NLC casters Guldborg, Aux and Hiprain share their thoughts on each teams’ chances as the Summer Season gets underway: ‘This will be one of the most competitive leagues in Europe’

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With the NLC’s first week drawing to a close and a ton of crazy games flitting by expectant eyes, the usual suspects in the academy teams sit comfortably on top of the standings. But the new NLC (see all the team rosters here) seems to be much more than just a two-team league – what thrills and spills await?

Before the first matches got underway, Megalodontus caught up with NLC casters Guldborg (left), Aux (centre) and Hiprain (right) to ask how they think the Summer Split might pan out


What are your impressions for the NLC Summer Split 2020 after seeing the rosters? How competitive do you think the split will be? 

Aux: I’ve been touting it for the last few splits but I really think we’re getting some rosters who can challenge the academies. With the addition of all the Nordic talent and some heavy investment in team building, we’ve seen some solid line-ups.

It’s going to be heavily competitive as there are only two EU Masters (EUM) spots and the de facto answer as to who will get those is Excel and Fnatic. But I know for certain every team will be fighting tooth and nail to deny them.

Guldborg: Honestly I was quite blown away by the talent that was interested in the NLC. Obviously I knew they would bring powerhouse rosters but I’m pleasantly surprised how strong the non-academy rosters have gotten. Although a lot of the rosters are strong, I believe the academy teams have a slight head start due to them having played together for a long time.

But I don’t think any of the other teams should be underestimated. Just looking at their rosters, they all have the potential to be the kind of team Barrage was last split in the UKLC, and I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the academy teams didn’t make the cut to EUM. 

Hiprain: The UKLC has been seeing a lot of growth with our playerbase over the last year and a half with the switch to the NLC looking at the rosters has really excited me. What I’m liking is we are seeing talent being spread among teams and not just Fnatic and Excel.

“Fnatic have been kings of the UK for a while but I think Munster will be a big challenge for them. In all honesty, Fnatic barely held onto the title last season and their EUM performance was their worst yet. I think Munster can definitely overcome them.”

Aux

Of the 12 teams this split, which one do you have your eye on and why?

Aux: For me it’s Munster Rugby Gaming, it goes without saying they have some really big names: Hiiva is an EUM Champion, Maxlore an LEC veteran and Shikari with the record for most UK titles.

That being said, I’ve also been hearing a lot of hype around Unforgiven. Apparently, he was a monster in trials and I’m watching him specifically to see how he’ll fare up against xMatty and Deadly, two opponents who have a heavy pedigree.

Guldborg: I’m gonna have to go with Riddle Esports. Although the organisation is Norwegian, it’s a complete Danish roster with some of the best from my country, and a dream come true having the pleasure of watching such a line-up in such a competitive league. So I’ll be honest, as a spectator I’m rooting for them.

As an analyst I can’t wait to watch jungler Maxi back on European soil, I believe his talent was wasted on Flyquest and I’m hopeful to see him back in his prime.

Hiprain: Munster Rugby Gaming have really caught my attention. They’ve built an incredible team and they really feel to me like they could potentially be the new ‘academy killers’. 

Are there any teams you think are overrated and any that are underrated? Why?

Guldborg: I’ve already heard a lot of smack talk about the ENCE roster. I believe that even though they are not the best ranked team, they cannot be underestimated. That is because having a full Finnish roster means they share the same cultural values and this can participate in success and faster progress through slumps. 

If we’re talking about an overrated team, it has to be a team that have already received a lot of praise. To me those teams are Munster and Riddle, but I believe the hype about Munster is justified. So I’m gonna have to go with my own team to watch: Riddle. The reason for that is a lot of the members from Riddle having had recent success, they are all big names, but lack recent achievements. So although I believe in them, they have the potential to miss succeeding as well. 

Read more: Interview with Riddle’s British Head Coach Smeagol on their goals and expectations

Please tell us how you think the two NLC group tables will look after the group stage is over?

Aux:

Group A: BT Excel > Nordavind > Riddle > Singularity > ENCE > Godsent

I think Excel are clear front runners and although on paper Riddle are a strong second, Nordavind have a lot of potential to rise above. I think ENCE have potential to be a dark horse, they have some solid members but with Simpli and Seffe, they’re harder to get a read on, in my opinion.

Group B: Munster > Fnatic > Dusty > Tricked > MnM > Barrage

Fnatic have been kings of the UK for a while but I think Munster will be a big challenge for them. In all honesty, Fnatic barely held on to the title last season and their EUM performance was their worst yet.

I think Munster can definitely overcome them. As for the rest it’s really close, you could make arguments for any of Dusty, Tricked or MnM to come in at 3rd. I think Barrage have a little bit more catching up to do but all four could definitely show up during the season.

Guldborg:

Group A: BT Excel > Riddle > ENCE > Singularity > Nordavind > Godsent

I believe this is the group with the biggest skill gap from top to bot, and Excel and Riddle are looking strong on paper. I’m hopeful for ENCE, I think Nordavind and Singularity are in close contention for 4th place, but at this point I’m 100% convinced Nordavind as an org are cursed in ERLs (author’s note: Forgive Guld for his Danish bias, he’s a nice guy really!)

And let’s just address the elephant in the room: Godsent found their roster one day before roster lock. It is by no means as well-thought-out as the other teams, sorry Mikmer. 

Group B: Munster > Fnatic Rising > anyone’s game

Munster and Fnatic are a certain top 2 for me, but the rest of the group all have strengths that can secure them a top 4 spot. I believe it comes down to the team that works the hardest out of Tricked, Dusty, MnM and Barrage. 

Hiprain:

Group A: BT Excel > Nordavind > Riddle > Singularity > ENCE > Godsent 

Group B: Munster > Fnatic > Dusty > Tricked > MnM > Barrage

“I’ve already heard a lot of smack talk about the ENCE roster. I believe that even though they are not the best ranked team, they cannot be underestimated.”

Guldborg

Any closing thoughts?

Guldborg: I believe this will be one of the most competitive leagues in Europe. As a Nordic league enthusiast, this is what we have dreamed of for years. I hope all the viewers will give the league and teams their biggest support on streams and social media. Remember to do your part as a viewer to support the ecosystem! 

Hiprain: The last two years have been great for the UK. I’m hoping with the changes the NLC brings and the addition of the Nordics, we can work together hand-in-hand and get even stronger as a region to eventually challenge for the top spot in the ERLs.

You can catch Aux, Guldborg and Hiprain and all the NLC action live at https://www.twitch.tv/nlclol on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 6pm

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