As we speed towards the start of Gfinity Elite Series Season 3, another important piece of the puzzle fell into place this week as the rosters for all ten competing teams were unveiled. With six new franchises arriving to join the four survivors from Seasons 1 and 2, plus a brand new game in FIFA 18, there was always going to be a lot of intriguing player movements. Which veteran Elite Series players from departing franchises would make the jump to new homes and stay in the championship? Which top prospects from Challenger Series would get drafted? On Tuesday’s Elite Series Draft show, a lot of these questions were answered – and a little bit of history was made in the process.
With all that in mind, let’s break down all the new rosters for Season 3.
FIFA 18: Ty, Brian, Fredo
Rocket League: Paschy90, Freakii, Fairy Peak, Gnagflow06, Radioo, Ollie
SFV: JuniorLeo, Linkexelo, TKR, Apollo Steed, ADTerminal, WireMan
The French squad were one of the first new teams announced for Season 3, and have certainly hit the ground running with their roster unveils – with the Rocket League lineup being easily the most eye-catching. Backed by the Renault Sport F1 team and managed by veteran Elite Series caster Gregan, Vitality have assembled a phenomenal lineup for Rocket League, including arguably the best player in Europe, Fairy Peak – and his performances in the recent Challenger Series make it hard to disagree. They will start as potential favourites for the Rocket League title – a lot will depend on how well players like Freakii will be able to deliver week-in and week-out.
A veteran presence for many years at the top level of FIFA competition – including many Gfinity Play Like A Legend tournaments – Brian returns from a broken leg that kept him out of much of last year to captain the FIFA roster. The experienced Ty also joins the ranks – but how much will they miss star player Rocky in Elite Series? Time will tell. Additionally, their SFV team contains several Elite Series mainstays in Linkexelo and WireMan, but the most eye-catching signing is that of TKR. Poached from champions Envy, it’s a bold move to leave the championship-winning team for pastures new, but TKR has backed himself to deliver elsewhere. Envy’s loss is unquestionably Vitality’s gain.
FIFA 18: Gorilla, Tass, Shellz, Bill
Rocket League: Calix, Caro, Speed, Flux, Tehda
SFV: Undacuva, Boltstrike, Ki113r_7, VegaPatch, CobelCog, AngryMojoSan
The last of the new teams to join for Season 3, UNILAD also arrived with arguably the most hype of any of the new teams. They start as favourites for the FIFA 18 title, but questions were asked about whether they could assemble high-quality teams across the board with less time to scout and recruit compared to their rivals. Their roster unveil answers most of those questions emphatically.
Their FIFA 18 team needs no introduction – lead by the reigning FIFA Interactive World Champion in Gorilla and backed up by rising star Shellz, they will also have the services of Tass on loan from FaZe Clan for the Elite Series. As a former Ultimate Team Championship Series Europe winner, that’s a seriously talented supersub to call upon – whether he will feature against former team Hashtag United is another question altogether. Their Rocket League roster largely slipped under the radar on roster unveil day, but will be quietly hoping for upsets in the coming season.
Meanwhile in SFV, the People’s Champions have a new home, as the former Reason squad have come under the UNILAD umbrella as a complete package. It’s a smart move on UNILAD’s part; their late arrival in Elite Series both left the Reason SFV roster in limbo and meant UNILAD were pressed for time to recruit an SFV squad, so bringing them in whole cloth makes total sense. And what a roster to bring in! Huge personalities like Undacuva and everyone’s favourite whiteboard-toting teacher Ki113r_7 blend with great young talents Boltstrike, VegaPatch and AngryMojoSan to create a team ready to lift the decibel levels in the Gfinity Arena like no other. The #FKEEARMY lives on.
