ENCE withdraws from NLC after ‘reevaluating resources’, Granit Gaming steps in for Spring 2021 Split

NLC northern league champio

Further team changes in the Northern League of Legends Championship (NLC) have been announced this evening.

The tournament – for teams in Northern Europe – will no longer see ENCE take part.

The Finnish esports organisation announced this evening that they are withdrawing from the NLC and won’t be participating in the upcoming 2021 Spring Split.

Instead, Swedish organisation Granit Gaming – who finished second in the Telia Esport Series Masters – will be taking their spot. They’ve been promoted from the Telia Esports Series Sweden league.

ENCE said in a statement on its website: “While we were excited to enter a new genre with MOBA, and the team only narrowly missed the playoffs in the Summer Split, we have had to make the hard decision to withdraw from the NLC and League of Legends as of now.

“This year has been tough for everyone, including esports teams, due to the global pandemic, so we have had to reevaluate where we have the resources to be involved.

“While we have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the NLC, we have had to make a strategic decision to discontinue our participation to focus on our other existing games and business plans.” 

Granit Gaming CEO Kim Engström and co-CEO Ludwig Wegmann said in a joint statement on the NLC website: “We are humbled and grateful for the opportunity to play in the next split of the NLC. We will make sure to seize it and make the best out of every moment presented to us.”

ESL Gaming announced yesterday that the NLC would be returning in 2021, starting with the Spring Split on January 19th.

It will feature 1 million SEK (around £88,000) in prize money and support to participating teams, and will be operated by ESL Gaming through the DreamHack brand.

Once again it will allow the top team to progress to the EU Masters Main Event, and the runner-up to the Play-Ins.

The NLC is supported by a competitive ecosystem built on Telia Esports Series national leagues in Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden as well as the ESL Gaming-operated UKLC in the UK and Ireland, and the Iceland Open.

This year, UK side Barrage Esports won the recent NLC Fall Open and, prior to that, Fnatic Rising won the NLC Summer Split finals.

The news comes after Ireland’s Munster Rugby Gaming lost their spot in the NLC. The org behind their operations last split, Phelan Gaming, will instead compete in the UKLC, one tier down.

KOVA Esports, who won the Telia Esports Series Masters, will take Phelan’s place in the NLC.

Late payments, ‘lies’ and licensing gone wrong: What really happened at Munster Rugby Gaming that led to their departure from the League of Legends NLC

2021 NLC Teams & Dates

  • Barrage Esports (UK)
  • BT Excel (UK)
  • Dusty (Iceland)
  • Fnatic Rising (UK)
  • Godsent (Sweden)
  • Granit Gaming (Sweden)
  • KOVA Esports (Finland)
  • MNM Gaming (UK)
  • Nordavind (Norway)
  • Riddle (Norway)
  • Team Singularity (Denmark)
  • Tricked Esport (Denmark)

January 19, 2021: The NLC 2021 Spring Split begins with a group stage spanning across five weeks of competition. All participating teams will play two games per week, with live broadcasts available Tuesday through Thursday at 7pm CET each day. 

March 2-21 2021: Four teams from each group will advance to playoffs

March 22-24, 2021: The relegation series will see the top two teams from the Telia Esports Series Masters face off with the two lowest ranked teams from the NLC. The two winning teams of the relegation series will secure their spots in the NLC 2021 Summer Split.

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