David Hollingsworth
David Hollingsworth
David has written for games media outlets for the last seven years. With his first major esports role being with Esports News UK covering mostly UK League of Legends. David is also a member of the British Esports Association and is an advisor to them on World of Warcraft Esports. More recently David has worked for Esports Insider and Red Bull as an esports journalist.

ESL Announces Return of Northern League of Legends Championships

The ESL logo of a circle containing three lines and a shaded section is next to the NLC logo with three purple and blue lines, with the outer ones cut off at an end
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ESL Gaming Northern League of legends Championships (NLC) will begin on January 19, 2021.


With 1 million SEK ($120,000) in the total prize pool, ESL is looking to invest in the scene for 2021. After a successful 2020 launch, the NLC is back for 2021 for the yearly regional event covering the Nordic region and the UK & Ireland.

Fnatic Rising took home the inaugural season back in August 2020, beating Riddle Esports in the final. It wasn’t a great showing for the NLC at the European Masters, sadly, and that will be something the region needs to work on in 2021.

Key dates for NLC 2021:

  • 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 7 pm CET each day.
  • March 2-21 2021: Four teams from each group will advance to the playoffs, March 2-21 2021.
  • March 22-24, 2021:The relegation series, where the top two teams from the Telia Esports Series Masters are set to 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.

For 2021, Nordic telecoms company Telia will be the title sponsor of the event who operates the regional league for Norway, Sweden, Finland and, Denmark, titled Telia Esports Series. The NLC also included the UK & Ireland regional league the UKLC, and the separate Iceland Open.

Improve the fortunes of the region

The aim of the competition is to bring talent through the diverse regional leagues. This is something that the scene has always managed to achieve over the years. With some of the top names in the LEC and LCS coming from the likes of Denmark and Sweden.

While the UK has a number of players in the region now, it’s often failed to produce a lot of dedicated talent. The BTXL and Fnatic Rising LEC academies are going a long way to fix the issue. However, a lot of work still remains to be done.

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