato and Bandi finished with an OMVPR over 5.0, so will they be able to neutralize the pressure Privileged Pear will bring? This series aims to be an absolute barn burner, with the Conference Quarterfinals wrapping up Sunday night.

 

No matter who you’re rooting for, you can catch all the playoff action on both twitch channels MLESPORTSGG and MLESPORTSGG2. Support your favorite teams and MLE by watching the stream. And good luck to all the playoff teams.

Playoffs Preview: Champion League, Round One

With the start of the playoffs comes one of the most exciting weekends of the season. Six matches will be played across each league. Wild card contenders will fall to favorites or start their cinderella runs. Four seeds will face five seeds in close knock down drag out best of fives. We’ll see highlight goals and overtimes. We’ll see upsets and blowouts. The only thing we can expect is that it will be unpredictable. But to give you a preview of what you might see this weekend we’re here to breakdown each matchup of the opening round of the Champion League playoffs.

Orange Conference

#2 Comets vs #7 Sharks: Saturday 7 PM EST on MLESPORTSGG2

Starting with a classic; David vs. Goliath, 2nd seed vs 7th. This series, despite what it says through the standings and final placement could turn out to be a very close one, indeed. To start, the Sharks are a team that plays well against winning teams despite their overall record. They have a respectable 28-22 record there with a goal differential (GD) of 24. If they are to succeed in such an underdog scenario they’ll need to play their star player Hobo1104. Hobo has been a huge reason for the team squeaking into a playoff spot. Hobo leads the categories of goals, saves, shots, and demos for his team. The rank out of Mushypancakez does raise some questions for the sharks but with Kkube and Thepope870 both sitting at 14.5 salaries they have two solid options come playoff time. 

The Comets seem to have an even easier recipe for success; putting Occam on the field. Occam tops his team in all stats except for goals and OMVPR. His 69 goals and 55 saves on the season show that he can produce on both sides of the pitch. with a 4.78 MVPR and a playoff appearance in season 10, it’s likely that GM Thunderbug will make up the other half of this playoff pairing. But I also wouldn’t count out seeing Peytoneli who put up 73 goals this season and finished with a 45.9 shooting percentage.

The main distinguishing factor I can see between these two sets of players is that the Sharks have a defensive poignancy that the Comets are missing. If it is indeed a matchup between Occam and Hobo1104 then the Sharks should fair much better in dealing with pressure in their own third. I expect excitement in this deceivingly lopsided series.

 

#3 Pandas vs #6 Demolition: Saturday 7 PM EST on MLESPORTSGG

Here is a series that looks, from the standings of both teams, like it could be close. But one big figure jumps out at me as very telling of where the Demolition could take advantage. The Demos have placed 3rd in shooting percentage and are 3% higher than the league average of 40.5%, a huge stat to consider. They don’t only shine as snipers, though, because they are ahead of the league average by a considerable amount in most stats except for, ironically, demolitions. Shay leads the team in assists but It’s PalmBreeze and Climax that will likely be the starters of their team. Climax had 76 goals and 74 on the season while PlamBreeze finished the season with 78 goals and an impressive 5.44 MVPR. 

The Pandas are not hopeless here though, they excel in the Goals Against (GA) department being a whole 23 GA below the league average while the Demolition are a measly 3 GA below the average. Considering that both teams have a very average amount of saves I’d give the Pandas a great advantage in the defensive end. When it comes to clearing the ball they have great skill but lack the ability to capitalize with a shot conversion rate of 38.9%. Both BroskiJazz and Purpplehippo are MLE rookies this season so the team may rely on the experience of Gualbertos who had a playoff showing last season.

Despite the 3 and 6 matchup I can see the Demo taking the edge in the series. Look for the Demolition to put on a lot of shots against the tough defense of the Pandas. If the defense holds the series belongs to the Pandas but if the Demo are shooting well they may be able to stun their opponents and start running away with enough games to take the series. 

 

#4 Pirates vs. #5 Tyrants: Saturday 8 PM EST on MLESPORTSGG

Despite the large gap in League Standings, these two teams are 4th (Pirates) and 5th (Tyrants) in their own conference. To save myself sounding like a broken record I’ll simply say that the GD stats between these two teams are astronomical; The Pirates finished with a GD of 0 and the Tyrants producing an incredible 59. 59! With a stat like that under their belts, it’s no wonder why they’re in the playoffs this season. 

The Tyrants have another impressive figure to their name, a 75% series win percentage vs. the Orange conference. They should have no problem with the comfortability of playing a team in that same category. Tyrants GM TSR has had a standout season with 63 saves and a 5.37 MVPR. The rest of the team has held up their end as well and any one of them could see playtime in the playoffs. Gogurt has had 65 goals on the season and sports a 5.14 MVPR. Trusolja scored 69 goals and leads the team with 33 assists. Gamestrike only played in three series this season but averaged an OMVPR of 3.31. 

The only chance I can see the Pirates having in this series is if their one-horse team of NoKompass can pull off the series of a lifetime. He leads the Pirates in every category except OMVPR. Both teams have player stats that trend toward the middle of the road but a keen eye might see the weakness the Tyrants possess in the demo category and try to exploit that in the coming series (ahem, Pirates, ahem). But in all fairness, the Pirates are still under the league average here and could benefit greatly from playing a couple of rounds of demo derby to hone their skills and take the Tyrants by surprise.

 

Blue Conference

#2 Jets vs #7 Hawks: Sunday 7 PM EST on MLESPORTSGG2

The battle over the skies will take place in the first round of the playoffs as the high flying Hawks take on the cloud soaring Jets. Despite the 2 vs 7 matchup, this series has the potential to be a tricky first round for the Jets and has all the makings of a classic series.

The Hawks come in as a clear underdog at the 7th seed. Despite a solid 10-4 series record they only have a goal differential of +14 and have dropped a good number of games within each of those series to scrape by with the last spot in the blue conference. The team is led by an all-star player in Orange Monkey. Orange Monkey finished the regular season 1st in goals and saves with 89 and 114 respectively. They are also 2nd overall in MVPR at a 5.94 which means they flat out produce results against any and every opponent. They’re exactly the kind of player that makes a difference in the playoffs. Just ask the Hurricanes who took the AL title last year thanks to none other than Orange Monkey. The rest of the team, while all solid players have no superlatives to speak of. Look for KillingHabbits, JordanMG, or Rtbick to mostly be facilitating their partner.

If there is a team that won’t be flinching against the leading scorer in Champion League, it’s this Jets team. The league leaders in Defense, the Jets have put together one of the more impressive shutdown seasons in MLE. They finished 1st in the least goals allowed (157) and OMVPR (3.50). To put that into perspective, the league average is 217 goals allowed and a 4.40 OMVPR. The team would no doubt be a heavy favorite for the finals if it weren’t for the late-season rank out of one of their defensive leaders, Silence. Fellow starter Mople and now PL reserve Silence finished 1st and 2nd in OMVPR respectively. The jets picked up Britzue to replace Silence but it’s ShuTingYu that may be Mople’s partner for a playoff run. ShuTingYu finished 6th in the league for shooting percentage with exactly 50%. This makes them a fitting complement to the defensive Mople. While the Jets will try to prove that they’re as good as their seeding, the Hawks will be looking to begin an upset run in the first round.

 

#3 Hive vs #6 Sabres: Sunday 7 PM EST on MLESPORTSGG

As a member of the MLE content team, I feel torn about this matchup. There is a potential that two fellow writers in iAndray and RoyalGrace may be matching up against one another. And I don’t want to pick sides less I make things awkward in the discord. But instead, here are a few reasons both teams could come out on top.

The Hive doesn’t have any individual players on the major leaderboards this season. But with an average team MVPR of 4.71 the Hive is a team stacked top to bottom that knows how to dominate offensively and keep the ball in their opponent’s side. They are 1st in shots and 4th in total Goals. Their shooting percentage is low but that seems to be mostly due to the style of play which involves shooting the ball at every chance. Both team captain Black and GM DLEW19 have a proven chemistry that took them to an AL final in season 10 against the Hurricanes. Playoff experience is valuable but the Hive may very well turn to their two higher salary players in Beninem and iAndray to surprise opponents.

As a team, the Sabres fall outside the top ten in almost all major stats. The notable exception here is one stat that may matter more than any other come playoff time, series win percentage. At 9-5 the Sabres have made their way into the playoffs by edging out close games and competitive series. And in a best of 5 matchup that gives the Sabres the edge. Add to that the potential for a player like Solrak to have a stand out performance and you have the makings of a dark horse. Solrak put up 80 goals this season (4th in the league) with an impressive 46.2 shooting percentage. With a 3.79 OMVPR, Solrak is a player that can make a difference on both sides of the pitch. 35th and Lil Lettuce could both make an appearance as Solrak’s teammate but my money is on RoyalGrace who has finished 2nd in Demolitions this season with 59 and could prove to be a thorn in the sides of opponents. 

 

#4 LIGHTNING vs #5 Foxes Sunday 8 PM EST on MLESPORTSGG

The Foxes are another team that has a deep roster of talent. With an average MVPR of 4.70 there is no combination of players that would give opponents an easy matchup. The Foxes are one of the best teams in the league at converting their scoring chances. They finished 2nd in shooting percentage and 4th in goals. Their offensive productivity is partially due to the playmaking ability of Lack who came in first overall in assists with 44 and 7th in Demos with 43. The Foxes seem to have chemistry with any pairing but with Zeta finishing 8th in shooting percentage with 49.6% there is a good chance the team will turn to them to clutch out a competitive series.

During the CL Lightning’s last game on stream in week 11, caster GrantCFO was at a loss to describe the Lightning’s play during their match against the Eclipse, at one point calling it “unconventional.”  This might be due to the Lightning’s pressure in the midfield which leads to as many mistakes as goals. DomRM14 is their star player with a 4.76 MVPR and 80 saves on the season. The team has three well-rounded players in Arunos, DudTheBomb, and Seanwilllaugh that could all make an appearance alongside DomRM14. The Lightning are a team that plays fast and offensively but across the board, their shooting could be the thing holding them back. The team averages a 37.1 shooting percentage, tied for 3rd worst in the league. Seeing as they are the only winning team with a shooting percentage in the bottom 5, it seems that if the Lightning can start capitalizing on their opportunities this team has the makings of a great underdog and a fun team to watch.

The stats may lean in favor of the Foxes in this four vs five matchup but anything can happen in the playoffs. The unpredictable nature of the Lightning and their ability to apply pressure on offense could easily throw off the Foxes.

 

 

No matter who you’re rooting for, you can catch all the playoff action on both twitch channels MLESPORTSGG and MLESPORTSGG2. Support your favorite teams and MLE by watching the stream. And good luck to all the playoff teams.

 

Playoffs Preview: Academy League, Round One

On August 8th, players across two and a half leagues figured out what teams they would be going to with the Season 11 MLE draft. One of those leagues was Academy League (AL), and in the 105 days between the draft and the start of the playoffs, a lot has changed. Every team came in with the hope that this was their season, but now, the picture is a lot more clear. 18 teams are eliminated and only 14 remain, we have the favorites and the sleepers, and most importantly, the playoff puns are back! Who will be the Cinderella story, which giant will fall early, and who will come out on top? Let’s take a quick look at the matchups to help answer those questions. 

 

Orange Conference: 

#7 Tyrants vs #2 Elite: Saturday 6 pm EST on mlesportsgg2

Expect this series to erupt, and not just in an offensive way. These two teams are both in the Volcanic Division and have already played twice this season. The Elite took both series on 3-2 wins, including their matchup last week. Neither team used both of their two highest salary players though, so it will be interesting to see the lineups they come out with. The Elite are the favorites coming in, at 48-22 (11-3 series record), they boast the 3rd best overall record in AL. In addition, they scored a whopping 274 goals, 24 more than the next highest team, which helped them achieve a +89 goal differential, the most out of any AL team playing this weekend. They also led in demos with 139 so watch out for the physical play.

Elite will be relying on their high scoring offense to push them past this Tyrants team, and they definitely have it. Gidders (46), NoVa Matty (38), RWB (34), and Achilles (46) all have put up a good number of goals. Since Achilles is a 10.5 salary, I don’t believe we’ll see him play this weekend, but no matter who they choose, the Elite have to feel like they will get great offensive production. The biggest concern is they will need to be able to move past the late rank out of ex-teammate Froggy, who scored over 80 goals, to really get over the hump, but as they proved last weekend, they can definitely do it.

