Well, technically they're not "elite" but clearly they could beat most (if not all) so-called elite teams. Politics is the only barrier to their greatness.
Yes, they did fine in tier 1. They would NOT beat most teams in Elite however. I know your org keeps telling you all you are Elite, and since the tier 1 team is composed of the highest skilled level of play for your players, I guess technically I can see why they say that....but make no mistakes. No Vipers team would finish in the top half of the EHF elite.