Fnatic Rising are grouped with Nordavind this time around, as well as recently promoted Galaxy Racer. This looks like a potentially explosive group, so let’s hear what the teams had to say.
For the first time since the UKLC began in 2019, Fnatic Rising was not the champion of its regional league. Losing to BT Excel not once, but twice in playoffs, was indeed somewhat surprising. Their exit from the EU Masters in the Play-In Knockouts too was unexpected.
Nevertheless, this team is Fnatic Rising. They still were the runner-ups and had some dominating performances. Indeed, Fnatic might prove to be even more terrifying in summer as they have used spring to work out their flaws. With players like midlaner Febiven still leading the charge, Fnatic will be looking towards reclaiming the NLC title once more.
“Our Spring Season maybe wasn't the best, but I still highly believe that our roster will come online in summer. The NLC season will also be longer, which will help us to test ourselves in the battlefield of official games. I want to bring the guys and especially Bean to EU Masters once again, that’s my goal!
Of course, winning everything is still the main focus of every single team competing, but I really believe if we work hard, we will bring it home and make Fnatic and its fans proud. It will always be a long journey and process, but we have already started it on the right foot and want to get the most out of it.”delord, Fnatic Rising Head Coach
Last spring was a phenomenal achievement for Nordavind. As the premier Norwegian team, expectations were always going to be high, and them finishing third after a turbulent group stage was better than anyone could have imagined.
For summer, this success surely has galvanised the team to realise they can go further. Like Team Singularity, Nordavind have kept the same roster from spring, and keeping their star marksmen Chrisberg is a massive boon to the team’s ambitions. Will Nordavind finally be able to take down the academy teams this season?
“For expectations this summer, I expect us to take steps even further than spring. In the end it's all up to us, which we showed with both being tied for last place halfway through, and then turning it around to finish top three, taking games from both academies on the road.
Keeping the roster for the entire 2021 was always the plan, and we’re obviously really happy with how the lads performed. Having a team with a Norwegian core challenge for an EU Masters is something even I have struggled to believe could happen the last few years, but we did it and we will keep believing that we can do it.”Kami, Nordavind Manager
Galaxy Racer Esports EU
Galaxy Racer are one of the new teams to qualify for the NLC this summer, and what a road it has been for them. From dominating Telia Sweden, finishing second in Telia Masters, then defeating both Dusty and Bifrost to qualify into the NLC.
Going into NLC summer, Galaxy Racer have kept three of their players that participated in their promotion run and added mid-laner Tibor and and support Wendelbo, who previously played for Riddle Esports. After their strong showings through the spring season, Galaxy Racer are clearly not to be taken lightly.
"Promotion for us, while enjoyable, was a formality. The real goal since the inception of the team has been to challenge the top of the NLC. We've fortified our roster since gaining entry, bringing in Wendelbo to support, who is a fantastic leadership figure and having a wealth of experience, and Tibor for the mid-lane who is a young skillful rookie with huge potential.
Our aims for the Summer Season are simple: Make it as far in playoffs as we can. How far depends upon the work we put in, names on paper don't mean much without the grind behind it. We have all the tools within our team to go all the way, the hunger to be successful. But it will require a lot of hard work and dedication to bring everyone together as a unit, and play the game at a higher level than they have before."Rnglol, Galaxy Racer Head Coach
Compared to what Riddle Esports achieved in the summer of 2020, last spring would be comparatively quiet and perhaps slightly disappointing. Riddle finished fifth in Group B, often struggling in many games to find their form, and missed a playoffs spot.
For summer, while expectations for Riddle will probably not be sky high, they have brought in a rather interesting roster, mixing in experienced players like Kektz as well as Guubi from MKERS with a new name in mid-laner SlowQ. The biggest question mark will be their jungler Beambu, who returns after a long competitive break.
“I’m very excited for summer. After a disappointing Spring Season, we are very eager to get better results. There’s a lot of work done behind the roster, and I am happy to have coach Nias with me on this. We have some familiar faces and some new ones, I think our rookie midlaner “SlowQ” has the potential to surprise a lot of people, and I am especially excited to see him in action.
The goal for us will be trying to qualify for the EU Masters again. We’re on a tough schedule to become the best version of ourselves we can be but we’re aiming for the star!”Snilltvedt, Riddle Esports Team Manager
Like Granit Gaming, few had much expectations of KOVA Esports during last spring. Yet they surprised everyone with a run to playoffs, taking down Riddle Esports twice, and giving hope to the Finnish fans after ENCE’s departure from the NLC.
KOVA have retained the services of Tatuy, Snurmi and Tiara, who have been with them since summer last year. They’ve also kept experienced jungler Outlandisch and added mid-laner Simpli to round up their roster. Will they fly the Finnish flag high once more?
“Last season KOVA's identity was being a late game teamfight focused team. For summer, in order to achieve playoffs again (which is our main goal), we need to adapt and learn to play other styles as well, and the addition of Simpli has helped us a lot so far!
In my opinion NLC summer is weaker than spring , but I'm definitely looking forward to getting surprised by all the rookies out there!”Arag0rne, KOVA Esports Head Coach
In 2020 summer, Godsent defied all odds and made it to playoffs. In 2021 spring, they very nearly pulled it off again, with the chaos of Group A sorted on the last day of the regular season. Godsent lost the tiebreaker to Granit Gaming and unfortunately missed playoffs.
For last spring, Godsent had a team with a good mix of rookies and more experienced players. For this season, they are looking to do the same, and they are committing to developing this team with three coaches at the helm. Can Godsent once more reach the promised land of playoffs?
“We will be looking to build infrastructure for this summer. For the past few seasons, Godsent, I think, has been lacking actual coaching and management infrastructure in the LoL department. We want to change that and become a team the other NLC teams look to for inspiration.vand2, Godsent Coach
For that purpose we have picked up a few unproven talents we wish to work with and create the best possible outcome. The expectation is to remain in the league and not demote, the goal is to reach playoffs, and the dream is to win the whole thing.”
The NLC kicks off tomorrow at 6pm CEST, make sure to tune in on Twitch!