For the Tyrants, the key will be slowing the Elite down. This is definitely possible with DDia’s defense, as he made 64 saves this season which was just outside of the top 10. He also scored 74 goals this season, which tied for 8th. The Elite hasn’t gone up against him since week 1, so the addition of DDia may throw them a curveball. The rest of the team is really balanced, consisting of 11.5 and 12 salaries, so it’s tough to say who will play, but Cheeto is a good guess, as he racked up 76 saves on the season and 52 goals, second for the team. This game should be great, and it will be a battle until the clock hits 0. Definitely tune into this one. 

 

#6 Outlaws vs #3 Sharks: Saturday 5 pm EST on mlesportsgg2

The first of two odd matchups in this conference, the #3 seeded Sharks are the team with the worse record and got their high seed due to winning their division. At 35-35, the Sharks are no slouches, but it’s not what you would normally expect from a highly seeded team. These two teams did play in match 14, and the Outlaws came up victorious, but like our matchup above, it was a close 3-2 series. And much like the above series, the possible matchups are up in the air because each team is filled with high caliber, high salary players.

Let’s start this in-depth look with the Outlaws, who had a great season at 44-26 overall (10-4 series record). If you like team play, this is the team to watch, because they led the league with 120 assists. FLaMEz led the team in this category with 38, 3rd in AL. Daywalker gathered up 32 of his own, but he is more well known for his other stats. His 79 goals ranked 6th in AL, and his 3.33 OMVPR was good enough for 5th. Expect to see him play this weekend, as he was a part of the maximum 8 series for this Outlaws team.

As for the Sharks, they had a rough go, as their schedule was one of the hardest, yet still finished with a .500 record both overall and in series. Overall most of their team stats are in the average range, although they do have a -19 goal differential. The stat that jumps out to me though is the 37.7% shooting percentage, which was the worst in the league. With Daywalker’s low OMVPR for the Outlaws, the Sharks may find themselves in a tougher than normal position to score, so the key in this series will be to convert the shots they get, as they can’t continue to shoot at the low clip they are. As for the players they have, Kjintroverted and Peech are their two main scorers, each scoring over 50 goals a pop. If they want to win, they’ll have to come together and step up to the challenge. It should be a good series, but will the Sharks be able to pull the upset? Tune in to find out. 

 

#5 Bulls vs #4 Wizards: Saturday 6 pm EST on mlesportsgg

If you thought the Sharks were a little lucky winning their division with a .500 record, wait until I show you the Wizards, who grabbed the Mystic division crown after going 32-38. This is a team though that can’t be overlooked, as they won 8 of their 14 series. Bad losses and close wins made this possible, but it means they know how to win, and that should mean this is an interesting series against a strong Bulls squad. 

The Bulls come into this series at 47-23, tied for the 4th best record in all of AL. Unfortunately, they finished a game behind Elite, and are stuck with the 5 seed. When you think of a bull, you think of an aggressive animal, and these Bulls are definitely aggressive, with 110 demos to their name. They are also aggressive on offense, tallying 245 goals, 4th in the league. The great thing about this team is that they don’t rely on any one person to carry them, they have a great all-around team. Chxppa is probably their best player and is also their highest salary at 12. With 51 goals and 60 saves, expect him to be the go-to guy for this team. ItsKai should also make an appearance in this game, as he has 58 goals himself, and should figure to be an offensive power.

For the Wizards, they have a good all-around team as well. Mario_RL is the main man. At a 12 salary, he balled out with 74 goals and 58 saves, and did I mention he is 7th in MVPR? NinjaTurry will probably be his number 2 with 55 goals and 47 saves of his own. These two have played together for a while now, so expect the chemistry to be high. The problem with this lineup though is they don’t have a high shooting percentage, but considering how many goals they have, expect them to throw a lot of shots on target and test the Bulls defense. Even though they don’t have a great record, I believe the Wizards match up well in this series and it should be a classic, so be sure to tune in!

 

Blue Conference

#7 Knights vs #2 Puffins: Sunday 6 pm EST on mlesportsgg2

As the last team in, the Knights won’t go into the night without a fight (sorry I really wanted to rhyme). They squeezed into the playoffs with a 36-34 record with two teams just behind them at 35-35, including the Foxes who held the tiebreaker over them. That being said, the tiebreaker wasn’t needed, and the Knights earned themselves a date with the #2 seeded Puffins, a fan-favorite franchise. The Puffins did win this regular season matchup 4-1 but expect a better lineup from the Knights as they did play their lowest salary player in that matchup.

The Knights come into this match with nothing to lose as they know they are the underdog. At 240 saves, this team led AL in that category, so expect them to play good defense, and find their chances on the counter-attack. With three players at a 12.5 salary, the Knights have choices to make with their lineup but expect Gristly to make an impact in this one. He has 75 goals (7th in AL) and 60 saves on the season. He also makes an impact by trying to blow up his opponent’s rotations, as he is 5th in demos and leads the league in shots with 187. Tez and Gabronies are the other two players who may appear, and you can’t go wrong with either one, but I’m placing my bet on Tez to play this game. He is a save machine, with 67 on the season, which is the 8th highest in the league.

The Puffins come in at 47-23, and have proven to be a force this season. Their whole lineup is 12 salary or higher, and they have made their mark on every series they have played. Get out a glass, because there will be shots pouring from all directions. The Puffins had more shots than any team playing this weekend, which is a perfect complement to the Knights’ strong save numbers. Bango led the team in shots, with 182 (3rd in AL) of them this season, and while he only scored 64 of them, the offensive pressure he created might be enough to lead this team to victory. AubreyE would be a perfect pairing, as he has also scored a lot this season with 61 goals, but his save total at 56 is what really separates him. With two of the top three shot leaders, and the team leading in saves facing the second-place team in shots, you shouldn’t miss this battle. 

 

#6 Ducks vs #3 Jets: Sunday 5 pm EST on mlesportsgg2

The quack attack is back in the playoffs and will go up against the Forge Division winner, the Jets. The Ducks come in with a respectable 39-31 record, winning 8 of their 14 series. The Jets on the other hand come in at 45-25, and won 10 series. They didn’t play each other during the season, so that should add some intrigue to this match.

The Jets shoot the ball very well and have the 2nd highest shooting percentage of any team in the postseason. This is in part due to BurnWanSahn being 4th in the leaderboards in that category, hitting a 51.9% clip. He will probably play alongside Grand Master Papi, who is 2nd in the league in assists with 38, and had 59 goals. This combo can potentially be very dangerous. Watch out for Grand Master Papi setting up BurnWanSahn for some shots.

The Ducks don’t have an elite finisher like the Jets, but they do have someone that loves to shoot. Schwartzy was 5th in goals this season with 81, and 4th in shots with 181. He will be an important piece if the Ducks want to pull off the upset. Expect Shnozz to start alongside him, as he scored 57 goals and had 63 saves. It is possible we see FlyinHi or Aflamingtruck too, as they are both very good players who helped the Ducks get to this point, but my bet would be on the first two I mentioned. As a team, the Ducks were 3rd in total shots (565), so expect them to try to take the offensive in this series. All in all, each team has a very good lineup and should make for a series that you’ll need to see to believe.

 

#5 Sabres vs #4 Hurricanes: Sunday 6 pm EST on mlesportsgg

The last game for our overview features the defending AL champions: the Hurricanes. They start their journey for back to back titles against a Sabres team which will be a tough out. The Hurricanes finished 41-29, and the Sabres 42-28, but the Hurricanes won the regular-season meeting between these teams 3-2. This might end up being one of the closest series of the first round.

As a team, the Hurricanes come in with the 8th lowest OMVPR, which will be very helpful when it comes to shutting the Sabres down. They have three very capable players who may play in this game. Frogfor20 is tied for 6th in saves with 68, and had 64 goals to go along with that. Hellfire joined the team late in the season, but made a big impact during his two series, going 7-3 overall. We may see a possible third option in Blitz who had 57 goals on the season. Any combination of these players will leave the Hurricanes in good hands going forward.

The Sabres finished the season 6th in goals, so they tend to score a lot. This is due to their two key players, The Big C and Sammy. The Big C is an all-around leader, scoring 63 goals, 31 assists (just outside the top 10 in AL), and 69 saves (tied for 4th). Sammy is their goalscorer, scoring a league-best 87 times, and added 29 assists and 68 saves (tied for 6th). This duo is a well-oiled machine, and has the talent to possibly go all the way, but will the Hurricanes’ stout defense slow them down? Only time will tell, so don’t miss this clash!

 

No matter who you’re rooting for, you can catch all the playoff action on both twitch channels MLESPORTSGG and MLESPORTSGG2. Support your favorite teams and MLE by watching the stream. And good luck to all the playoff teams.

Rocket Dreams: A Look Into Some of Premier League’s Professional Prospects

For some people, playing Rocket League daily is an obsession, for others a casual pastime, but for a select few, it is a budding career opportunity. In the MLE, we host a wide range of ranks, with most falling into the Foundation League to Master League area of skill rating (from Bronze I to Grand Champion III). And while most players could only dream of playing professionally, we have among us some individuals, playing in the Premier League, who are near that dream. Some like to call these players “Bubble Scene Players” because they are on the precipice of Rocket League stardom but have not quite made their mark yet. I’d like to introduce a few players in the MLE who could be within reach of that sweet goal: playing video-games professionally.

 

Vitali

We’ll start with a charming man who goes by the alias “Vitali”. Vitali was the first of my interviews and what a great way to begin.  He gave me the impression of a very knowledgeable guy who knew a lot about the path he hopes to take, that of being a professional Rocket League player. He was also very aware of the large steps he still needed to take to get to that level.

We talked a bit about his aspirations and he barely mentioned the RLCS despite having a very impressive finish in season 7 and season 9, going top 48 and 64, respectively. His team, consisting of Maconex (for 4 seasons, producing the best results) and adding in Cira for season 9. Currently, his motivation is more focused on the present and taking smaller steps before deciding to pursue a spot among the greatest. Vitali is a student at Durham College just outside of Toronto. At Durham, he is in the process of getting a degree in Computer Programming. Beyond his current educational pursuit, he achieved a Sports Administration degree in St. Clair where he also was able to have a lot of success in his Rocket League career.

In St. Clair, Vitali was able to produce a top 16 finish in qualifying for a CRL spot while teaming with the well known former RLCS world champion, Lachinio. His success there has spurred him on to try and re-create another qualifying finish at Durham. When we spoke, he talked of having an opportunity to achieve the goal and play on the Rocket League official broadcast over on twitch. Vitali also has a stream of his own and hopes to gain a following for himself there.

Being a player who excels in, and prefers the 3v3 playlist, Vitali told me that MLE holds a near and dear place in his heart. It serves as a fun-loving organization of people where he can still play the game he loves but can let go of the pretext of trying to be at peak performance constantly. So with establishing MLE as an occupation on the side, I asked him if there were any coincidental advantages to playing in a 2v2 league. He mentioned that the MLE has given him a great opportunity to build lasting friendships with people such as Atokad and MapleSurrup, both of whom he had played an earlier RLCS Qualifier with and, though they were all around the Champion 2-3 level, they had nearly made it to the play-in rounds. Another, more competitively pertinent advantage was his ability to test himself against players like Comp and Test Gravity who have made splashes in the RLCS scene. Vitali has come out with wins versus both of those highly rated players during MLE matches, a sign of great things to come, I’m sure. 

To finish up our conversation I wanted to get his all-time favorite highlight of his personal MLE experience. So he filled me in on his first stream match, the nerves, the anticipation, and the excitement he had all bundled up in a series win and also a performance to remember as he was awarded the Play of the Week (POTW) for a goal he had scored in that, his first stream experience.

 

BraidedAxe

BraidedAxe is a very passionate player who holds strong to his values and knows exactly what he wants out of Rocket League. When we talked, the heart was palpable in his words. BraidedAxe and I hopped into some 2s games and just had a casual chat about his aspirations, how far he’s come, his MLE experience, and a few highlights of his Rocket League career. As we were playing a couple of games in the casual 2s playlist I could sense his urgency even to win there, he is a fierce competitor and would be a force to have on any team.