FIFA 18: Poacher, Insa, Rannerz, Zimme, Ralle, Cojo
Rocket League: Snaski, Maestro, Sikii, Lauty, Nalmon, Hell0
SFV: Shakz, Akainu, Brick, Zera, Atrosh, TheColonel
Of all the new teams arriving in Elite Series, FNATIC are coming in with the most prestige to live up to and it’s their Rocket League team who come in with the most hype of all. The core squad of Snaski, Sikii, Maestro and Lauty are favourites for the upcoming RLCS for very good reason, enjoying great success as The Leftovers before being absorbed into the FNATIC bubble in October 2017.
Elsewhere, their FIFA 18 roster is headed up by Poacher and shows good potential across the board, with former Dundalk FC player Rannerz definitely one to watch. Five veterans of Elite Series competition anchor FNATIC’s SFV roster: Season 2 finalists Akainu and Zera team up with Shakz (a former semi-finalist with Infused) and ex-Epsilon guys Brick and Atros. As huge a global esports dynasty as they are, this is one of FNATIC’s first ever forays into fighting gaming and Street Fighter, so going with players well-versed with the pressures of top-level Elite Series competition is a sound strategy. Time will tell if it pays off.
FIFA 18: Fully, Mover, Spaceeh, Dingo, LostInTheWavez
Rocket League: Pugsay, Bananaman, D7, Faykow, Tobbyy, Remiix-
SFV: Takamura, Keftaroz, CCL, Kuja, X3Terror, Onimanaa
One of the four original teams left standing from the first two seasons, Epsilon are perhaps under the most pressure of all to turn things around. From Season 1 CS:GO champions and Rocket League finalists to bottom of the pile in Season 2, it will be fascinating to see how Epsilon bounce back in Season 3. The FIFA 18 roster contains well known players in Fully, Mover and Dingo, and the Rocket League team has been completely reinvented from the ground up to feature Challenger Series draftees like Pugsay, D87 and Faykow. Meanwhile, the SFV squad will once again be led by the all-star brothers Takamura and Keftaroz, hoping to return to winning ways with fellow Belgians CCL and X3Terror joining the party. It’s a low-key trio of roster announcements, but Epsilon backing draft picks and graduates from Challenger could prove to be a masterstroke – and if anyone has the experience in esports to identify talent before anyone else and nurture it right to the very top, it’s Epsilon.
FIFA 18: Chnewar, Diogo Peixoto, Damiee
Rocket League: Etrex, Jwols, Rafro, Reganam, Al Dente, Sniper
SFV: Veggey, Phenom, SaltyKid, Momi, Shivryuken, Whaze
The team formerly known as BX3 have assembled three solid rosters for their debut season in Elite Series. In FIFA 18, the standout player is unquestionably Damiee as the Polish superstar will lead a solid main trio into battle. Similarly in Rocket League, look to former Gfinity Weekly Cup and Challenger Series standout Reganam to play a key role as the existing Nordavind squad is augmented by Elite Series veterans Al Dente and Sniper.
However, it is their SFV roster where Nordavind have turned the most heads. Players like Veggey, Phenom and Momi may not be too familiar to Elite Series fans, but have highly re***ble records in major SFV tournaments like the Capcom Pro Tour. Alongside them will be two of the Elite Series’ most exciting talents: Shivryuken, a finalist in Season 2 with Prophecy, and TheSaltyKid. Explosive, charismatic and incredibly talented, these two can light up the Gfinity Arena in a heartbeat – like the rest of the Nordavind SFV roster, if they can bring their A game, watch out.
FIFA 18: Harry, Ryan, Boras, Agge, Dreamr, Ferperry
Rocket League: Doomsee, Data, Flarke, Distan, Kileak, DrJosh
SFV: Quiggy, GinoDaCampo, DarkMoonHado, MQS, MossMossMoss, JesterPower
Much like fellow newcomers UNILAD, Hashtag United come in with a huge amount of buzz and will start as potential favourites for FIFA 18 glory in Season 3. Headed up by Hashtag Harry, the winner of the first ever Spencer FC Game Academy, the core quartet is as strong a FIFA unit as you will find anywhere in the world right now, with Boras and Agge in particular no strangers to success at the highest level of international FIFA competition. Of the two additional draft picks, FerPerry is certainly one to watch; Gfinity fans should recognise the popular Spaniard given his greatest successes have often come in Gfinity tournaments. Perhaps that experience of our own Gfinity Arena helped convince Hashtag to draft him? Who knows, but either way, sleep on this FIFA squad at your peril.
