DreamHack and Riot Games have entered an agreement to launch the Northern League of Legends Championship (NLC).
This is a brand new Northern European league run by DreamHack featuring 12 invited teams from across the Nordics, UK and Ireland.
The inaugural season of NLC is scheduled to start in June 2020 and will be played online, with the season finals planned to be held on August 7th and 8th at DreamHack Summer in Jönköping, Sweden.
Teams and players will compete for a minimum of 1 million SEK per season (£80,000). The NLC is part of the official European Regional League (ERL) circuit and connects to the European Masters.
Esports organisations taking part in the NLC who participated in the most recent UKLC are as follows:
- Fnatic Rising
- BT Excel
- Munster Rugby Gaming (previously known as Phelan Gaming)
- Barrage Esports
- MnM Gaming
Esports News UK understands some of these may also have academy teams in the UKLC in the future, though it’s unlikely this will include Fnatic and Excel (whose UKLC teams are already their academy teams).
These UK and Ireland sides will be joined by another seven teams from around Northern Europe:
The NLC is supported by ‘a new competitive ecosystem’ in Telia Esports Series, from European telco firm Telia Company, which is expanding from Finland to Norway, Denmark and Sweden featuring national leagues, as well as the DreamHack-operated UKLC in the UK and Ireland.
In terms of promotion and relegation, the two teams finishing bottom in the NLC will need to compete with the top teams from national leagues in order to retain their slots.
There will be 5 national leagues: 4 Telia Esports Series (in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway), and the UKLC. Each league will have eight teams in it.
The top two teams from each national league will compete in the Telia Masters, and the top two teams here will compete in the relegation series to try and gain entry into the NLC.
The NLC is now known as ‘the official LoL esports organisation for the Nordics, UK and Ireland’. The move makes sense given Riot’s UK head of esports Mo Fadl also became head of publishing for the Nordics last year.
Mo said: “We have been working hard with DreamHack and Telia to really create something special for the Nordics’ best League of Legends players.
Michael Van Driel, chief product officer at DreamHack, added: “DreamHack has been the leading esports organiser in the Nordics for a very long time and we are very excited to partner up with Riot on a long term basis to create a more stable ecosystem for players, fans, and teams around League of Legends.
“In partnership with 12 top team organisations from all of the different countries here, the NLC we believe is going to be the best regional esports competition out there.”
A press release states that the NLC’s new competitive ecosystem will ‘allow highly-talented, competitive players from across the region to flourish on home soil and create a pathway for amateur players to join the professional ranks’.
NLC Infographic (click to enlarge)
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.