His main aspiration as a Rocket League player is to make it to the upper echelon. His words were, “I want Rocket League to be my main form of income.” And I do agree that he has the skills to make his dreams come true and make it as a pro. I will also say that I believe he has the personality and well-to-do sort of manner that could make him successful in the Rocket League scene.

In his professional endeavors he’s achieved a lofty peak MMR rating of 2138 in the 3v3 playlist and for the beginning month of season 13 was in the top 100 players for that playlist. He has also tried his hand at the RLCS Qualifiers with his team of Gumbachi (another member of the Premier League) and Volt Destroyer. Under the name of ‘Frost Esports’, the trio was able to achieve a lofty round 3 exit, only losing to team RBG – currently managed by the aforementioned Maple Surrup – who would go on to make the RLRS. From what I gathered, BraidedAxe took this game 5 series defeat as an indicator of where he needs to be and I personally cannot wait to witness his progression. Besides Frost Esports’ proximity to the big leagues in that regard, they’ve also had their fair share of full-team queues in ranked, meeting organizations such as Team Envy and coming out with victories.

While some Premier League players are mainly patrons of the 3v3 playlist and MLE is a league in which they can enjoy a competition that does not reflect their progression in the professional scene, BraidedAxe does not subscribe to this mindset. His passion for Rocket League does not stop with this game and, from what he said, his determination extends to any situation he is put in.

 

Zack

Zack and I’s conversation was one that made me hopeful for his future. He has a great deal of skill on the Rocket League pitch and is a humble guy with a demeanor that made me feel very comfortable while talking with him. Zack’s past endeavors in RLCS Qualifiers have me believing in and looking forward to what’s to come for him. Since hitting Grand Champion for the first time in season 7 he has placed top 48 twice. The odd thing about these monumental achievements though, is that his teams have been a collection of odds and ends, friends, and friends of friends. With that in mind, it makes these finishes in the achievements all the more impressive. I can see him making a push into the professional Rocket League scene very quickly if he can find a team he enjoys playing with and that might provide him with sufficient support.

Right now Zack is working full time and so he only puts in a minimal amount of time to Rocket League each week.  We talked about his perspective and views of MLE, given the low amount of time he has to put into the game each day. He sees MLE mainly as a community hub but has gained significant improvement since joining MLE in season 8. Moving up the MMR ladder from 1700 to 2000 in that time. The main difference he sees in his play from when he joined is learning the importance of ball possession, dribbling, and outplays in general. Besides that, Zack believes that he has gained a considerable amount of consistency since joining the league, a key aspect of a budding professional player.

Another contributing factor to his love of the league is the opportunities he’s had to play players who are just above him in skill and so this motivates him to try and contend with those highly skilled players.

Finally, I wanted to hear about Zack’s favorite moments in MLE. He enthralled me with the tale of his playoff experience that happened during his tenure with the Wolves franchise. He had been lucky enough to experience a playoff series that went down to the wire in a game 5 over-time. It was a game to be remembered for all the close calls and anxious moments. Eventually, he and MattRochie were able to come out with the win after heroics from Zack. Though they lost in the round following, it remains an untainted memory in his mind.

 

Glax

Glax’s view on Rocket League for a player with the skill rating he has is as unique as they come. He is in full realization of his inability to fully commit to Rocket League, given his commitments to his career in I.T. and the lack of “brain-speed”, as he comedically put it, to keep up with the younger generation of individuals in the professional scene.

Despite not being one to strive for the stardom of Rocket League profession, Glax is by far the most connected to the scene of those I talked with. Currently, he plays with Sotus, queueing almost every day for competitive games and tournaments. He also attempted an RLCS qualifier with PhantomAce in season 4. He’s had a major history with former RLCS players such as Pluto – who he is still in contact with – and Amoney. He also mentioned playing a consistent amount of ranked games with Kronovi back when he was the top player in the world. Taking all of these names in and processing the amount of connectedness Glax has accrued in his 5 years of playing made my head spin.

Glax attributes his major ties to the content creators and current/former RLCS players towards his immediate skill in Rocket League. He has been a Grand Champion level player since competitive season 2 and has been lucky enough to keep in contact with all these staple names in Rocket League. 

While Glax is not wanting to pursue a career in RLCS or content creation, he is still enjoying his time playing the game and sees MLE as an opportunity to gain some ability in the realm of 2v2. For the past 5 years, 3v3 has been his main focus but recently he got the urge to become a better player in the, arguably, more popular playlist of Rocket League.

While his skill in Rocket League was immediate, Glax does not believe his 2v2 play is up to par with the amount of experience he has in the game. Reaching 1800 MMR in 2v2 last season, Glax decided that it was time to step it up and chose to join the “best 2v2 league out there” as he so graciously put it. Playing in the MLE has forced him to practice some more in-depth mechanics and develop a better sense of ball control. His excitement to be in the league was on display when we talked and I personally am very excited to have such an affluent contemporary of the pro-scene among our ranks.

 

Lotty Lettuce

Talking with Lotty Lettuce, I was so impressed with his plan of action, his activity in numerous leagues, and his high skill level despite his relatively young age. At his local college, he has been a trailblazer for the path of CRL success. While there is not currently a scene for CRL there, his skill and drive have been seen by another very skilled player who goes by the name HockE who will be attending Lotty’s current school come next year. If the two of them can find a third I could see a push for CRL contention coming their way very soon. 

Though Lotty is very excited about the prospects of HockE, his head is not lost in the clouds. He has made a very strong connection with Elco and some other current CRL players at Rowan University. He made it seem like the team’s presence was very welcoming and open to him when, only briefly, he met them all at a LAN event. I was very impressed with his knowledge of multiple paths towards his main goal of becoming a CRL player.

Our chat turned to the MLE, eventually, and that of some great friendships he’s made through the seasons along with some very memorable moments. He filled me in on one of his favorite memories during his time in the league; a rare championship game. The scene was of him and MattRochie, they were in a bad slump going into the conference finals but some herculean efforts and strong will got them the win against a very formidable Pirates team, one that had been undefeated coming into the match. With excitement and momentum, they pressed on to the finals but were unfortunately not able to garner a championship for his Outlaws franchise. The memory remains very vibrant and he maintains it to be his all-time favorite moment of his Rocket League career.

Lastly, Lotty told me that joining the MLE was “one of the best decisions he had ever made for his Rocket League career”. During the summer of 2019, he had been losing motivation to play the game and was close to hanging up the controller for good when he was introduced to MLE and found the invigorating, unique league to be enough for him to get back the drive that was so obvious while talking to him. Lotty has joined 4 different leagues including the MLE in the time span since his melancholic thoughts over Rocket League began and he told me one of his biggest aspirations was to win a championship in all of them, especially getting another crack at the MLE trophy.

 

Final Thoughts

My appreciation for these players and their ability to either be so naturally talented or to maintain a strict regimen of practice has grown exorbitantly to the point where I find myself rooting them on and checking in on their progress myself.  When I first picked up the pen to write out this story I had an idea of talking to a group of like-minded Premier League players, people who all had the vision of becoming an RLCS contemporary or doing their best to get there. It turns out that an eclectic mix of aspirations litters the highest-ranking league in MLE; everything from the expected RLCS dreams to simply maintaining friendships gained within the discord server we all call home. 

 

Behind the Scenes of the Franchise Cup: An Interview with Kilt and GoldenTornado17

The Franchise Cup is now a few weeks old and is quickly becoming a mainstay in MLE. If you’re not familiar with the concept, here is an excerpt from the initial announcement about the Cup:

 Introducing a whole new way to earn glory for your franchise and for yourself… The very first Franchise Cup begins this season! All 32 franchises will compete in the most epic and massive event in MLE history. Teams earn Franchise Points in a variety of ways including winning MLE matches, competing in events, end of season awards, and more! Every goal matters in this format. Never take your foot off the gas if you want to claim the ultimate achievement in taking home the Franchise Cup! Teams win points based on the margin of victory for each game, the number of goals conceded, and underdogs can score massive points for a big upset. But that’s not the only way to get your franchise to the top…”

I wanted to get the inside scoop behind the Franchise Cup, so I went to the Events Team Lead himself, KILT. While talking to KILT, he directed me to the mastermind behind the Franchise Cup, GoldenTornado17. I got to talk with both players about their role in the Franchise Cup, as well as their thoughts on the progress so far and potential future events.

 

Royal: What sparked the idea for the Franchise Cup? 

KILT: The Franchise Cup was thought up by Goldentornado. Something that has always plagued events in the past has been a lack of interest and overall structure, which is something I’ve been aiming to rectify since taking over as Events Team Lead. Thankfully the timing coincided with Golden pitching the idea to Sleegi so the potential was immediately evident.

GoldenTornado: I was actually attempting to create a new rating system that could work across all 5 leagues when I kinda stumbled into the idea of creating a “points” system that rewards teams for how they win individual games and more accurately reflects how dominant a team is in its league. 

 

Royal: What went into the creation and setup of the Cup?

GT: First I needed to make sure that the scoring system and behind-the-scenes stuff would work. I created several google sheets that track stats from the replay bot and instantly update the point totals. I also had the idea of creating events (called Majors) that the events team could run to gain exposure for the Franchise Cup and to give the events team a more scheduled and organized format.

KILT: A lot of the backend was settled before I even saw the project; Golden already had points and how to calculate them in a fairly comprehensive form. The setting up of the Major events was split between the Events Team and headed by myself; a lot of it has been trial-and-error and learning from any mistakes. Thankfully there haven’t been any large scale issues so far, so depending on how the rest of the season goes, I could see the overall event structures evolving for the next season.

 

Royal: What impact do you see the Cup having on the league as a whole?

KILT: The Franchise Cup for me solves two issues; it incentivizes participation in events, which helps the community come together and make new friends within the fun framework of an event. It also brings the franchise together; rather than 5 different leagues just being under the umbrella of a franchise, it provides an overall goal for the entire franchise to aim for. I hope this can bring people who might otherwise never truly interact with each other together and can help the franchise [become] stronger for it.

GT: I think that the Cup will create more team unity across leagues, so people on the Master League team are more invested in the performance of their Academy League teammates since the Franchise Cup requires that every team on a franchise performs well to win. The events side of it is going much better than I had ever hoped and I think that it is giving the MLE a competitive outlet outside of MLE matches that are still important.

 

Royal: How do you see the longevity of the Franchise Cup, and how do you plan on keeping the community engaged?  What events do you have planned for the future? 

GT: I think this has the potential to be an MLE tradition for many seasons to come! I genuinely hope the community will continue to show interest in it and, as they understand how it works better, I hope that more people will follow the standings. The winner of the Franchise Cup is truly the best franchise in the MLE regular season. As far as events go, we are discussing a ton of great ideas for future Majors and even working on some “Minors” which could be game modes like rumble or drop-shot. There is even talk of expanding the events outside of Rocket League if the community showed enough interest. 

KILT: The Franchise Cup is currently every season and that’s what we’re aiming for. I’d like to see it stay as a staple of MLE but it’s something we’ll have to review at the end of this season. For this season, we have 3 Majors planned, with one already concluded and another currently underway. The next Major is a 3v3 double-elimination tournament, which should be very exciting. As for what we have planned, we’re hoping to have some smaller weekend tournaments, as well as tournaments that aren’t just playing the game; such as our current DECORATE THE DESKTOP event, to have people make MLE desktop wallpapers or other events such as a freestyle tournament or even a fashion show.

 

Royal: Are there any off-the-walls ideas? Rocket Labs maps, chaos mixer, anything crazy? 

GT:  Oh we are considering anything! The idea that I most liked so far was a Minecraft event where the franchise with the best design after a week of work wins. 

 

Royal: Do you think it will change the way GMs draft or think about their teams? 

KILT: I don’t personally think it will change the draft strategies of General Managers but if it does, that would be very exciting. There are some General Managers who currently focus on one or two of their teams doing well, even drafting away high draft picks in other leagues to benefit in those one or two, so if this means they value the overall strength of their franchise, then I’d consider that a success.

 

Royal: Who are the front runners that are emerging in the cup so far?