Elsewhere, one name in particular jumps out of their Rocket League lineup – Doomsee. One of the biggest stars of Season 1 as he led Infused to the semi-finals, Doomsee hit an uncharacteristic slump in Season 2 and would step back from competition altogether midway through the season. Now he returns to Elite Series competition tasked with leading Hashtag United’s new Rocket League squad to playoff glory, with the former Epsilon duo of Data and Flarke by his side. This is a squad that could blow hot and cold, but if these guys are feeling it and gel together quickly, they are definite playoff contenders.
Finally, their SFV roster takes on a similar look to fellow newcomers FNATIC, built on the shoulders of veteran Elite Series competitors Quiggy and GinoDaCampo, with JesterPower also returning as a draft. Perhaps the player to watch the most however will be DarkMoonHado; a substitute in Season 2 for Prophecy, he twice came into the starting lineup under huge pressure and delivered incredible results. His contribution to their 4-0 demolition of Infused in the semi-finals cannot be overstated, to the point some were surprised he didn’t go on to appear in the finals. His presence in Season 3 was thrown into doubt for a little while, so it’s great to see Hashtag United bring him into their squad; it will be fascinating to see what he can do as a consistent starter each week.
FIFA 18: Janoz, Zac11Moore, Akiro, Mobacha, IsoPower, Dappo
Rocket League: Sebadam, Tinny, Cheerio, Pulsar, Ronaky, MoneyTalk
SFV: NastyNas, YogaPatate, Nightcross, Valmaster, Irissia, Abdess
The grassroots esports franchise backed by some of the biggest stars of world football, ARES come in with a lot of interest – and their rosters suggest they will be strong and solid across the board.
For FIFA 18, look out in particular for Janoz and Mobacha; both are veterans of the FIFA Interactive World Cup scene, the former finishing runner-up in the 2011 FIWC and the latter lifting the trophy in 2016. For a franchise built on a Challenger Series-esque attitude to giving younger, unsigned players a chance on the biggest stage, experienced stagers are important to help give the younger players guidance and deliver under pressure – watch for Janoz and Mobacha to do just that.
Over in Rocket League, ARES have recruited strongly. After winning the Season 1 championship and coming agonisingly close to defending their title in Season 2, Tinny and Cheerio made the big decision to split away from former teammate Shakahron and team up with former Prophecy semi-finalist Sebadam. The potential for greatness from this unit is huge – if they can gel together like they did with former teammates, watch out.
The SFV roster contains a great variety of veterans and players new to Elite Series. NastyNas and Nightcross bring the experience and will anchor the side, with YogaPatate adding boundless potential having put in consistently impressive performances in the recent Challenger Series. Elsewhere, Irissia is poised to make history as the first ever female player in Elite Series competition – and she has all the potential in the world to make a big impact.
FIFA 18: Pricey, Xvennyy, Fwzelonius, Riptorek, Eltentwelve
Rocket League: Rix Ronday, Borito B, Shakahron, Mye_Bipod_4Shor, Lindow, ONeillClan
SFV: Packz, ImStillDaDaddy, Broski, Flawless Deku, Citizen, Gun Slinga
After two solid if largely unspectacular seasons in the Elite Series, Method have gone back to the drawing board for Season 3 and largely reinvented their existing rosters from the ground up, bringing in very strong players and proven winners. The end result is two rosters for Rocket League and SFV that, on paper, look downright phenomenal.
