Exclusive interview with NLC caster Guldborg on getting called up to the LEC, and why swearing at Quickshot is on his bucket list

Last spring, the EU Masters brought many new eyes to the wealth of talent the European Regional Leagues (ERLs) have to the wider community, with Karmine Corp’s EU Masters win shattering viewership all around. However, the focus it brought was not trained solely on the players, but also the number of casters from the ERLs that were involved. Danish NLC caster Guldborg was one of those names.
On June 9th, the LEC announced its casting line-up for Summer 2021 and many names from the regional leagues were announced as guests, with Guldborg making it within their ranks. This is a big call-up for all of them involved and shows the LEC are paying more attention to the ERLs now. To find out more, Megalodontus sat down with Mikkel ‘Guldborg’ Guldborg Nielsen to ask if he will bring his Danish biases on-air, why his ultimate goal involves reuniting with LCK caster Chronicler and why swearing at Quickshot is on his bucket list.

Update: Guldborg has also been announced as a guest caster on the LPL and his first appearance will be on June 17th.

Thank you so much for accepting this interview, I believe this is our third interview together. So to start, congratulations on making the LEC! How does it feel moving up from the NLC to LEC? You’re moving up in the world!

It’s quite crazy because it all happened so fucking fast! Out of nowhere! Let’s just say I got an email from another announcement that’s coming up and I was like: “Holy shit, this is huge!”

And the next day I got the email from the LEC and they were asking if we could have a conversation because they wanted to bring me in. And on the same day I spoke with them, and they said they wanted me on and asked if I wanted the spot. Do I want a spot? Fuck yeah!

Then the day after that was when I got a message saying I would be able to get the COVID vaccine now. It’s just… holy shit man, everything is going too good for me right now. I’m a bit suspicious because at some point in time, something needs to go bad soon, because everything’s just been going too good for me lately! 

I’m happy for you! Is this role that you’ve accepted into the LEC a full-time offer? Is it on a permanent basis or is it just for the first week of LEC? 

Without saying too much, it’s currently just for the first week of LEC. I don’t think I can say too much on the subject, but I definitely think that guest spots are something that they want to start implementing more. So maybe in the future people will get to see me more if I don’t fuck it up (laughs)! 

“Holy shit man, everything is going too good for me right now. I’m a bit suspicious because at some point in time, something needs to go bad soon, because everything’s just been going too good for me lately!”

You’ve also got a guest casting spot on the LPL broadcast! Could you tell me more about that and how it happened?

I mean to me… LPL has always been something I’ve been somewhat chasing. The first thing I thought back when I started watching a lot of LPL was, “oh, this seems like the most accessible league”. But then, I started watching the league because it was always on, at the perfect time for me, like at nine or 10 in the morning. When I was working at the office at Copenhagen Flames, I would watch LPL on my second monitor while I just did management in esport at the same time. So it was just really beneficial for me. 

I started having a lot of ideas on how to approach LPL. I want to do a lot with the brand because right now, without dissing anyone, I feel like LPL is that brand you look at and you…how do I say this…you don’t think of something special when you think of the LPL. Most people will go, “oh yeah, they teamfight a lot”. But if you talk about LCK for example, it’s all about it being a podcast league, they got a very chill vibe on the broadcast and so forth.

And then with the LEC, it’s more humorous. Then we have the LCS, which is very entertainment based as well. And for the LPL, it just feels like it’s in a place right now where they haven’t found that general direction. And that motivates me a lot to be part of LPL, because I feel like I get to work with a lot of talented individuals who are also chasing more than just the LPL and want more in their career as well. 

I think everyone’s really hungry to just go out there to prove themselves and at the LPL you get to do that. I think that is one of the things that motivates me the most. 

How do you plan to manage all these casting gigs and opportunities alongside your other responsibilities, like your role at the Copenhagen Flames?

Nothing’s really set in stone, but obviously there’s way too much in my life right now. I still work for Copenhagen Flames and I had a talk with them. They were really nice about it and told me if I need more time to do casting, they don’t mind if I become more inactive with them because they know that I want to do casting a lot. 