KILT: Our current frontrunners are the Hawks, Bulls, and Knights, with the Hawks and Knights getting a big boost in points from their event placings. The Bulls have had a fairly successful run so far in all of their teams, though the top 10 teams are fairly close in the standings currently.

GT: Right now the Bulls are off to a blistering start thanks to a strong showing in every league, but they have not performed well in tournaments so it has left the door open for teams like the Spectre, Knights, and Hawks to close the gap. The Sabres are also very close to the top few teams but need to step it up in the tournaments 😉 

(Golden later amended his final answer to say that the Hawks are currently killing everyone after week two)

 

I can’t thank KILT and GoldenTornado enough for giving their insight on the Franchise Cup and I think their excitement about it will match the league’s excitement for the cup going forward. I, for one, am looking forward to the Sabres rise to the top.

Inside MLE: April Monthly Insight

Welcome to the latest instalment of MLE Monthly Insight; an in-depth look behind the scenes at the different areas of MLE. In these articles we will look to give you, the community a peep behind the scenes, to see what’s happening and potentially what’s coming. With playoffs literally just around the corner it’s been a busy time behind the scenes so what’s been going on? Let’s find out…

Community

With franchise logo reveals now well underway, there were two community surveys published to gauge community reaction to 10 of the revealed logos. We received a decent number of responses to both surveys, though the more feedback we get the better perspective we have of community opinion. Generally the consensus on the logos revealed so far has been positive, with a few caveats, which we will touch upon.

So how were the last 10 logos revealed received?

From the infographic there’s clearly one “anomaly” in comparison to the rest of the logos. The Spectre, Spartans and Bulls logos were all well received, with strong positive like to dislike ratios. In particular the Spartans, which no one ranked below 3. The only main criticism of the Spartans logo was the “mane”, which some people felt went too far around the helmet. The Bulls logo received a fair amount of praise for its shading and use of colours but there was some uncertainty regarding the “white circle backdrop”. The Spectre logo was commended for its design and use of colours though there were some who felt a different design would have suited the franchise more.

The one “anomaly” in the pack was the Flames logo. Before the logo was revealed we had a hunch that the logo may divide opinion due to it’s relatively minimalistic nature. It appears from the feedback that the simplicity of the logo was the main criticism, with lack of shading and detail cited. It’s clear the logo didn’t meet a number of people’s expectations and we are reviewing the possibility of changes.

The Eclipse, Hawks, Hive and Wizards also had their logos revealed this past month, let’s see what the community had to say about them?

As with the previous four logos the reception was generally positive. The Hawks logo was complimented for its design and detail with people stating the Hawk looked fierce and aggressive. One of the main points of contention raised was the general size/proportion of the logo due to its width. The Wizards logo, with a like to dislike ratio of 7.6 to 1, was praised for its general design and its “relatability” to the franchise. A few people felt the secondary colour of the franchise, yellow, could have been incorporated more into the logo. The Hive divided opinion somewhat, with the design being the focal point for divide in opinion. A number of people liked the angular design and sharp edges but there was some criticism of the use of red in the logo. Lastly the Eclipse is one that has split opinion right down the middle with a 1-1 like to dislike ratio. Majority of people felt the colour scheme gave the logo a clean and bold look. The main issue a number of people had was with association and relatability. A portion of people felt the logo didn’t symbolise what they expect when thinking of Eclipse.

Lastly the Sabres and Express also received new logos…

The Express received the honour of joining the Spartans in receiving no “dislikes” (i.e. a rating of 1 or 2). The main compliments of the logo were the level detail of the use of colours. There was a proportion of people who felt the steam wasn’t necessary or could be reduced but there were no common complaints regarding the logo. The Sabres was also generally well received, with people liking the general design however there was a common theme regarding certain changes such as incorporating white fur to increase association with Sabretooth tigers. The nose was also a contentious point of the design, with a proportion of people feeling it didn’t look right.

Overall the feedback to logos has been generally positive so far. We will discuss the design of each logo a little bit more in-depth in the media section. As many in the community will be aware after recent discussions and a community poll, we have decided to change tact in terms of revealing logos. We had been revealing a few each week on stream. However with playoffs starting next week (9th May) there was a desire, especially from a Broadcast perspective, to have all the franchise logos ready to use come the start of the playoffs. With this in mind we will be broadcasting a special reveal stream this Friday (time tbc) on the MLE Network.

Of course the Community the team has been busy elsewhere. Admissions continue to run smoothly and the team are gearing up for the inevitable increase in applications that come with the playoffs. Below are admissions stats for the month of April. Big GGs to the admissions team for bringing in fresh meat to the community!

Recently, the Events team has still been attempting to rebuild and improve event player numbers. The team are planning on utilizing the off-season survey to hear community suggestions on the future of MLE Events. Two events are currently being planned for the playoffs. The first is another Crew Battles event and we hope to put on a Call of Duty Warzone competition event. More info on these will be released soon. The team are confident that with the feedback from the community on this seasons off-season survey that they can bring enjoyable events for everyone.

The Power Rankings Committee, with the assistance of  a couple of community members, are working on a community feature to be run during the playoffs. The feature is hoped to bring an extra level of interest and engagement into every playoff series. More details will be released this week once the idea has been finalised.

LEAGUE OPERATIONS

It’s been largely business as usual for League Operations this past month, ensuring things run smoothly and rules around league play are enforced appropriately. Focus obviously has now turned to playoffs and ensuring everything is set from a League Operations perspective. The League Ops team have compiled a Playoff document that will provide useful information for players and teams. This will be released within the next day.

BROADCAST

It’s been exciting times in the Broadcast department. As the team start to get pumped up for the playoffs, there have been several improvements to Broadcast operations and output. Behind the scenes we have recently invested in VMIX. VMIX allows for greater flexibility and efficiency when it comes to running broadcasts and will allow us to take our broadcasts to new heights. This investment wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our great community!

On screen you will hopefully have been seeing some of the improvements the team have been working on. One in particular we are very happy with is the implementation of player stats during series. See the clip below from the Blizzard vs Hurricanes Foundation League series to see it in action!

The Broadcast team are continually working to implement extra features that improve the quality and presentation of streams. There’s lots more in-store for broadcasts for the future! The team feel there have great strides made this season and there are some “massive projects” in the works for next season.

In the nearer future Broadcast are working with Media team to ensure all franchise logos are incorporated into assets for the playoffs. Don’t forget we will have a special stream this Friday showing off the remaining logos yet to be revealed!

We hope these improvements will create greater engagement with streams and in tandem, increase viewing figures. There was a small increase in viewing figures during April compared to previous months. We hit a new peak for maximum viewers for the season and the average number of viewers for the month was up on the seasonal average.

Broadcast viewing and revenue stats for April & Season 10. Viewing figures do not take into account draft shows, revenue stats taken from 1st January.

Those figures don’t take into account the week 10 viewing figures, which saw a strong increase in viewing figures, with a new peak viewership achieved of 225 and an average viewing figures of well above 100 for the weekend. These figures also don’t take into account those who tuned into mlesportsgg2 over the weekend. Broadcast hope to utilise mlesportsgg2 much more frequently next season. We would like to take this moment to thank everyone for their support by tuning into streams, the support has been amazing!

Lastly here’s a look at some of the scheduling distribution stats. These stats include week 10 streams. All franchises were broadcasted at least once, with 27 out of the 32 franchises broadcast at least 3 times during the season. In total, 70.31% of teams were broadcast this season. We are relatively happy with the spread over the course of the season but realise there are a few gaps. We are looking to make significant changes to scheduling and series distribution for next season to allow for a more “even spread”.

Broadcast scheduling distribution for season 10.

And lastly, while Broadcast is focused on providing the best experience possible during the playoffs, the wheels are already in motion for Season 11. The team are always on the look out for new talent and support. If you fancy our hand at casting or broadcasting or perhaps supporting the team behind the scenes, feel free to reach out to one of the Broadcast “heads” about getting involved. The team are committed to supporting and developing talent, so don’t worry if you haven’t had much experience.

MEDIA

With the regular season drawing to conclusion the media team have been concentrating majority of their effort on playoff assets. We are looking to make this Seasons playoffs the “best looking” yet and a number of assets are currently in production that will be revealed on streams, website, social media, etc. over the course of the playoffs. To wet your appetites and provide a sneak peek, check the tab below here for a preview of “Road to Champion Series” graphic. These graphics will show each team in the playoffs “route” to the playoffs… and maybe Championship Series!

Road to Championship Series graphic

As promised, let’s take a deeper dive into the recently revealed franchise logos mentioned earlier. Our objective with the franchise logos was for a relatively clean style that erred more to a relative simplistic but focused look. One that would give each franchise a clear and unique image but one that fit in with the overall presentation of MLE.

In last months insight we went into some detail regards Spectre and Flames logo. Our own opinions and thoughts regarding Spectre logo have not changed and the feedback from the survey cemented those thoughts. The Flames however has seen a fair amount of discussion since the release and reception of the feedback from surveys. While we generally don’t want to make any drastic changes to many if any of the logos revealed we are not wholly opposed to changes if we feel necessary. Based on the feedback of the Flames logo we are looking into possible changes, however at this moment there is nothing concrete to announce.

The Spartans logo was pretty much an instantaneous hit upon first reveal. The design we felt while immediately obvious, was strong and bold. The logo did undergo one small alteration before being finalised to the logo that was revealed to the community. In the first draft of the logo the mane had a white “tip” that curved around part of top of the main. We felt this detail wasn’t necessary and also the extra colour didn’t fit with the overall design of the logo.

The Bulls logo was one logo that actually underwent a major redesign. The first draft of the logo was a “head on shot” of a Bulls head. While the logo wasn’t bad it was generally perceived to be not in keeping with our design and presentation objectives and requirements. One of the main criticisms was it felt a bit generic and aped a “Texan” aesthetic. The designer went back to the drawing board and came up with the current design, which met our expectations. One aspect we really like and think is key a component of the new logo is the sense of motion/charging, making it more dynamic than the previous design.

Bulls logo change

The Hawks logo underwent a few changes from its first draft. Those changes being the inclusion of white (the white eyes in the first draft are actually transparent) and the double outline. We felt the outline and the inclusion of white gave the logo more pop, helping to define its features such as the feathers and talons. These changes we felt improved the logo considerably. There were some concerns on the size, particularly the width of the logo however we feel it can be incorporated into MLE. This logo is one that has grown on TheGamingBear (President of MLE) considerably over time, “fun fact” for you there!

Hawks logo changes

Despite the Eclipse logo receiving mixed feedback, upon being revealed by the designer it was well received. We particularly liked the themes and feel of an Eclipse were present in the logo without being too obvious. While we know the design has split opinion in the community we feel over time a number of people will become more accustomed to it. We expect this to happen with a few of the logos. As they start to be incorporated into the league people will start to associate and relate them to the franchises over time.

The Wizards logo didn’t undergo much change from first draft to final design, with the only change being made in the beard department. The first draft had more “curly” elements to it, which was something we felt didn’t quite look right and the beard was made much smoother and fuller.

Wizards logo changes

The Hive logo made an instant impression on us when first shown by the designer. We felt the design was bold and striking. One element we particularly liked about the Hive logo was the somewhat “honeycomb” inspired outline. There wasn’t really anything we felt needed changing with the Hive logo so the design that was revealed was in fact the first iteration of the design shown to us.

The Sabres logo didn’t undergo any revisions from its first draft. There were some concerns regarding the nose however we felt it gave a “snarling”, fierce look to the logo.

The Express logo did undergo a few changes from its first draft. We felt the first draft provided a good foundation to develop the logo a bit further. We felt the inclusion of steam gave the logo more depth and identity, whilst changing the outline colour gave the logo more definition. Lastly we felt the train element of the logo was a bit too “wide and short” and the shape was adjusted to it’s final design.

Express logo changes

MARKETING

In the Marketing department, work has been ongoing to improve promotion on Social Media. It’s likely we will be looking for additional support in this area over the playoffs. Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement.

We will be looking to reinvest some of the revenue generated from different streams (merch, Twitch, etc.) into advertising and promotion going forward, as we feel it will help increase the exposure of MLE.

