Rookie Indervir “iLLeY” Dhaliwal comes in at #14 in our ranking of Top 20 players of Modern Warfare. Inder was a key piece of the World Championship-winning Dallas Empire, helping the squad to three homestand wins while being the entry SMG.
Last year was the first iteration of the top 20 where analysts, content creators, and personalities voted on the top 20 players in the recent season. This year we have 16 voters today, with the likes of Brandon "NovusVita" Hewitt (Paris Legion Analyst for the '19-'20 season), Ryan "Flux" Oldfield (Toronto Ultra analyst), and Cam Allen joining us to vote on who their top 20 players were for the Modern Warfare season.
Build up to Modern Warfare
Even though iLLeY was a rookie during the Modern Warfare season, he has been a well-known prospect for many years. Due to the rule stating that players in the Pro League must be 18 years old, iLLeY was forced to wait to make his entrance into the League.
Inder sharpened his skills in SnD for many years, playing wagers and tournaments against the best players in the World. He started entering the top portion of the SnD scene in Black Ops 3, most notably playing with NickMercs in tournaments. iLLeY would become one of the most feared players to come against in SnD tournaments, as he had quickly become a mastermind in the mode at just 14 years-old.
During the World War 2 season, iLLeY was picked up by eUnited to be apart of the eU Cadets team. He’d be joined by underaged stars Chris “Simp” Lehr, McArthur “Cellium” Jovel, and Joseph “TurnUp2ez” Sicre. They’d help the main roster with SnD practice and be a force in online tournaments. They’d routinely beat major Pro League teams in UMG Prime tournaments.
iLLeY would be a top prospect just waiting to turn 18 to become a star player.
Modern Warfare year in review
Coming into the first Rostermania of the Franchise era, the now 18 years-old iLLeY was a major player looking to join teams. He quickly became a key target for many of the Franchises including New York, LA, and Dallas. The rookie would join forces with Shotzzy and Huke in Dallas, making a very dangerous and young foundation.
The team would look for both leadership and veteran presence to help the team in clutch moments and during bracket runs. Dallas honed in on both James “Clayster” Eubanks and Ian “Crimsix” Porter to round out the roster, with veteran Englishman Thomas “Tommey” Trewren being a key bench player. It’d be a great combination of experience and skill that many teams would miss.
During the pre-season, the Dallas Empire were quickly becoming one of the top teams based on early scrimmages and online tournament results. Their SMG trio could keep up with any other team in the league, while their ARs thrived behind the aggressive front line. They’d look forward to proving themselves early at Minnesota Launch Weekend.
There was extra pressure on the Empire as well, with many of the storylines linked with Crimsix and the Chicago Huntsmen. Crimsix had been teammates with Scump and FormaL since last 2014 and had been let go from the team unexpectedly. The trash talk between the Huntsmen and Crimsix would ramp up going into Launch Weekend, bring more pressure from the community for the team to perform right away.
Launch Weekend would come fast, with Dallas set to face two top teams in the Chicago Huntsmen and Atlanta FaZe. The opening match of the weekend was the Empire vs Huntsmen, set to be the highlight of the entire weekend. The match started in the Huntsmen's favor, with Chicago winning Azhir Hardpoint 250-209. Dallas would bounce back winning Arklov SnD 6-1. But it wasn’t enough, with Chicago winning the next two maps to take the series 3-1. iLLeY struggled to get going, having 79 kills and 97 deaths (0.81 KD) over the series. The second series went fast, with FaZe sweeping the Empire in a very quick fashion. iLLeY lead the team this series in overall KD, having a 0.91 over the three maps with 61 kills and 67 deaths. The team would not be put down by the poor performance and would look to bounce back in time for CDL London.
The first true tournament would come fast, with only 12 days to prep and change mistakes from Launch Weekend. The team started fast, taking down the Seattle Surge in quick 3-0 fashion. But the team would fall again to the Chicago Huntsmen 3-1 in the next round. iLLeY and Co. bounced back quickly, taking down the Surge and London Royal Ravens to reach the first Grand Finals. Facing the Huntsmen for the third time, the team struggled yet again, falling 3-0. Even though they lost, the team was growing and learning from their mistakes. iLLeY only had a 0.87 overall KD but played well in SnD. He finished with a 1.05 KD in the mode, with 0.74 kills per round, and go 9-3 in opening duels. He’d look to build off this performance.
