The start of NLC 2021 summer marks the inevitable return of the UKLC, and here we are.
London Esports had a very eventful spring, where they took a bit of time to ramp up and gel as a team before establishing themselves as a title contender towards the end of the season.
While the loss in the finals was heartbreaking, it should serve to galvanise their ambitions for summer. Retaining mid-laner Beeley and support JeppeHou, London have bolstered their ranks once more and this time, they are aiming for nothing less than first.
“Last season, we took Resolve to the brink in an intense 3-2 final, and were the best performing UK team at Telia Masters, losing to only the top two teams in Galaxy Racer and Bifrost. With resolve out of the way, we're looking to dominate the UKC with our new and improved roster, and show Resolve the proper way to promote!
I believe this will be our season to lose. With the amount of talent, synergy and proven success within these players, the UKLC won't be ready for what we will be bringing, inside and out of the game. I just can't wait to get going and show everyone what we're made of.” - Joshua Mulgrew, London Esports Team Manager
MNM dropped down from the NLC in the Relegation Series, losing to Bifrost 2-1 and Dusty 3-1. They’ve forfeited their academy spot to make way for another team to make the UKLC, which was lauded by the community at large. MNM’s academy results prior to this were two playoffs achievements.
The relegation is undoubtedly a bitter pill to swallow, and MNM are certainly not going to take it lying down. Even if they don’t promote back into the NLC straight away, you can be sure they will light up the UKLC just as they’ve done in previous seasons!
“Last season we obviously had a really strong first round and had issues to keep performing in the second round. Semi-finals definitely didn’t go as expected, and I‘m disappointed the team couldn’t showcase what they were capable of. However,I‘m still really proud of everyone on the team and about the individual growth from everyone.
Looking summer and my team, I‘m pretty sure this team has the highest ceiling from the teams I‘ve built so far for MNM. Since MNM got relegated from the NLC, I built this team to bring MNM back into the NLC, and every player and staff member has the same goal.
At least in my opinion, the overall competition is lower than before. Obviously upsets can happen and we won’t disrespect anyone from the league, but we’re the clear favorites and we’ll make sure to meet everyone's expectations.
Watch us dumpster these UKEL teams. #ForTheFlame” - Fresh, MNM Academy Team Manager
Lucent Esports were undoubtedly the surprise story of last season. Making their way through the Lower Bracket to beat favourites Demise Academy? Check. Defeating Demise’s main team? Check. Defeating Bulldog Esports in 3-0 to promote to the UKLC? Check!
Lucent has rewarded this run by keeping four of their players who helped them promote and strengthened their team with four additional substitutes. New faces they might be, but if their performances are like last season, one can fully expect a lot of thrills with Lucent Esports!
“Our last season was an eventful one for sure, with the organisation swap alongside our shaky start to going on to winning the whole thing and breezing promotions. This led us to feel very proud of the players and staff who had worked tirelessly to make the win a reality, and we hope to keep that momentum going pushing into the big leagues next split.
In terms of roster we have made a few changes. Whilst we have tried to keep the Lucent identity with the extended roster, we are also stressing that this will be a new and improved UKLC ready roster. We have bought in some great upcoming talent who we believe have the potential to be in the next wave of great players, and they are all very keen to show their talent on the big stage.
My personal expectations of course are to do as well as we possibly can and make a great first impression in the UKLC. I think for us right now the main goal is the push for playoffs and to take one step at a time. Ultimately, we just want to show that all our hard work has made us deserving of competing and staying in the UKLC for many seasons to come!” - Rydona, Lucent Esports General Manager
NVision Esports endured a disappointing spring to say the least, considering the heights they achieved in 2020: fourth in spring, summer champions and runner-up in the Fall Open. 2021 spring saw them dodge relegations instead, starting off strong but slowly dropping in form thereafter.
Coming into the summer season, NVision have decided to part ways with coach FireVortex, who had helped them achieve the championship last summer. Under a new direction, can NVision rise back to the heights they once reached?
“As NVision Head Coach for the summer, my goal is to win. We have secured a pretty promising squad of players, mixed with talent and experience, and we are slowly working on creating a really strong team that the UK will have to be afraid of.
Everyone on this roster is here to improve and showcase their better self, and I'm working hard with the players to achieve another Summer Season title for NVision! Cheers to our fans, I hope they are ready for our fresh gameplay.” - Leviathan, NVision Head Coach
Resolve acquired Barrage Esports prior to the season starting, hence why they’ve promoted to the NLC and have an academy team here in the UKLC. Before this, Resolve are the defending champions, winning spring in tremendous fashion, remaining undefeated up until the finals against London Esports.