With the upcoming reveal of the remaining franchise logos, preparation is well underway to incorporate all the franchise logos on the store. All being well products will be available soon after the reveals. We know there has been a continuous interest in jerseys and this is something we are continuing to explore. It’s important we find the right supplier and distributor for such a product therefore it will likely take sometime before we come to a decision, most likely at least a few months. We can’t give any definitive time frames but we are committed to making it happen.

SPONSORSHIP

Not too much to report from a Sponsorship perspective, the team are settling under new guidance from Mobgaz. Emphasis right now is on reaching out to potential sponsors whilst maintaining existing sponsorship relationships. Don’t forget you can get free shipping on any order of BAWLS Guarana by using the promo code “MLE”. Perfect for some refreshment during the playoffs!

We had 3 community PowerA giveaways last month! Each lucky winner the recipient of a Spectra Enhanced Wired controller courtesy of our friends at PowerA. Check out the stats from each giveaway below!

PowerA controller giveaway community winners for April
WEBSITE

Over the past month the development team has been working closely with our broadcasting team to brighten up the scoreboard. By using the endpoints available from the website, we can pull in franchise and player data directly into the broadcast. SimpleAOB has been working on a robust control-board application for our casters. The team has also been working on a “Playoffs landing page”. Stay tuned for an announcement later this week. Looking further down the road, the team plan to add player’s salary, rank and other data to each profile.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

April saw a large amount of investment into MLE, most notably the final payments for franchise logos as well as a sizeable investment for broadcast. We are committed to ensuring revenue generated through Twitch, Patreon and merch is reinvested back into the league that improves the quality of our output and also benefits the community as a whole. Now that franchise logos are complete we can focus on other areas such as broadcast, where we can reinvest revenue. The infographic below shows the distribution of revenue reinvested for the season so far.


And that concludes the Monthly Insight for April! It’s been a busy month behind the scenes. We hope you have enjoyed this insight behind the scenes. We strive to make them as informative and interesting as possible. If there is anything you would like to see or hear about please feel free to send your suggestions via the usual formats.

As we enter the Playoffs and concluding weeks of the Season, the excitement grows and we can’t wait to finish the season with a bang! There’s lots in store and we wish all those competing in the playoffs the best of luck. And to those teams and players that didn’t make it we hope you enjoyed the season regardless and are itching for Season 11 to come around. So folks, fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride! It’s destination Season 10 Playoffs!

Thanks for reading,
from everyone at Minor League Esports

Inside MLE: March Monthly Insight

Welcome to the latest instalment of MLE Monthly Insight; an in-depth look behind the scenes at the different areas of MLE. In these articles we will look to give you, the community a peep behind the scenes, to see what’s happening and potentially what’s coming. So let’s get to it…

Community

There’s been a fair bit going down on in Community Town this past month. No doubt many of you will have seen some of the surveys going out including the “sentiment survey” and the recent logo survey. Thank you to all those people that have responded to either or both of the surveys. The feedback provided has been very insightful and is helping to structure some of our plans and and shaping our internal discussions.

The sentiment survey has given us some very useful feedback and highlighted areas where we can make improvements. The survey did highlight some concerns, criticisms of the communication regarding logos, which we believe was largely based on communication early on in the process (Season 8 and fair portion of Season 9). We agree communication could have been better during that period but since then we have made continual improvements, especially since the release of the “logo limbo” insight article posted August, 2019.

Segueing into the logo survey, we received a good level response. We will be looking to publish survey for each “batch” of logos revealed. This gives the community a better chance to digest each logo and provide clearer feedback for us. We will “talk” a bit more about the design elements of logos later on in this article under the media section but we wanted to take this opportunity to share general consensus so far.

The general consensus based on the feedback has been generally positive with some great feedback been provided on not only our communication and the logos process but on the logos themselves. We’ve seen a fair amount of conflicting opinions this past week since 6 of the franchise logos were revealed. The infographic below gives an overall summary of general consensus on the first 4 logos revealed, which formed the bulk of the survey.

Ratings for each logo from the survey so far. Like-dislike ratio based on ratings of 1 & 2 being dislike and 4 & 5 being like. Ratings of 3rd April.

Looking into the feedback at more detail for each logo revealed some common themes. For the Aviators logo, the community generally liked the simplicity of the logo in particular the clean lines & “wings” element of the logo. A proportion of people were unsure of the A/chevron and a few people were hoping the logo would incorporate a plane or pilot in some form.

The Blizzard logo was the most divisive. People generally liked the level of detail and the colours of logo but the biggest area of contention was with the use of a Yeti for the logo, with a noticeable proportion of people saying they didn’t really associate the image of a Yeti with the franchise.

The Comets logo has received a positive reception with most people liking the simplicity and bright colours of the logo. One notable criticism made was the use of the letter c being used to represent a comet itself.

Lastly the Demolition was the best received out of the 4. People generally agreed the style and design suited the franchise, stating the logo gave the franchise character. The main criticism of the logo is the colour scheme itself.

So that’s a summary of the voting so far. A big thank you to everyone who provided feedback. But what does this feedback mean going forward? Well it’s unlikely to have any immediate and direct changes. While we know there have been contrasting opinions on the logos, some more than others, the general consensus appears to be positive, which we are happy to report. Of course this doesn’t mean these logos can’t or won’t change over time but for the immediate future we want to give them, and those still to be released, time to embed into MLE. As we saw during the MLD era logos did develop and evolve over time and we are always committed to improving where possible. For now though we hope people are enjoying the reveals and we look forward to revealing more over the coming weeks.

Of course Community isn’t just about surveys. One area of MLE that some people may not think about is the admissions process. Our admissions team have been working consistently throughout the season to ensure a steady stream of new faces join the community, so a big welcome to all those that have joined us this past few month. We thought we would use this opportunity to provide some statistics and a brief overview of the process that give an insight into how involved the admissions team are.

The admissions process is essentially split into 3 phases:

  • Application: where a person applies to join MLE. Their form is then reviewed & processed by admin team. During this phase the admin team will be looking through all relevant information provided on the form, such as RL tracker, Twitter, Steam account, etc. A decision on whether to approve an application will then be made.
  • Interview: after an applicant has been approved and joins the admission server they are then interviewed by a member of MLE admissions team to see if they are a good fit for the community.
  • Orientation: after being interviewed, should an applicant be deemed as a good fit they are then invited to an orientation session. Here a member of the admissions team provides important and relevant information to support and help applicants before they join the MLE server.

Hopefully those stats give an indication of the work load of the admissions team as well as the amount of people “coming through the doors”. A big thank you to our admissions team for all their work in keeping a steady stream of new, excitable faces into our community.

LEAGUE OPERATIONS

Not too much from League Operations perspective to report this month. It’s all relatively business as usual as focus is on day-to-day operations such as scheduling, transactions (roster changes, rank ups, etc.) and resolving any issues that arise from competitive action.

There are two points worth noting though. The first being the new ineligibility system, which required rebuilding the database and spreadsheet structure entirely to be able to account for salary on a daily basis. Huge shout out to Peytoneli for his work on this. The second point is the Statistics Team bringing on kcscrag to help with data entry, and Squanchy to rebuild his excellent standings sheet in MLE-form. Expect that to be released in the coming days.

Focus will soon start to turn to playoffs and ensuring everything is in place to ensure as smooth operation as possible. This will include coordinating with broadcast team to determine scheduling responsibilities and ensuring General Managers are aware of the structure and any relevant information they need to know and pass onto their players.

BROADCAST

On a broadcast front improvements are continually being made and we have some exciting things in the works we are looking to bring in the near future that we think will increase the level of production.

This past month we put out a broadcast survey to gauge community opinion on broadcasts. A big thank you to everyone who replied so far, we had over 30 responses to date. For those who put their Twitch ID on the forms the free 100 reward points have been added to your accounts. Here are some of the key figures/results from the survey.

Results for following questions: “how often do you watch MLE streams?” (top-left), “on a scale of 1 to 5, how much do you enjoy MLE streams?” (top-right), “How would you rate the promotion of broadcasts?” (bottom-left), “Overall how would you rate the quality of casting?” (bottom-right)

Those are just some of the “key” results from the survey, there’s obviously a fair amount of feedback and ratings provided that we will detail. But a general summary from the survey can be that the results are positive with a few areas of improvement.  Obviously the results are from a small sample of the community but they provide a general indication of thoughts. We know not all 1400 community members watch streams, though we always hope they might :). 30 responses essentially reflects about 30-50% of viewers based on average and peak viewing figures. What’s great to see is nearly 75% of those who completed the survey said they watch 3 or more streams a month. This gives some validity to the results, as the majority of feedback is being provided by those who have more exposure to streams and therefore likely to be able to form stronger opinions.

Stream enjoyment is definitely something we are interested with. We want to make sure people enjoy watching the streams. Simply put, if people do they will likely tune in more. It’s clear though there is a proportion of people who feel we could be doing more to make streams more exciting and we are continually looking at ways to do just that.

Steam promotion is one area, which based on feedback could do with some improvement with the main points being about consistent promotion as well as ensuring broadcast schedule is posted well ahead of time. Ideally we want to have the broadcast schedule out by Friday of each week although there have been a couple of instances where perhaps we have not delivered to this timeframe. Something we will aim to rectify going forward.

Although not shown on the graphic, the survey included a number of questions regarding the presentation of broadcasts. The ratings were positive across the board, “good” counts as a rating of 4/5:
82% rated the quality of graphics at least good or better
87% rated the scoreboard at least good or better
91% rated the scoreboard at least good or better
90% rated the image quality of streams at least good or better
90% rated the smoothness and stability of the action at least good or better

Great results across the board and a true testament to the fantastic work behind the scenes to make our broadcasts look awesome! But we won’t rest on our laurels here, you can be sure we will continually be making improvements over time.

In terms of casting, the response was generally positive as well however a few issues were brought up, which the broadcast team will be looking to address. Primarily there will be even more focus on caster training and development, ensuring budding casters aren’t “thrown into the deep” end too soon. That being said the availability and levels of resource when it comes to broadcasting talent can sometimes be limited. It means we have to give those with perhaps as not much experience a chance. That concludes our look at the broadcast survey, please don’t be afraid to submit more feedback or fill out a form if you haven’t already done so.

Moving on from the survey. We know the broadcast schedule can create some debate and discussion in the community. The majority of franchises and subsequently the teams and players that represent them all hope to feature on stream. From an organisational perspective we try to balance giving each franchise exposure, each of the four leagues coverage and also try to put the best match ups on stream. Before we go into this in more detail let’s look at some stats surrounding broadcast scheduling for the season up till the end of March.

At the end of last month, 75% of franchises (24 out of 32) had featured on stream at least once. During March, 7 of those franchises featured on stream at least once, meaning 96.8% (31 out of 32) franchises have been streamed. The Sabres, the only franchise to have not been streamed, were streamed this weekend (April 4th) so that figure now sits at 100%, which is great, with still 3 weeks of regular season broadcasts left. It’s difficult to ensure an even spread amongst franchises due to the flexibility of our scheduling system, which allows series to be scheduled any time within a set period, Thursday-Saturday, not including “double header series”. The only way to ensure an almost even spread would be to implement hard-scheduling however this would restrict players to only be allowed play at certain times.

We are continually looking at our scheduling system and seeing where improvements can be made. It’s definitely something that will be reviewed in the off-season to see if any improvements can be made that benefit and balance things from an organisational, franchise and player perspective.

Lastly over to viewing figures for March. They were slightly down compared to the rest of the season however we are not too concerned and are confident viewer numbers will pick up going into the business end of league play. Big thank you to anyone who choses to tune into the MLE Network at any point. We appreciate the support and hope you enjoy the content.

MEDIA

Naturally there is a lot of focus on the franchise logos currently as they start to be revealed. So far 6 logos have been revealed: Aviators, Blizzard, Comets, Demolition, Flames & Spectre. Hopefully these logos have given everyone an idea of the general style we have tried to implement. Our vision and objective with the franchise logos was to have clean, relatively simplistic logos that gave each franchise an identity, whilst still feeling part of MLE. We wanted to stray away from the “generic” esports style logos that seem common place, as we felt they don’t really fit in with the identity of MLE. We thought we would take this moment to give a brief insight behind each logo revealed so far. The people involved in MLE hierarchy with the logo process were all Leadership and Council members, including advisors, as well as Goofy (Media coordinator) and Sleegi (Broadcast & Marketing coordinator).

