ECL Season 44 team profiles
Edition number 44 of the ESL Challenger League started yesterday and no upsets happened, yet. The last time around, MIBR came from nearly missing the playoffs to winning it all against an EG Black team that only lost a single map until the grand finals.
Neither ATK nor Nouns, NA top dogs, got close to competing for first place, and Strife continued struggling to get things going in ECL since season 41. Will the addition of paiN to this roster of teams hinder even more NA squads or will this be a turning point for competitiveness in the Northern part of the continent?
Season 44 started out with well-known teams facing each other. Nouns beat Mythic in a close match, despite the 2-0 scoreline, and ATK destroyed timbermen, also 2-0, in a series where two of ATK's men claimed 40 victims each, and another claimed 39.
ATK added Jonathan "djay" Dallal from EG White recently, to detriment of Ian "motm" Hardy. On January 17th it was reported that Rhys "Fadey" Armstrong would be absent at the start of the season, and so ATK has been fielding motm for the time being, which proved fruitful as he was one to drop a 40 bomb on timbermen.
timbermen, who had ties cut with Iron Blood on December 20th, will try to recreate the last season's start, where they only dropped one map in the first five series they played. The roster has been the same since July 2022, and now it's time for them to show consistency as a team.
Nouns have been in a complicated place lately. The former Gaimin Gladiators roster turned Squirtle Squad, turned Nouns, are suffering from success. A crucial piece from the squad, Jeorge "jeorgesnorts" Endicott, left the team to join EG Black, and not long after, Danny "cxzi" Strzelczyk also left. All this happened after Dominick "JazzPimp" Dimpfel was cut from the squad, meaning that the original squad picked up by Nouns only had two players left. Despite the losses, Nouns have continued to stay near the top teams in NA, but have lost some ground.
Myhtic, the streamers-comprised team, is now on its 4th straight appearance on ECL but is yet to make it to the playoffs. The squad recently added Cooper "Trucklover86" Phelps in hopes of getting in the top four of the group for the first time, since the rebranding of ESEA MDL to ESEA Premier, and then ESL Challenger League.
paiN has joined the Brazilian teams of MIBR and LOS + oNe, after being invited and winning the relegation phase of ESL Challenger League Season 43 NA. Season 43 saw the only two Brazilian squads making the playoffs stage in the same group, will this season see three BR teams in the playoffs?
Out of the three, LOS+ oNe is the lowest-ranked one, but the team only dropped two series against NA rosters the last time, so non-BR teams be aware.
MIBR started slowly but managed to climb back up by the end of the regular season, conquering a spot in playoffs and ultimately winning it all. The squad has seen some recent changes with Jhonatan "JOTA" Willian leaving for Imperial, and MIBR deciding to promote Felipe "insani" Yuji from the academy. Can they do it back-to-back?
The team that lost the most last season was, surprisingly, the one that lost the least series. EG Black was on the brink of making history, after reaching the grand finals having only lost one map during the whole season, but failed to win a single map in the last match, losing it all on the final hurdle. Since then, the team has lost its AWPer to the main roster and is yet to announce the replacement. EG Black fielded Paytyn 'junior' Johnson as a stand-in during The fl0m Cup, but there is no information about the fifth player for ECL Season 44.
Strife has been changing a lot of pieces since the summer of 2022. Those changes were enough to maintain the team's spot in ECL, but Strife wants more. The squad hasn't played a single playoff game since season 41, but the team's performance during The fl0m Cup was good enough to win the tournament. Can the current squad turn things around in ECL?
Vendetta is coming into season 44 with a big change. Anthony "CLASIA" Kearney wants to focus on streaming and has been replaced by cxzi, who has a 1.10 rating since joining the team at the beginning of the year. Last season, Vendetta managed to get to playoffs, but in the first game, against EG Black, CLASIA slept through his alarms and didn't wake up for the game. Certainly, the team wants to prove their worth this time, by being competitive when it matters the most.
Disconnected ended the year with an implosion. Tianyi "Fr3nk1e" He cut ties with the team over disagreements and Paul "aris" Wilson followed not long after, claiming the same reasons as the Chinese player. At the center of the criticism was the coach, Szymon 'LAJT' Jaworski, and AWPer Christopher "Swahn" Swahn. The team has added two young talents who are yet to make a name for themselves in NA, Charles "ChwE" Whitehead and Michael "Munk" Klotz. Can they propel the team to new heights?
Four teams made it to ECL through the relegation alongside paiN. Detonate, Villainous, and Noxious preserved their spot from ECL Season 43, while Limitless make their way from ESEA Advanced last season. Detonate recently cut ties with Sebastian "Florence" Ogarev, adding Keller "SLIGHT" Nilan to the mix, a more experienced player despite the younger age. Villainous had two changes, with Gabriel "tENSKI" Rodrigue and Sam "Noxio" Goodwin joining the squad. Both of these teams have to prove that they belong in ECL because what they showed last season, isn't enough.
Limitless hasn't had a change since November and ended the year with five wins in eight matches, which culminated with getting a spot in Challenger League. This isn't the first time the team has been in the highest division of NA CS but it has been some time since that happened. With a fully revamped squad since then, the team is hoping to stay there for a long time.
Noxious, formerly known as Post Mortem, only won one series last season, enough to get into relegation. The team managed to beat REIGN for a spot in ECL S44, but it has seen some changes since then. Kameron "K4mr0" Bouma joined the team recently, and the squad changed names to Noxious. The most entertaining fact about this team is that every time there is a player change, there is also a name change. From Magic School Bus to Post Mortem and now Noxious, the team has changed one player each time.
Davenport is back after dropping down in Season 42. This time, the collegiate team got to ECL by winning Advanced, and shortly after, the squad lost two crucial pieces in Collin "CoJoMo" Moren and Denis "swicher" Baranov. Davenport added Austin "Austin" Meadows and Keanu "Danejoris" Reyes in hopes of maintaining the spot for ECL season 45.
ESL Challenger League is only getting started and the next match will feature a battle between Nouns and Noxious today at 08:00PM.