On October 16th, qualifiers for the NLC Fall Open, the first off-season League of Legends tournament for the UK, Ireland and Nordics, kicked off.
My, how time flies, as we now enter the quarter finals with the last eight teams competing for a prize pool of €24,000. Megalodontus looks back on the action that has led up to this point.
Fighting to exit groups
Before the Main Event, the NLC Fall Open consisted of two qualifiers, with the first one featuring 22 teams and the second having 18. Four teams advanced from each qualifier to the Main Event’s four groups.
There was a notable absence of UK academy powerhouse teams Fnatic Rising and BT Excel, but competition has still been fierce.
You’d expect NLC teams to make the quarters with minimal effort, but teams from the Telia Nordic Leagues as well as UKLC champions NVision Esports showed they weren’t pushovers. Of course, it’s worth noting that many teams have made significant changes to their rosters.
Group A saw NLC runners-up Riddle Esports crashing out unceremoniously in an all-NLC best-of-three against ENCE, who made no changes to their roster.
A heart-breaking game 3 resulted in a single, brilliant teamfight from ENCE to end Riddle’s run. While it certainly was not “EZ4ENCE” as their faithful would chant, it certainly was a relief for them.
The star of the group, however, were NVision, who despite fielding a completely new roster, marched on convincingly to exit as first seed.
NVision have had a stellar year so far, despite the lack of overt fanfare: top 4 in UKLC Spring, champions of UKLC Summer and now at worst, top 8 in the Fall Open. Perhaps Brelia’s Dad has been continuously feeding them his secret recipes…
Group B was dominated by the Swedish powerhouse UniQ Esports Club, who technically played a perfect game 3 against Viking Esports. We say technically because Viking managed to get one Rift Herald.
Finnish champions KOVA Esports, who were so close to making it to the NLC in their Summer Relegations, surprisingly fell short.
Viking Esports eventually made it through over the team with the name only caster Guldborg could pronounce: Danish champions Plejehjemmet Kalder (or PK, for the typical British tourists in everyone of us).
Group C, to no one’s surprise, had UK side Barrage Esports.
They managed to acquire Riddle’s former roster – probably through some dark, forbidden ritual – to muscle their way through as first seed. They arguably remain the favourites to win it all in the eyes of many, despite caster Hiprain’s obvious bias against them (sorry Hiprain, I had to say it)! (Editor’s note: shark boi does not necessarily reflect the views of Esports News UK 😛)
But the real surprise package unboxed its contents over not one, but two NLC teams, in the form of Absolved Esports.
Absolved’s never-say-die attitude has been inspirational thus far, falling short in Qualifier #1 but tearing their way through Qualifier #2 and finally never giving up against the more prestigious NLC teams in MNM Gaming and Team Singularity.
Group D saw Norway weep over their favoured sons: Nordavind had the misfortune of both their White and Black teams drawn together, with neither making it through.
Iceland’s top dogs in Dusty banished their nightmares of not making NLC Summer playoffs. They proceeded to defeat both Nordavind teams to exit as first seed, sealing their status as one of the dark horses of the tournament.
Tricked Esports, perhaps a victim of their own name, looked surprisingly shaky despite not making any roster changes.
Their odd Camille support strategy didn’t pay dividends against Nordavind White the first time around, but they didn’t repeat that in their rematch, eventually making it out as second seed.
The top eight
So here we are, finally: the eight best teams. Tricked and Barrage would loathe to face each other this early without double eliminations, but for the fans this match is truly all or nothing.
Meanwhile, UniQ will be looking to prove doubters who said they faced little to no competition in group B, wrong. They hope to slay the Finnish giants ENCE.
Dusty, on paper, have a cozy run to the finals, but the final Norwegian team in Viking have shown they are no slouches. Elsewhere, NVision and Absolved will battle it out to see who comes out in the fight for the ultimate underdog story.
Whichever team you cheer for, the quarter finals hopefully spark a chain of memorable firework plays to illuminate the end of an otherwise bleak year.
Here’s hoping that 2021 will be bring back much-wanted offline events to celebrate the magic of esports tournaments (amen to that – Dom).
- Thursday November 12th: Barrage vs Tricked, 5pm
- Thursday November 12th: Dusty vs Viking, 8pm
- Friday November 13th: UniQ vs ENCE, 5pm
- Friday November 13th: NVision vs Absolved
- Saturday November 14th: Winner of Barrage vs Tricked and winner of UniQ vs ENCE
- Saturday November 14th: Winner of Dusty vs Viking and winner of NVision vs Absolved
- Sunday November 15th: Grand final, 5pm
You can catch the NLC Fall quarter finals from November 12th 5pm GMT at https://www.twitch.tv/nlclol
Megalodontus is a miraculous survivour from the mass extinction and somehow learnt how to use his stubby fins to operate complicated mechanical equipment and drink tea. Worryingly for cryptozoologists, he’s been writing League of Legends articles too.
A self-taught writer who’s had the privilege to work with good editors who aren’t terrified of his pearly whites, Megalodontus is often seen writing with his partner-in-crime Clockwork (https://twitter.com/Clockwoork) either independently or for lolesports or liquidlegends. When not writing, he usually runs it down mid in real life and is fascinated with watching paint dry.