The Aviators logo was the first logo created. This was done back in September 2019. We felt the simplicity of the design was one of the main positives. Not encumbered with too much detail but something straight, clear and bold. The “wing” element and the stylised chevron give the logo that identity and relatability to the Aviators without being directly obvious.

The Blizzard logo took many of us by surprise at first as like many, we didn’t naturally think of a Yeti. That being said it immediately became obvious to us and we could see the relevance. It soon felt like a unique twist, avoiding the trappings of the old snowsept mountain logo. It has divided opinion in the community however we are confident with time it will grow on people.

The Comets logo was one that pretty much was universally liked upon the first design being shown. The bold, bright colours mixed in with the imagery felt a natural fit for the franchise. The logo did undergo a small revision however as the “trail” was much longer and we envisioned this may be problematic for merch, graphics, etc. and so the designer reduced the length of to it’s now current state. For a bit of fun, we have popped the original logo below (behind a spoiler, what teases!)

reveal logo
original Comets logo

The Demolition logo was also well received upon being shown to us by the designer. We felt the mischievous look of the logo felt in keeping with the Demolition franchise, one that is associated with a bit of craziness and mayhem.

The Spectre logo, revealed this past weekend, dubbed “lil’ spooky boi”, was also generally well received. We all felt the logo had personality and seemed to fit the identity of the franchise; spooky but with a hint of playfulness that avoided the logo being too “dark” and out of touch with the overall presentational style.

Spectre logo
Spectre logo

The Flames logo, revealed on last night’s stream, was one of the more divisive logos amongst those of us involved in the process. Some of us really liked the simplicity and the fact the flames were stylised to look like an F, while others felt perhaps it needed more detail. We decided to keep the logo as it was for the time being. Throughout the process we have been conscious about time and we wanted to ensure time wasn’t being wasted “perfecting” a logo, when that time could have been used to start/develop others. Of course this doesn’t mean we said yes to every 1st draft going, the Flames was one of the logos which did undergo a slight tweak, which saw the Flames being made thicker.

Flames logo
Flames logo

After revealing these logos we have had many questions, enquiries, etc. around the whole logo design process, especially from the survey. If you have not seen it already a new channel, #logo-faq, has been created in the Discord server to answer some of the common questions asked. Hopefully this provides more clarity to the process and giving an extra level of detail to it. Don’t forget all logo reveals can be viewed on YouTube too!

Lastly we have seen some misinformation stated regarding the cost of logos. Previously we have held back discussing this however now that logos are starting to be revealed we know feel it’s the right time to offer some insight to this. Both designers we are working with offered very attractive and fair rates, which worked out at $62.50 per logo. Simple maths $62.50 x 32 is $2000. We are very happy with the quality of output in relation to the cost of production, especially considering some quotes we received while researching were 2-3 times higher than this. We would like to take this moment to thank both designers for their efforts and are looking forward to giving them the acknowledgement and respect once all 32 are revealed.

On the subject of revealing the logos we are currently revealing two a week, one at the end of every stream. We are hoping to increase this rate with a view to having all 32 released by the Championship series, though this is dependant on time and resource available. Regardless of if we can make that target, all 32 logos will be ready to go (barring any unforeseen circumstances) for Season 11.

Of course Media isn’t all about logos. The team have been working as always to ensure weekly tasks are completed and focus is now starting to shift towards playoffs. Behind the scenes Goofy is in coordination with Broadcast to bring some exciting things to stream, which we hope to bring to you in the near future. There is also a focus to automate some assets to allow for more efficient processes and working. This last week the Conference standings graphics you see on screen can now be automatically filled with the relevant stats, saving time and resource that can be spent improving elements. Big thanks to AOB for his work on making that happen.

MARKETING

It’s relatively quiet in terms of Marketing the team are currently looking towards playoffs and beyond in terms of plans. We are also reviewing our Social media interactivity and processes around it. The aim is to create a more streamlined and productive way of working, which will help us be more consistent in our promotion and activity on Social Media.

On the merch side of things the store saw a very quiet month with only 1 sale. This was to be predicted somewhat as new logos start to roll into town, there’s no doubt people will be waiting for these to be released before purchasing merch. We are hoping to add some new designs in the meantime however so keep your eyes peeled for further news on that. Unfortunately due to current coronavirus pandemic, Spreadshirt has stopped promotions (i.e. sale periods) for the foreseeable future. This is to ensure they can meet demand while also ensuring safe-working. More information can be found here.

Latest merch info. Please note there was an error with total no. of sales shown on Februarys graphic that didn’t account for 11 sales.
SPONSORSHIP

There has been a change in the Sponsorship team. Therealmobagz (yup not that fake one) has recently come on board as the new Sponsorship Coordinator taking over from Scoobert. We would like to take this moment to say thank you to Scoobert for all his work and effort during his time as Sponsorship Coordinator. Mobagz has been on the team for a while and we have full confidence he will help lead and direct the Sponsorship team.

Things have been inevitably quiet for Sponsorship whilst the change took place. The main priority for the team during this time is to maintain existing relationships and ensure any agreements are suitably met and delivered.

There was just one PowerA giveaway last month due to the bye week. VoidRL was the lucky community member who won themselves an awesome Spectra Enhanced Wired Xbox One controller. Due to the changes in the Sponsorship team there was a delay on sending out the controllers but they will soon start to be sent out to winners. We still have more PowerA giveaways coming, with 4 more Spectra controllers to give away over the course of the regular season! Congratulations to Atokad, who won this weekends giveaway!

WEBSITE

Our website is a key component of league for many reasons and there is always something happening behind the scenes when it comes to the development of it. This past month TeaBoneJones joined the website development team and he will be working on an exciting feature. Each player’s salary and rank will be available on their profile and be updated frequently so the information does not become outdated. This is something we know a number of people have requested.

We are also considering getting the content train back up and running again. If you have a passion or interest in journalism/writing and feel you could produce regular, engaging content on behalf of MLE for the website then please reach out TheGamingBear.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

As our community has grown there has been increasing interest in how things work behind the scenes and specifically where the revenue generated from Twitch, Patreon and merchandise is used. As stated frequently, revenue has mainly been used for the creation and development for logos for our 32 franchises. But we thought we would give a bit more insight into where the revenue is used and how it is essentially split. The information provided in the graphic below doesn’t account for all revenue, but more the distribution of the revenue that has been used this season.

Not all revenue that has been generated has been used. We essentially have managed revenue for future investments and projects. We are conscious of using any revenue wisely, ensuring any use of the revenue is beneficial and worthwhile. As you can see from the infographic revenue so far this season has only been used for a small number of aspects. As we near the completion of logos we can now start to look at other projects and potential investments.

In last month’s insight you may remember a brief mention regarding Patreon and a purpose to breath new life into it. As you know the world has somewhat changed this past month and we felt it best to hold off any changes for the time being. We didn’t feel it quite right promoting Patreon during this period of uncertainty. Of course we know Patreon is completely voluntary but at the same time we want to ensure people focus on what’s really important.

For those current Patreons we appreciate your continued support and we aren’t forgetting about you we can assure you. Your support has directly helped MLE, helping us fund such projects as franchise logos and ensuring we can keep services such as the website running. And while we but plans to refresh Patreon on a small hiatus you can be rest assured it gives more time to improve those changes.

So lastly we wanted to take this moment to reflect a bit on the state of things and how it effects MLE. Obviously as an online Esports organisation our operations aren’t really affected. However we know the situation is affecting many of our community members. While MLE can’t solve everyones’ problems we do want to encourage people in community to come together and support one and another through it. We have a great community built on respect and strong values, and in such testing times the strength and value of the community can be a great source of support for the people in it. So remember be kind, be respectful. Have fun and most importantly right now stay safe.

Thanks for reading,
from everyone at Minor League Esports

Inside MLE: February Monthly Insight

Welcome to the latest instalment of MLE Monthly Insight; an in-depth look behind the scenes at the different areas of MLE. In these articles we will look to give you, the community a peep behind the scenes, to see what’s happening and potentially what’s coming. So let’s get to it…

Community

Since the last insight Stovvadz has been installed as Community Director. The primary reasons behind this was to give Stovvadz more responsibility within MLE and to bolster Community operations. We are placing more than ever a greater focus on the Community, working on improving engagement and interaction. Part of those improvements have seen the Community team discuss potential surveys, which saw the release of a community survey regarding the Discord server. From this survey we have made a few changes such as merging two training channels into one, removing the redundant coaching role and looking to breath new life into the Hall of Fame amongst other things.

A new Community survey is planned to be released within the coming days. This survey will allow the Community to provide feedback on topics such as transparency, staff interactions with the community, and various other important topics. We appreciate any feedback we get and the more people that provide it the better we can act upon it and look to make improvements from it.

The Community team is also hard at work looking at how to improve how suggestions are handled. We were looking into using EMILIO (Riz’s lovechildbot) to create a new suggestion system. This has proved trickier than first thought and would be difficult to implement all the functionality we would require. Instead of implementing a bot system some upgrades have been made to the current suggestions tracker based on feedback & suggestions.

We are delighted with the response and attendance to the Council Q&As. We hope the Community have enjoyed them so far. Going forward we will look to try hold these at least bi-weekly if not more often, with at least a couple of Council members in attendance at each Q&A. Some of you maybe wondering if this signals the death of the Town Hall? Well after reviewing our operations we have decided to focus Town Halls for the off-season, when there is usually a greater influx of new members to MLE, as well as a number of organisational changes (i.e. rules, structure, etc.).

Elsewhere in the Community team, the events team has not had much success with events so far this season, with low sign-up numbers a problem. The team are committed to providing engaging and entertaining events for the community and are looking at ways to make events more attractive.

Admissions has been running smoothly, with a steady flow of new people joining the community. As always we welcome those joining and hope you enjoy being part of MLE.

Play of the Week activity has been slightly disappointing in terms of voting this season, with approximately 20 valid votes each week. We are looking at ways to improve visibility of Play of the Week and make the process more straight forward. Don’t forget You can see all the Plays of the Week winners from this Season and previous ones on YouTube.

LEAGUE OPERATIONS

Now the Season is well under way, the primary “grind” for League Ops has started. The bulk of League Ops daily work is transactions and ranks, ensuring these are dealt with efficiently and processed correctly. The start of the season always provides a few unique challenges. One of the main ones this season is a result of the change of uploading replays instead of result screenshots. There’s been a few struggles acclimating to this change but things have improved over the past few weeks and the process has become almost routine for all involved. This is only possible thanks to the efforts of the statistics team and General Managers, so thank you to all involved for their work & co-operation.

League Ops is always looking at General Managers responsibilities and how they can be simplified/made easier. With this in mind the team implemented new GM support roles including Captains & Public Relations support. These additions appear to be well received and the League Ops team is very pleased with the results fo far.

One issue the team encountered in Week 1 was with regards the server reset rules. The team addressed these by rewriting the “Once Underway” section of the rule book to better explain the process following a reset request. To our knowledge, no issues akin to what happened in Week 1 have occurred since.

Looking forward, League Ops current goals for the coming weeks include upping support for the developers team, in an effort to begin displaying on our website the work stats team has done assembling MLE’s historical data in a readable and usable fashion. This process is likely to take quite some time, but it is a daily effort from the developer team and stats team alike. They are also working on a way to open up the replays we’re collecting for community use. And finally, EMILIO is an ongoing project that League Ops intend to, one day, appoint as Supreme Ruler of League Operations.

BROADCAST

The Broadcast team has had a good start to the Season, and despite a few minor issues, have set a good foundation going forward. Very recently our Broadcast operations received a big boost thanks to Simple_Aob who has developed a system, which essentially automates key parts of our broadcast such as transitions. This system will mean, in theory, we have a greater pool of broadcasters to call upon. It also will help deliver a more consistent quality of broadcasts. So a big “nice one!” goes to Aob for implementing this for us. We have also implemented a new system for updating our scoreboard, which also simplifies the process for Broadcasters. These improvements have given us a strong platform to build upon and we are now looking at ways how we can improve our output.