The next tournament the team attended was CDL LA, the last LAN tournament of the season. Dallas would come out strong in groups, taking down New York 3-1 before falling to Atlanta 3-0. In the decider match vs Florida, iLLeY and Co. put on a show, beating the Mutineers 3-0 in a closely contested fight. They’d continue the fight, taking down OGLA 3-1 in the semi-finals to face the Minnesota RØKKR in the Grand Finals. Behind Shotzzy’s strong performance, the Empire would take down the RØKKR in a 5 map affair to win their first homestand. It’d be the first LAN victories for Huke (in CoD), iLLeY , and Shotzzy. The win showcased the true potential of the team and how far they could go with more time to grow. iLLeY lead the team in KD in the Domination, putting up a 1.09 with 22.0 kills per game. Even with his struggles at times, the team was performing very well.
With Covid-19 shutting down the league for a month, it’d return with online homestands starting with CDL Dallas. The Empire Squad returned in good form, taking down LAG and Toronto to make it to the semi-finals. Unfortunately, they ran into a hot Minnesota RØKKR team, who put in solid all-around team performance. iLLeY would struggle in the 3-1 loss, dropping a 0.81 KD over the series. With the team finishing top 4, Inder had the 2nd highest overall KD on the team (1.01) and highest slayer rating (94.31). He was continuing to play very well in SnD (1.09 KD in the mode) and started to pick up his Hardpoint play (1.04 KD, 28.15 Kp10M). It’d be another building block for him.
Next up, CDL Chicago online. Empire came out hot, taking down both OGLA and Seattle to make it to yet another semi-finals. They’d have an extremely difficult path to win the event though, first taking on Chicago Huntsmen in the semis. Finally, Dallas would get revenge, taking down Chicago 3-0 to make it to the finals to take on the Atlanta FaZe. Inder would have an off series, going negative in each of the three maps. In the finals he played much better, putting up a 1.05 in Hardpoint, while helping the team take a 3-1 victory en route to their 2nd championship. The entry SMG had an average event, finishing with a 0.97 overall KD and 88.54 slayer rating. He was again effective in SnD but struggled statistically in Domination due to the rest of the team playing so well. Inder just had to do the dirty work to help the team win, and he did it very well.
The team would have almost 2 months off until their next tournament, CDL Minnesota. This gave them time to revamp their strategies and come back even stronger. The team took down the RØKKR before facing the FaZe yet again. While Dallas would take the first two maps, Atlanta would take the remaining three to reserve sweep the Empire. The team quickly bounced back with a 3-0 over the Surge to set a date with the Florida Mutineers in the semi-finals. Dallas took a 2-1 series lead, before losing the remaining two maps to fall to the Mutineers. Even with the disappointing placement, iLLeY continued to perform better. He finished with a 1.04 overall KD, 1.12 adjusted KD, and a 90.92 slayer rating. His strong point this tournament was Domination, with a dominant 1.38 KD and tournament-high 25.50 kills per game. It was a great improvement for the young slayer, improving over the course of the season.
CDL Paris was the next tournament for the Empire. After taking down the London Royal Ravens 3-2 in the opening match, they’d fall again to the Mutineers. Landing in the decider match again, they faced off against the Ravens yet again. The squad made quick work of London, winning 3-0 with all 5 players going positive. They then matched up against the FaZe again in the semi-finals. It was a back and forth match, with both teams alternating map wins resulting in a map 5. It was a great SnD match on Gun Runner, but it’d go the way of the FaZe behind Cellium (14-5) and Priestahh (10-6). Finishing Top 4, iLLeY would take a step back. iLLeY went negative in each of the three modes and ended with a 0.94 overall KD.
With a month of practice, the Empire squad would try to bounce back at CDL London. The Dallas side took down Paris Legion 3-1 and New York Subliners 3-0 en route to the semis. The team would finish off their tournament run by sweeping both the Florida Mutineers and Paris Legion to win the tournament with a 12-1 map count. The entire Empire side had KDs of 1.15 or higher for the tournament. Inder would cap off the run with a 1.20 overall KD and 92.78 slayer rating. He had a positive KD in each of the modes (1.21 in HP, 1.10 in SnD, 1.22 in DOM) while doing the dirty work for the squad.
The final homestand of the season would determine the top 2 seeds going into CoD Champs. CDL Toronto was important for the Empire to make it out of groups. They’d start out strong, taking down the Mutineers in a reverse sweep. But their luck didn’t last long, as they lost 3-0 to the FaZe, forcing them to play the Mutineers again in the decider match. Dallas would make quick work of the Florida boys, winning the respawns convincingly and taking a round 11 SnD. Now locked into a top 2 seed, they’d face the Toronto Ultra in the semi-finals. Ultra came out strong, winning the series 3-1 behind very strong performances of Bance (1.19, 100 kills) and Cammy (1.35, 111 kills). Inder played okay, only playing very well in Domination. Finishing with a 1.08 KD, 4.50 caps per game, and 21.50 kills per game.