Despite the ‘academy’ tag, Resolve as an organisation will see their spring title as one they are still obligated to defend. Mixing in a team with experience and using players for their previous UKEL roster, can Resolve achieve their dream of winning the UKLC again?
“Following the Barrage acquisition at the beginning of May, we decided that promoting our freshly UKEL-qualified academy team directly to the UKLC is the best solution available. The team will, throughout the summer season, closely observe the NLC team and have access to coaching sessions, practice sets and materials used there on a daily basis, in order to allow them to grow and improve at a faster pace.
Looking back, this lineup definitely has ‘big shoes’ to fill. Although I, and everyone else within the organization, believe there is a lot of potential in this roster. With proper guidance and structure, it will show rapidly once the season begins.
Our goal for the upcoming season, apart from obviously reaching desired results, is more importantly to provide the best environment for the players to grow on both professional and personal level, as they still have a lot to learn. It is our responsibility as an organization to ensure that players have everything they need to perform and are fully integrated into our internal structure. Once everything in that matter is covered, there is no doubt in my mind that the results will follow.” - Navy, Resolve Team Manager
Enclave are on the rise if we look at their results from 2020 summer. They narrowly missed playoffs then, but last spring they not only reached the playoffs but missed making the finals by one game, losing to London Esports. It is a good sign for one of the UK’s more recognisable names.
To capitalise on that, Enclave have kept Sykes and Impulse from last spring and built around them with a combination of relative rookies to the UKLC. Missing the finals by a game in spring, Enclave no doubt are eyeing a spot in the Telia Masters for summer, and they are #ChargedUp for it.
“Keeping Sykes and Impulse has allowed us to build upon a relatively successful spring split. We've blended a mix of exciting rookies and experience as we hope to push for that Telia Masters spot.
Despite the tough competition, I believe we definitely have the right foundations to build something successful this summer. If we can emulate what we have behind closed doors on the official games, then our trajectory will be heading further upwards towards our collective end goal.” - Sovonix, Enclave LoL Director
Bulldog has had a rather tumultuous time in the UKLC. Famous for their winless 2020 summer season, and last spring they dropped to relegations after a promising start. However, the team rallied when times looked dark and defeated Viperio 3-1, securing their spot back in the UKLC.
They’ve brought back Thomas Goh to lead their midlane charge, where he had some great performances with them in 2020 summer. Building a team with experience and younger talents, Bulldog will certainly be doing everything they can to make sure they have a better season. After all, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight!
“When you look back on the end of last season, many would see relegation as a disappointing placement for Bulldog Esports. However, the team and organisation showed tremendous progress, skill, and ability to build a roster that was supposed to be competing in the UKEL, to then compete in the UKLC, and to only be one game away from playoffs was a massive achievement. From this step, I wanted to come in and help Bulldog build on what they had started.
Coming into summer, we were able to bring back some familiar faces to Bulldog, ones that we believe have unfinished business in the UKLC. We are delighted to have Thomas and Jacob return to the team as well as our old Head Coach Rox. We believe that they have had time to develop both outside the UK scene and away from Bulldog. When we were presented the chance to work with them again, we could not say no.
We have paired some familiar faces to Bulldog with some amazing players new to the UK scene that we believe will elevate us to fight for the playoff positions once again. This time, we do not plan on missing out.” - Kaya, Bulldog Esports Team Manager
Viperio are an organisation that has been on the cusp of making it to the UKLC more than once. For this summer, they have done it. Despite their loss to Bulldog Esports in relegations, the acquisition of Barrage by Resolve opened an additional spot. By virtue of their performances in spring, Viperio were chosen to move up.
Like Lucent Esports, Viperio have retained some of their players from the UKEL like support Hasse and jungler JonnyREcco. They put their trust in developing talent for this season and it will certainly be exciting to see how they fare in the UKLC.
“After competing in the UKEL for two years, a promotion into the UKLC is a welcomed challenge by both the players and staff at Viperio. The organisation was delighted to see positive community support once it was announced Viperio would be filling the vacant spot within the UKLC.
We've retained our coaching staff, along with three players from last season's roster. Combined with the new faces we've welcomed for summer, we truly believe we have a squad that can hold its weight and challenge teams at this level and beyond. Viperio are keen to prove that we belong within the UKLC, and hope to demonstrate this through our performance this season.” - Christopher Sword, Viperio Found & Managing Director