They also said that if one day I decide that I don’t want to do casting any more, I will still have a spot back with them. So I am really thankful to them for that, because that means I get to chase this dream where I can technically do LPL in the morning and then in the evening, I could still do NLC.

I think that obviously is really a grind. But if I could pull it off, I’d be so happy with myself for achieving so much in League of Legends. I really want to be able to do both, at least see the NLC out for this season and then see how it goes from there!

Moving back to the LEC, I believe you’ve been to the LEC studio before for the EU Masters. How does casting in the LEC studio compare to your previous gigs in casting, say… Telia Denmark for example?

It’s a fair question. Obviously, Telia does not have as many resources as they do at the LEC. I have good colleagues at Telia and you have a lot of control of the brand, such as where you want to take it and that’s about it. The studio is really nice, but it is nothing compared to the LEC. And technically speaking, I’ve not really been at the LEC studio before.

Yes, I’ve been there, but it has not been for LEC. It was rebranded for the European Masters, or before that we used for like the EUphoria podcast setting. But this time around, it’ll actually be with the LEC with all the talent, and I think that excites me a lot. I think I want to have so much fun with it and just bring what I can to the table. That’s what I’m looking forward to the most. 

Speaking of excitement, which matches or teams are you most excited about casting? If I had to guess, you’d probably say MAD Lions because Pad is also from NLC, but I’m keen to hear your thoughts.

It’s going to sound really biased, but I’ll bringing some of my own ‘Guldborg brand’ in there. Obviously I’m hugely excited to talk about G2 Esports and actually watch them play. We already have a few Danes on G2 like Wunder and Caps, so of course I’m excited for them!

And yeah, one of my friends that I really worked hard with to grow in esports is part of the Astralis LEC team as well. Not to be biased, but I’m hoping to see that they actually have improved in summer, seeing as a lot of teams have made some roster changes and theirs have stayed the same. 

I kind of want to see how much of an impact it will have against a team that’s not necessarily gelled together yet, like SK Gaming for example. Astralis are playing SK this week and I’m really looking forward to that game, specifically because SK is coming in with a lot of questionable changes, and I want to see what Astralis can pull off after being together for half a year. 

Other than the matches, what are you looking most forward to in LEC? Is it meeting the casters, casting the LEC games or being on a platform to be able to talk about things you love very much… like Denmark?

(Laughs) I’m just looking forward to being there, really. I’ve created sort of a bucket list of things I want to do both on cast and also behind the cast as well.

I want to do a showreel of my outfit that you see Sjokz do, I want to be part of it and see if I can get in on that! I want to do a TikTok with Caedrel and Drakos because they usually do that as well. 

For the next one, context is probably needed. Every time Quickshot casts with a new caster, the only thing he’ll tell them is “don’t be shit”. And I’ve been told this by many others, but he hasn’t told me this yet. So before he tells it to me, I want to stop him and I say, “Trevor, actually I got something to tell you. Don’t be shit”.

And then I’m going to go in there with him, with me having said it first! That’s like number one on that bucket list (laughs).

Does this not ruin the surprise?

He probably won’t read this article so it’s fine!

I’m also looking forward to being like a young, cocky person when I’m casting with Quickshot, because he likes to pride himself that he’s the dad of esports. But from my point of view, he’s the grandad of esports. Excoundrel is my dad of esports!

Quickshot the old man and I’m going to go in there and I’m going to just surprise him with whatever I have! 

Will Guldborg get his chance to say what he wants to Quickshot?

I know you’re not leaving the NLC behind, but what have your fondest memories been casting the NLC so far? Foxdrop teaching you a new word, maybe your podcast moments with Hiprain on Japan, or the absolute fiestas in the league?

Man, you get so emotional when you just talk about so many different memories. Some of them still linger in the back of my mind. From the first season as well, because I was so new in an ERL, it was my first ERL to cast, I met so many talented individuals and learned so many unique strengths from each of them really.