Viewer numbers for the Season so far have been decent however we would like streams to consistently achieve an average of 100 viewers. We are always looking at ways to increase the attraction of broadcasts and are open to suggestions. We would like to encourage more people, especially franchise accounts, to retweet the official broadcast schedule posted on Twitter each week. This will help provide more exposure, especially in the Rocket League community. The infographic below shows viewing figures for past month and Season 10 as a whole up to now, as well as revenue generated (please note this does not take into account any commission Twitch receives).

Broadcast viewer and revenue figures. Seasonal viewing figures do not take into account draft streams but revenue figures taken from 1st January. Figures correct as of 6th March.

The Affiliate program has had a good start to the season as well, with Riyo doing an excellent job leading that side of Broadcast. We currently have a good number of people in the program close to becoming verified, which will mean more Affiliate Broadcasts! We are looking into ways we can improve the exposure of verified broadcasts. Part of the “problem” is Affiliate Broadcasts don’t follow a set schedule as do Official Broadcasts. This means we are not always sure how many Affiliate Broadcasts there will be each week and when they will be. This makes promotion a little less straight forward but not impossible. Two ways we will promote such streams are through announcements, as well as posting Affiliate Broadcasts for that week in the broadcast-schedule channel.

One element of Broadcast operations that has been discussed in the community recently is that of Broadcast series scheduling/allocation. We understand there’s a desire for teams to get a fair share of screen time and we will endeavour to achieve this were possible. Due to the manner of how series are scheduled it is not straight forward to ensure an equal spread of series amongst teams. Bearing in mind there are only 6 “stream slots” each week, which means a total of 12 teams can be streamed each week. With 10 weekends of broadcast action, which essentially means there are 60 stream slots, so there are 120 opportunities for a team to be selected. There are 112 teams in MLE (split amongst the 32 franchises), which means in theory each team could be streamed once, but for that to happen would there would need to be “perfect scheduling” (i.e. teams scheduling in broadcast times every week). Therefore it’s somewhat an impossible task so we have to strike a balance between fairness as well as ensuring the best matches are shown. The infographic below gives some detail on the broadcast spread so far this season.

Broadcast series scheduling information for the season so far.
MEDIA

Our media team has been mainly focused on cranking out the weekly assets, such as Stars of the Week, Play of the Week, etc. We have also implemented Conference standings graphics for each league, which those who tuned into the Week 3 Broadcasts will have seen (see example below). We are looking to implement more stats/info based graphics as the season progresses.

Academy League Standings going into week 2.

The team has undergone a small restructure with the addition of Wheezy to the team, whilst Porkchop and TeaBoneJones stepped down. We would like to take this moment to thank them both for their support. Wheezy brings years of expertise and knowledge that we hope will help improve our visual output.

We know everyone is eager to know more logo progress. We currently sit at 16 of the 32 logos complete, halfway there! We are really happy with the quality of the logos produced so far and look forward to seeing the remaining 16 completed. We know progress has perhaps been slower than people hoped/expected and in full honesty we would have liked the progress to be a bit quicker but we didn’t want to compromise on quality & style. With that being said we are looking into speeding up the development, with an eye to ensure all logos are complete by the end of the Season and ready to roll out for Season 11, if not earlier.

MARKETING

The Marketing department has had a somewhat slow start to the season but plans are in place to increase productivity and output. The merch store will see some new designs coming in the near future. We had planned to release them in good time for RLCS, to give anyone who was attending an opportunity to rep MLE and their favourite franchise. Sadly with the cancellation of RLCS has somewhat hampered our plans but we still plan on releasing these designs soon. We are quite happy with the results of the merch store in terms of sales since its “doors opened”.  We would like to thank all those that have support MLE via buying merch, your support has directly been invested into MLE. You can see some interesting merch data in the infographic below as well as upcoming offers. While we are generally happy with the merch store we are exploring the possibility of changing our store front as we recognise some of the limitations our current store has.

Revenue as of March 6th, 2020

In terms of Social Media, we are looking at increasing our output across all forms: Twitter, Instagram & Facebook with a view to becoming active on others. Hellyaman is currently revising the workflow in terms of Social Media output to ensure there is a consistent quality and frequency of content. In a recent meeting, franchise activity on Twitter was discussed. We are generally pleased with the levels of activity shown by franchises on Twitter and hope this continues through the season. We realise that Tweetdeck isn’t the most functional platform to post content on Twitter and are looking at how we can improve this interactivity those tweeting on franchise accounts have.

The Marketing team are also already looking ahead to the off-season and Season 11 with a view to generating more interest in and exposure for MLE, utilising visual media, such as hype videos, where possible.

SPONSORSHIP

There’s not too much happening with Sponsorship team at the moment now the Season has started. Focus is on ensuring the agreements and relationships between MLE and our sponsors are maintained. The team had hoped to acquire another sponsor for this season but ultimately a deal fell through. However we are very happy to continue to work with BAWLS & PowerA.

The community PowerA giveaway seems to be going well, with decent number of entries for both draws. There will be 6 more community draws during the regular season as well as 4 draws during the playoffs, which will be open to those outside the community. Check out some interesting stats behind the 2 giveaways. Just goes to show anyone in the community can win, regardless of how many tickets you acquire.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

We are currently in process of refreshing our Patreon with a view to offering more incentives and rewards. So far, the majority of revenue generated so far from Patroen, Twitch and merch has gone towards logos. We are now starting to focusing on ways we can invest future revenue and have a number of ideas/plans. We believe Patreon can be a great way to generate such revenue providing the community a level of transparency in terms of goals and rewarding them for their support. The finer details of this “refresh” are being ironed out with an announcement expected to happen in the very near future.

We are continually looking at ways to improve our website and have a few plans in place, such as a Community section. However priority right now is to sort out a few minor issues on the website, most notably the player “team issue” i.e. where players are assigned to the wrong teams.

And lastly back to the franchise logos. Our plan was to announce/show all 32 in a big, exciting event once they were all complete. However we have decided to change our tack and over the course of this season will be showing off a few at time. And what better time than now to show off one of the first logos that was created… the Aviators! We will let the logo do the talking first…

REVEAL LOGO


So there you have it; the first revealed franchise logo. This logo incorporates the presentational style we wanted; clean, relatively minimalistic but bold. We feel the presentational style applied to all logos allows for each franchise to emphasise their identity whilst feeling part of the MLE brand as a whole. We hope you like it and are looking forward to seeing more logos down the line. Please note while we will be releasing these logos they won’t be incorporated into MLE (I.e. Twitter pfps, on website, in graphics, etc.) until all 32 have been revealed. Thanks once again for your patience and most importantly your support during the logo creation process. The end is in sight and we can’t wait to see all the new logos in “action”.

So there you have it folks. We hope you enjoyed this insight, we took no board feedback from the last insight as well as analysing areas we could make it more informative and insightful. Till next month, have fun out there!

Inside MLE: January Monthly Insight

Welcome to the first MLE Monthly Insight; an in-depth look behind the scenes at the different areas of MLE. In these articles we will look to give you, the community a peep behind the scenes, to see what’s happening and potentially what’s coming. So let’s get to it…

Community

On the back of recent discussions in the community, we have been reviewing how we interact with the community and how we can improve such interactions. One way we communicate with the community is via Town Halls and when these have been run they have generally been quite successful. That being said there have only been a few Town Halls since their introduction and it has become apparent that perhaps the format of Town Halls isn’t quite as productive as it could be. We are currently revising Town Halls and looking at ways we can improve them.

As you will have seen we are introducing weekly Council Q&A’s. These will be smaller, less “all encompassing” meetings than Town Halls held by council members on a weekly basis. These Q&A’s will allow for community members to ask questions directly to the council. The first Council Q&A will be held by TyTy tonight at 7pm ET.

This doesn’t mean Town Halls will disappear completely but the introduction of the Q&A’s will allow for more focused opportunities for the community to interact with MLE. There are plans to improve how suggestions submitted via submission form are handled, with a view to implementing status updates on suggestions. Lastly we will be looking at having more concentrated community surveys throughout the season to really gauge community opinions.

On the events front, the team have taken this off-season to review operations, hence why there haven’t been any events since “12 Days of Christmas”. Captains Clash will return this season but will now happen on Wednesday evenings. The events team are also looking to run a pre-season event for each league as we build up to the start of the season. There are plans to try do some events based on different Rocket Leagues modes however these can only happen with enough community interest & participation. Hopefully we can increase the levels of participation this season and the introduction of an “opt-in” Events role should provide more direct attention to events. If you are interested in taking part in MLE events type the following command into the #command-center channel: !rank Events.

Lastly, Fittz is working on the return of the MLE Fantasy League and will have an announcement within the coming days.

LEAGUE OPERATIONS

With the draft now done & dusted, League Operations will now start to shift their focus to day-to-day operations; player trades, roster, changes, etc. The League Ops team still have a few things to implement and announce. One major new addition to Season 10 will be a Scheduling Server for GMs. The aim of the server is to provide an environment that centralizes communications between franchises for match scheduling.

The MLE Multi-Tool, a spreadsheet that acts as a quick reference for season fixture schedule, match times and dates, and pairing uses/reserve uses is close to being completed. The League Ops team are also close to finishing work on the MLE Scheduler, a tool for GMs to use to help coordinate their players’ schedules within the franchise.

Lastly League Ops are exploring additional support for GMs. As MLE has grown the demand, responsibilities and expectations on GMs has also increased. We want to ensure we do our best to help those who are passionate about MLE and the franchise GM’s definitely fit this criteria. We will provide more info when the exact details of the additional support have been finalised.

BROADCAST

The Broadcast team has slowly been taking shape in this off season and a new organisational structure has been put in place to ensure Broadcast Operations run smoothly. Sleegi & Theevilisback have come on board as Broadcast Coordinators, whilst Riyo will be overseeing Affiliates and InanimateJ has come back into the fold in an advisory role.

The main objective for Broadcast this season is to ensure a consistent quality of broadcasts throughout the season, which will help to provide a platform for Production for which to develop on. On top of this we want to help nurture broadcast talent, providing a pathway for talented and enthusiastic individuals to become involved with Official Broadcasts. We are hoping the application form posted in community announcements this week will help attract such individuals. We will be reviewing the applications received so far this week, thank you to all those that have applied.

There are unlikely to many drastic changes to Broadcasts this season, at least in the short term, bar a few aesthetic changes here and as of writing Broadcasts will follow same structure as last season; 3 series Saturday & Sunday evenings starting from 8pm ET.

MEDIA

Whilst we patiently wait the creation of the new team logos, the Media team has been focused on reviewing and updating assets as well as looking to implement a few new things on the way. Whenever assets are updated or created the aim is to always ensure the presentational style is consistent. No doubt you will start to see some of these improvements as we near the start of the season. We will have an update on franchise logos very soon.

MARKETING

With the recent addition of Gogurt as Marketing Coordinator, the Marketing team are currently discussing and devising plans for the season ahead and beyond. While there is not much to report as of this moment we can assure you there will be a much better focus on marketing efforts. It is important for the growth and future of MLE to ensure we are always attracting new people to the community and increasing the interest in MLE as a whole.

SPONSORSHIP

We are hoping to retain BAWLS and PowerA as sponsors for Season 10 and discussions are on going at present. Both BAWLS & PowerA have become synonymous with MLE these past few seasons and hopefully this will continue going forward. Negotiations with both sponsors are close to being finalised, with BAWLS expected to continue sponsoring Play of the Week. The sponsorship team are also looking at possibility of bringing in a few other sponsors as well but as of this moment there is nothing definitive to announce.

FINAL WORD

That wraps up the first MLE Monthly Insight, we hope you enjoyed the content & insight into MLE operations. We will look to produce these on a monthly basis to keep you, the MLE Community, updated on what’s going on behind the scenes. Obviously some months some areas might have as much to report but where possible we will keep you as informed as much as we can. Going forward we will try incorporate a bit more media when possible to make these articles more engaging.

Thank you for reading, we hope you found the information interesting. Please feel free to provide any feedback/suggestions on these Monthly Insights. Your opinions will help to shape the content, structure, etc. Until next time… have fun!

 

Inside MLE: Logo Limbo

Hey there curious wanderer! Welcome to “Inside MLE”; a new feature where we offer you, the lucky reader, an insight into the workings of MLE. We thought it might be fun, as well as interesting, to offer our community a perspective into aspects of Minor League Esports, from reasons behind decisions made to the operations of MLE.