Let’s look at the Rocket League roster first. Transfers don’t get much bigger than signing two-thirds of the Season 2 championship-winning team, with Rix Ronday and Borito B making the switch from Reason having gone unbeaten in Season 2. Add in Shakahron, a champion in Season 1 and losing finalist in Season 2 with Endpoint, and you have possibly the strongest pound-for-pound starting lineup in the whole Elite Series for Season 3. And the same is largely true for their SFV roster: joining Packz this season is Challenger Series star graduate Broski and the former Infused duo of ImStillDaDaddy and Gun Slinga. The latter two made back-to-back semi-finals, and ImStillDaDaddy in particular was very impressive in the most recent Challenger Series – both will be more hungry than ever to go all the way.
Understandably given the scale of the other roster announcements, the FIFA 18 squad slid under the radar somewhat, but Challenger Series draftees Xvennyy and Riptorek in particular will look to become the next stars to graduate from Challenger to Elite Series in some style.
FIFA 18: Shane, Painter, Kev96, Connor, Klutch_Ti, Der Gaucho
Rocket League: Nielskoek, Pwndx, Markydooda, Chargingdingle, Essjayy, Mccluvin
SFV: Brian, Infexious, Hurricane, GingerV1k1ng, Isam18, Bongchan
Another team in orange, another veteran of Seasons 1 and 2, and another team looking to improve on past performances. Starting with their FIFA 18 team, exceL come in with a huge amount of pedigree in FIFA competition, being one of the original teams competing back when the FIFA scene was in its infancy. The current roster looks set to continue their trend of developing some of the finest players in the scene, with Klutch_TI the notable draft from Challenger Series earning a deserved reward for all his hard work. A reshuffled Rocket League squad will look to add to a meagre record of just three match wins in two seasons, led by Nielskoek and Pwndx.
However, it’s once again their SFV squad that will likely lead the charge for exceL. The terrifying trinity of Brian, Infexious and Hurricane return once again to reclaim the championship they won in Season 1 – and continue the epic rivalry with Envy in the process after that heart-stopping defeat in the Season 2 semi-finals. Not much more needs to be said that hasn’t been already, but watch out for BongChan – drafted for his online prowess, he has the potential to be an excellent impact player for exceL this season.
FIFA 18: Aero, Lyricz30, EisVogel, Jas
Rocket League: Mout, Waffle, EyeIgnite, Neqzo, Bilbo, Deevo
SFV: Confz, Mr Crimson, Nassim-Claw, Layo, RealMenace, JonesArcade
The pop-off kings. The reigning SFV champions. One of the biggest esports organisations in the world. Envy go by many names in the Elite Series, and the all-star squad come into Season 3 with a lot of momentum and anticipation. They will be looking to defend that SFV title whilst also lifting their performances elsewhere, particularly in Rocket League, and their rosters could provide more questions than answers.
Their FIFA 18 team has a low-key look about it, but in the same way as other veteran teams like Epsilon and exceL, trust Envy’s scouting to bring through talents to deliver on the big stage. Free agents in Aero and EisVogel in particular will look to have a big impact. Over in Rocket League, the challenge will be forming a squad of potentially great individuals, including Elite Series veterans like EyeIgnite, Waffle and Mout, into a strong starting trio that maximises the individual strengths of the players.
Let’s not beat around the bush anymore though; it’s time to talk about THAT SFV roster. A roster so strong that even the loss of TKR to Vitality doesn’t seem to have dented it at all. The core quartet of Mr Crimson, Nassim-Claw, Layo and Confz are augmented by two excellent supersubs in RealMenace and former Endpoint standout JonesArcade. This is potentially the strongest set of six players in the entire SFV championship and likely the biggest challenge of all will be the team selection meetings each week. Get that right, and the way is open for them to retain their SFV crown – hopefully after one more epic encounter with exceL in the playoffs.
You’ll be able to see all of these all-star teams in action in the Gfinity Elite Series Season 3 – and trust us, you won’t want to miss a single moment of the action. Tickets are available for FREE here, and you can watch live every Friday and Saturday from March 9th.