Going from Veteran, Froskurinn and Medic, all of those guys when they were on as guests had something different they could teach you. And I think that that really shaped me to be what I am today. 

But if I talk about my most fond memory… it’s definitely not Foxdrop telling me to shit myself (laughs)! This question is tough man, do you know how tough this question is?

I know it is! 

Okay, I think… it was when I first started bringing the Denmark bias and the guys were not ready for it. They weren’t really sure it was going to work, and they were afraid I was going to be too cringey. But once they started getting the ball rolling and some of them started to get in on it, it just started to gel with me.

It’s not specifically one favorite moment, but it’s something that built up to what we have today on NLC. And I’m really fond of what we have today. That’s going to be my cliché answer! 

The now infamous moment on NLC where Foxdrop taught Guldborg a naughty word and very nearly killed Excoundrel with laughter

Since you’ve made it from NLC to LEC, some viewers may be unfamiliar with the NLC. With you being a veteran caster there, tell us what storylines or teams they should know about for this season.

I do think Tricked Esport are looking really good this time around. They have a really good understanding of what you need to do in this meta, about being proactive in the early game and try to snowball it from there with skirmishes. 

I also think Fnatic Rising, for once, actually looked really good in their opening game as well. I don’t know if it was just a fluke, but I thought they made really good plays against Riddle Esports. And then obviously, if you haven’t watched the European Masters or never heard of it, well, you probably need to tune into the NLC to watch BT Excel who were the runners-up. 

I’d definitely say that that would be my top three and then Nordavind sneaking in there too, because they finished third in NLC 2021 spring and you cannot underestimate them. They’ve stayed together as the same team for the summer season, and they will probably bring some upsets to the table. 

“When Chronicler made it to the LCK, I was really sad because I couldn’t get to cast with him again at the European Masters. So we made an ‘anime promise’ to each other that we’re going to work hard so one day we get to cast a Worlds finals together.”

I knew you would talk about Tricked (hint: Denmark)! Moving on, what players from the NLC do you think have the potential to make it to the LEC in the future?

Hmm… obviously BT Excel’s jungler Markoon and support Advienne are really good bets. I think their top-laner Orome really has a good shot at it as well. We see Adam from Karmine Corp making it to LEC on Fnatic as well, and we saw what Orome did to Adam in the EU Masters finals!

Of course this is not to say Adam is a bad player by any means, I think that’s just a statement on how good Orome is as well by the fact that he was still beating Adam in top lane, to the point where Adam had to tweet about it afterwards.

For players that people are not really looking at all the time, Fnatic Rising’s support rhuckz is a really good player as well. He is really good around roam timings so I think if teams are looking to be more proactive from the bottom half and creating good synergy with the jungle and support, I think rhuckz is really good at creating this for his team. 

As for a non-academy player… you know what, let’s fucking meme it. Poulsen from Tricked Esport with time is going to fucking take that LEC spot! There’s a young Caps in that man right there, it couldn’t be anyone else. It has to be him!

No bias at all from Gulborg in nominating Poulsen

Coming from Telia Denmark, you’ve moved on to the NLC, now you’re going to do the LEC. I’d like to ask about your goals and ambitions as a caster then. The sky seems to be the limit for you, so where do you see yourself in the next few years? Worlds, perhaps?

This is actually funny. When Chronicler made it to the LCK, I was really sad because I couldn’t get to cast with him again at the European Masters. And for people who didn’t know, Chronicler used to be a play-by-play caster back then, now he’s a colour caster. So we made this ‘anime promise’ to each other that we’re going to work hard so one day we get to cast a Worlds finals together, since the finals are two colour casters and one play-by-play! 

I think that’s like my ultimate goal, getting to cast with the Chronicler again and and just smash a finals. 

So that means you want to go to the LCK?

Not necessarily! I just want to cast with Chronicler. Maybe he could come to LPL as well. Maybe he didn’t have to, you know, cast such a shit league!