For the first instalment of Inside MLE we will be looking at a hop topic in the community; franchise logos! Oh yes that tasty little subject, so without delay let’s get into it.

A Blast to the Past

Before we dive head first into the current situation, let’s take a trip to the past using our imaginary time machine. More specifically end of Season 7. As many of you know Minor League Esports was previously known as Minor League Doubles. This was the case going into the off-season and the future was looking promising. 6 new franchises were ready to be fully-unveiled with new logos (Goblins, Hive, Sabres, Shellbacks, Spectre, Tyrants – the Goblins and Shellbacks were subsequently changed to Express & Shadow post rebrand). Plans were in place to make Season 8 the best yet.

Alas best made plans and all that. As many people reading this will be aware, MLD underwent an unexpected rebrand during that off-season, which is how Minor League Esports was born. This isn’t 100% true as there were plans to rebrand MLD to MLE but the events that unfolded fast-tracked that. We are not here to talk about those events however but more what that meant for franchise logos and the current state of play. 

An unfortunate result of the events and the necessary rebrand we lost the rights to use the franchise and league logos. This was a huge blow, which caused the off-season to last much longer than initially planned. As we scrambled to organise and prepare for Season 8, franchise logos took a back seat. When you run a league and have an active community priority must always go to ensuring the competitive element; league play, is delivered. It is the main reason why people sign-up at the end of the day.

Despite franchise logos taking a back seat discussions were happening and research was taking place. A number of different options were considered and after much deliberation and we decided to reach out to a shortlist of designers. The plan was to have a few designers working on a set number of logos each, working towards common objectives and requirements. Unfortunately we did not get past this stage of negotiations as focus was abruptly shifted to league operations & community aspects. Again this was a case of prioritising the fundamental elements of the league. This was in part due to an unwelcome coincidence where several members of the council personal situations suddenly changed. Long story short; the availability of those in important administrative positions drastically changed and it caused potential operational problems that needed to be resolved.

The rebrand before Season 8 also saw a whole host of changes such as reducing the length of the regular season in half, the implementation of coordinators and the introduction of the Affiliate program. Arguably perhaps we tried to do too much at once and this obviously had a knock-on effect on the commissioning and production of franchise logos but during and after the rebrand we had a renewed sense of purpose and excitement. We didn’t want MLE just to be MLD, we wanted it to be better!

You said “Hey… What’s Going On?”

So that’s the brief history lesson out of the way. Now fast forward to the start of this season. Going into Season 9 we know many in the community are eager and somewhat expectant to see logos this season. Often questions arise in our community regarding franchise logos, with members “thirsty” for any updates or news. Franchise logos are an important aspect for community members, especially for those who saw the development and improvement of franchise logos in the “MLD era”. We are sure those that do remember agree that the logos were unique and of high quality. They gave MLD a real sense of identity, one that helped make it stand out from the competition.

With franchise logos being fundamentally important it’s crucial we get them right. This is one of the main reasons time is being taken. We want to ensure the logos are to the standard we expect, that fit with the overall presentation of MLE & give each franchise a unique look. Referring back to the community’s desire to see updates and progress, it’s no surprise that many have started to offer ideas and even dream up a few ideas of their own. This is fantastic. We love to see our community passionately invested in MLE and the franchises that represent it. Some will even point to designs and say “Hey, this is good. We should use this!”. We are never ones to discourage feedback or suggestions but it’s worth reiterating our intentions and desires in terms of franchise logos.

For our 32 franchise logos we want them to be unique. We want them to authentically and seamlessly fit the overall style and presentation of MLE. We want to ensure they look good, so good that players associate & relate to their franchise even more and want to buy the sweet merchandise that will come once they have been completed. This generally means we are looking at getting them professionally sourced i.e. graphic designers. While the designs and ideas provided by some of our community members have been great they are not quite up to the standard or style we are looking for and those using templates have limitations. Therefore the only realistic route we foresee is getting them professionally sourced.

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

We know many people will just want an answer to a simple question? “When can we expect franchise logos?” Not to be party poopers but the answer is not for a while. It’s very unlikely franchise logos will be completed and released before the season is out. We know that news won’t be met with much excitement but we have to be realistic and to make false guarantees would not be fair to our fantastic community.

What we can announce is that discussions and negotiations are well under way. We have approached a designer we have previously interacted with with a view to getting a small selection of the logos produced. We felt that rather than try and overload a designer with numerous logos to start with, that, it would be more beneficial to commission them to produce a small sample. The benefits of this approach are that it offers a greater focus on each franchise logo. We don’t want to end up with any inconsistencies when it comes to logos so having a more focused approach will help us meet such an objective. By starting “small” it gives us greater scope to make adjustments over the course of the design & production process.

There is no set amount of time it takes a designer to create one logo. During our research and investigations we were generally quoted approximately a week per logo but obviously this varies. To give further context, the MLE logo took a few weeks from conception through to release. Now some of you reading this will think it will be the middle of next year by the time we see all 32 franchise logos however our intentions are to deliver them in a reasonable amount of time. Not sacrificing any quality or consistency along the way. Again we can’t give guarantees but we are committed to ensuring the new franchise logos will be worth the wait.

Cost is also something that gets mentioned in the franchise logo discussion. We know a good portion of our community has stated they would fully help support and invest in any fundraising if necessary. We are forever grateful for such statements and support. Our community has already shown incredible levels of support through Twitch subscriptions, donations via Patreon as well as bits on Twitch and much more. Suffice to say the revenue we have acquired since the end of Season 7 has been saved for investment, such as the commissioning of franchise logos.

We do have a decent size pool of funds from that revenue ready to invest into the production of franchise logos. While we do not wish to reveal the actual amount or discuss costs of commission we can safely say we have accrued a decent portion of the likely total costs. We do not expect anyone to personally fund such a venture or feel obliged to donate/financially support us, to those that do we offer our most heartfelt gratitude. If, for whatever reason, we feel we need to do fundraising for any venture/project, the details of which will be fully transparent to our community. Of course if we decide to go down that route we will endeavour to let our community know.

A Final Word… or Two

Well we think thats enough talk for one day. Hopefully you have enjoyed this insight into MLE and one of the hottest topics inside the community. If you have any suggestions of content you would like to see in these features please let us know. And if you have any feedback regarding this article we would greatly appreciate it. The plan is to try deliver such features at least once a month, not including the regular news updates. So if you enjoyed this feature and want to see more let us know! All comments, opinions & ideas are welcome. We will keep our community updated whenever there are any significant updates regards franchise logos you can be sure of that. Until next time, have fun out there!


If there is a topic or part of MLE you would like to be explored in a future “Inside MLE” feature please use this form to submit your suggestion. You can also use the form to provide feedback on the feature too!

Power Rankings Returns for Season 9!

Just on the surface alone, this season is probably going to be the most well-fought for in the history of Minor League Esports. So many strong and capable teams are ready to take the field this weekend. But since there are just so many rosters, and so many styles being utilized, which one stacks up the best among the rest? Let me tell you.

First off, the Power Rankings Committee has grown quite a lot since last season, so all decisions are from a larger group than you’re probably used to. At the moment, we have 4 Foundation Power Rankers, 6 for Academy, and 8 for Champion and Premier. Decisions are based more on what the collective thinks rather than one or two people having incredibly disproportionate rankings. Now let’s get into the good stuff.

Who have climbed their way to the top?

Starting with Foundation League, the Foxes received a large amount of consensus as a top tier team, never getting ranked below 3rd. zFLaME, Superflame, Avo, and Darkfire on paper seem like a dastardly squad that can dominate whenever they choose to. Let’s hope they do that to start off Week 1.

Foundation League Power Rankings

Next with Academy League, it’s quite a close race for the top spot between the Shadow and the Puffins. It was a half and half split between our 6 rankers for placing these teams at the top spot, which goes to show just how close they appear to be. For their respective conferences, they’re miles ahead of the rest of the competition. Jordak, Faker, M0rg, Shual, and Carl for the Shadow, and Aubrey, Tuxedo, MouseRat, Obsidian_Bear, and The Street Pharmacist for the Puffins. Both have incredibly experienced players on their team that can hopefully lead the rookies to glory, if they truly are the best conference teams.

Academy League Power Rankings

Something that struck me as very odd with Champion League, is that everyone agreed on a selection. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much consensus on one team before. That team being the Knights, as 1st overall. When you know the Knights’ roster consists of MikeIsMyIke, Lil Q, Primed, Taels, and tehblister, that makes it even more apparent. Blue Conference teams beware, because this is the team to beat if you want any hope of a championship title in a few months.

Champion League Power Rankings

Finishing it off with Premier League, it ended up being the polar opposite of Champion League. Very little consensus on many teams, and the top team was only voted as such by 2/8 rankers. Before you ask, no I don’t rank Premier League, so don’t say I’m biased while the Bears are the team to beat. The Bears do have quite the roster of players that have been quite notable throughout many seasons of play. KILT, Atokad, Koalemos, and Mage. Whether it stands up to scrutiny is all down to these first few weeks. I sure hope it does…

Premier League Power Rankings

What players are looking strong?

There’s a new section of Power Rankings now. The spiritual successor to Fantasy League, the PRC are now able to rank individual players in the same way we do teams. Now, do be aware that since this is preliminary rankings, individual player rankings are going to likely be way more inaccurate than team rankings. This is just to introduce the concept, and to let people know just who looks like they’re pumped, and ready to kick some butt.

Foundation and Academy league have abstained from ranking players until Week 1 in order to wait for more important data. Champion and Premier League both have done rankings to varying degrees.

For Champion League, unsurprisingly the top player also happens to come from the top team, Lil Q has definitely proved themselves to be the most valuable player taken during the draft. Very close behind are other incredibly valuable picks, such as Keiko for the Sabres, Phyrexius on the Wizards, Thunderballs on the Outlaws, and GreatGodZeus for the Sharks to round out the top 5. These 5 have proven to be quite hte opponents during the offseason, some of them on the verge of ranking up into Grand Champion, even moreso proving their worth. They’re quite clearly the star players for their respective teams and hopefully we see them put to good use. To finish out the top 10, 6th goes to Water on the Bears, 7th to Bones on the Flames, 8th taken by the Knights GM Mike, 9th to Ezra on the Foxes, and ending off 10th with a three-way tie between Soul, Vandy, and Rushy.

I did lie somewhat about Premier League before, as instead of having a consensus on a best team, they decided to do it for best player, which they gave to 2nd overall pick to the Hawks, TestGravity. Having ranked up to an 18 salary, he’s no doubt going to be the player that brings the Hawks’ game to a whole other level. The only player that’s vaguely in Test’s ballpark is Zack, the Wolves’ star 17 salary. From their the top 5 rounds out quite nicely with the Puffin’s Bolio, the Hive’s Satsz, and the Comets’ Erayne. Had the Comets stayed in the Blue Conference, all top 5 players at the start of the season would have come from there. Thankfully the rest of the top 10 is rounded out by mostly Orange Conference players. Bits and Smurf taking up 6th and 7th, Maple being the lone Blue Man in 8th, and 9th and 10th finishing us off with Red Line and Lotty Lettuce.

Final Words

Since we’ve got nothing else to go on other than our own thoughts and ideas, I guess we have to wait and see if we’re right. There are many ways you can achieve that this season. The main way is to follow and keep up with the streams on the MLE twitch accounts, and yes that’s plural accounts. https://www.twitch.tv/mlesportsgg for all of your Champion League and Premier League content, and https://www.twitch.tv/mlesportsgg2 for your Foundation League and Academy League content.

However, if you want even more than that, there’s going to be two ‘MLE Monday’ or ‘Behind the Goal’ style shows for you to watch during the intermission between weeks. Scoobert and sgtmc50cal will be streaming their Sgt. Scooby Show on Monday evenings, the first having gone live at 7:30pm Eastern. They explained everything they had planned for the future in their first instalment, so go check that out here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/463102347

The other option will be my own stream every Tuesday at 8pm Eastern where I’ll be going over primarily Champion League action, and a lot of statistics, so if you’re into that kind of stuff, here you go: https://www.twitch.tv/zytabyte

Check in next week to see how the Power Rankings have changed after the first week of action!