They’d complete the regular season finishing no lower than Top 4 at a Home Series event. Dallas and Atlanta were the only two teams to complete this task.
After placing in the top 2 during the Regular Season, Inder and Co. would only have to win 3 series to take home the championship. They’d start their quest versus the Toronto Ultra in Winners’ Round 3. After being down 2-1, the Dallas squad fought back to win the game 4 Hardpoint 250-107 and the game 5 SnD 6-2. iLLeY played very well, finishing the series with a 1.11 KD and 89 kills. Next up, the Atlanta FaZe. After again being down 2-1, Dallas would fight back to win the map 5 SnD 6-3. Winning the match brought the Empire into the Grand Finals.
They’d have a rematch there, with Atlanta fighting their way back into the finals. But Dallas wouldn’t waste any time this time around, winning the match in quick 5-1 fashion to win the World Championship. iLLeY played phenomenally, having a 1.33 SnD KD and 1.21 Domination KD in the Finals. Overall, he’d finish CoD Champs with a 0.96 overall KD and 82.29 slayer rating. His best mode was SnD, go figure. The SnD mastermind would finish with a 1.12 SnD KD for the event, with 0.82 kills per round and 10 snipes. He helped the team go 4-2 in SnD, and win himself a ring.
iLLeY played one of the hardest roles in Call of Duty, and excelled at it as a rookie. While his KDs didn't need to be flashy, he posted high numbers in objective categories and in the slayer rating. Here is a breakdown of his key statistics throughout the season:
The statistics are formatted for their individual tournaments. If the cell is red, then it was on the low percentile for that said tournament. For the remaining colors, green is high percentile and yellow is average.
There were events where iLLeY struggled, but that mostly happened early in the season at CDL London and Launch Weekend. He also had problems in respawn modes, mostly in Hardpoint, where he only went positive once at a tournament. Search and Destroy was his bread and butter, posting great KDs and opening duel numbers. Here are more detailed looks at each game mode below.
His weakest mode of the season, Inder never cracked a 1.00 cumulative KD over the course of the season. He still was able to frag out though, having good kill per 10 minutes statistics even with his KD negative. He also put up great hill time per 10 minutes, continuously being above average in the leaderboards in 9 of 10 events. Look for the rook to improve a bit in this mode next season.
Search & Destroy
Being a SnD mastermind for years already, this season was a chance to prove it on the biggest stage. He started slow at the beginning of the season but really picked it up during the middle of the season. He played multiple roles, whether the team needed a sniper, aggressive SMG, lurker, or locking down a lane with a AR. He did it all in 2020. He should only get better in year 2, with a more traditional game that strategies will become key.
The final game mode we'll touch on is Domination. While iLLeY struggled at times in the other respawn mode, he was rather consistent in Dom. He had 5 events below a 0.91 but 5 positive including a #2 KD at CDL Minnesota (1.38). Both his kills per game and captures per game were very strong all season, being that pesky agro "in your face" sub that the Empire needed. While we may never see Domination again, iLLeY showed he can excel in the entry role in an objective respawn mode.
Here are iLLeY's season series statistics. It breaks down how he did in each length of series, whether the series went 3, 4, or 5 maps. His high for kills in a single map was versus Toronto in April, where he dropped his lone triple digit bomb of the season with 103 kills across 5 maps. His highest KD in a single series happened versus the Paris Legion in July, when he dropped a 1.47 KD over 4 maps. Check out more series data below:
Why #14 for iLLey?
Why iLLeY lands at #14 is tough to say. He played one of the hardest roles on the World Championship winning team. It’s also the fact he did this as a rookie that makes this team scary. He played phenomenally in SnD throughout the season and had his moments in the respawn modes. If he can continue to play at the high level he can be at in SnD and keep growing in the respawn modes, he’ll be a top 10 player next season for sure.
In my personal rankings, he is higher, but this is an average placement and shows how stacked this year's top 20 truly is. iLLeY is a great player who will only continue to get better with more experience.
A look towards 2021
iLLeY was extended this offseason by the Dallas Empire, along with Crimsix, Huke, and MVP Shotzzy. The defending champions will be favorites yet again going into the Black Ops Cold War. Losing Clayster will be a big question mark for the team, as they will be depending on both Crimsix and Huke for veteran leadership. Look for iLLeY and Co. to continue to play SnD at a high level, while being a force in respawns just due to having great fundamentals and lots of firepower. With Black Ops Cold War bringing more traditional Call of Duty back, this team will be a force.
For full player and team statistics, click here.
For a link to the Top 20 hub, click here.
For a full explanation on card ratings, click here.