(Author’s note: Please note that Guldborg is joking… or is he?)

I’m laughing too much. Ok, breathe… So, Chronicler and yourself both come from the ERLs, and one aspect that gets overlooked is the depth of casting talent that people might not be aware of. As someone who’s interacted with various ERL casters, are there any that you’d like to highlight? 

I have some different answers to this one. Now, I don’t understand Italian, but when I’m listening to Moonboy cast every now and then on the PG Nationals, I don’t understand jack shit of what he’s saying, but I fucking love it! I love the flow and I love what I’m hearing. It’s just music to my ears really. 

From the NLC, Aux has been so undervalued for so long. Jamada as well. I think Jamada is probably like the biggest one up-and-coming caster for English casts. No doubt about it, the sky’s the limit for this guy and he’s definitely going places. 

From the Polish Ultraliga, I’d like to shoutout TheFakeOne and Magvayer as well. Once again, I don’t understand Polish, but they are really good with flow and that’s something you can recognise. When we do the EUpdate on the EUniverse with them, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with their English as well, and I think if they dedicated themselves to it, they could be really good English casters.

“Every time Quickshot casts with a new caster, the only thing he’ll tell them is “don’t be shit”. And I’ve been told this by many others, but he hasn’t told me this yet. So before he tells it to me, I want to stop him and I say, “Trevor, actually I got something to tell you. Don’t be shit”. And then I’m going to go in there with him, with me having said it first! That’s like number one on that bucket list.”

Before we end, we’ve spoken at length on the regional league players and casters, so finally I’m going to ask you to sell the ERLs and EU Masters to the audience. Why should people pay attention to the ERLs and EU Masters, and where should they go if they need a handy guide for it?

In general, because it brings such a local community when you get to be a part of it, especially if it’s your own ERL. It’s what keeps the LEC going as well since there’s always this huge talent pool, and you can watch these people evolve from the get go. You can be a part of it, and you can discuss with them and interact with them on social media platforms like Twitter, that maybe becomes less accessible as soon as they make it to the LEC.

It’s the fact that you can put yourself out there, even as a spectator, and if you want to work in esports then the ERLs is the perfect place to start. Everyone starts from somewhere and the ERLs are just the best way to work yourself up. This goes for pro players, coaches and us casters too. We all start somewhere and it’s the ERLs.

The ERLs are the foundation of European League of Legends and it will continue to be that. It will keep evolving and we just need more people in there to show it more support with evolution as well.

Do yourself a favor and find out what league is in your country, and if that’s not satisfying enough, well, the LFL is always a really good place to start! You don’t even have to understand what the casters are saying. The PG nationals as well is always great. There’s just so many interesting teams and leagues in the ERLs.

And if you still don’t know where to start…Well, let me tell you about the EUniverse on Twitter and EUniverse on YouTube, where we will bring you weekly coverage of the ERLs with highlights matches to watch, and the current standings of each ERL, leading up to European Masters, which should be your highlight of the year before Worlds and LEC!

Related article: Just Jon leaves UK League of Legends for France after being appointed head coach at Solary

We’ve come to the end of the interview. Is there anything else that you’d like to add? Any shoutouts you’d like to give? 

Shoutout to all the guys that brought me here. Shoutout to Excoundrel, Hiprain and Aux. Back when I didn’t get the gig for the old Nordic Championship, they reached out to me and I think because they got my help for the Nordics, they got that connection with me and wanted to bring me in to do more.

Shoutout to all the people I’ve worked with on Telia. I’ve worked with so many amazing people who shaped me to be where I am today. Shout out to Troubleinc for the last European Masters. We had a lot of fun, which is probably why I also get to be here because of our performance there.

Everyone who’s ever worked with me, if you’ve looked at me, taught me or done anything with me in work-related places, I thank you because you’ve made me who I am today!

Follow Guldborg on Twitter. You can find the times for all of LEC’s Week 1 matches for 2021 Summer here.

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