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DreamHack, Riot and Telia unite for Northern LoL Championship

Esports organisation DreamHack, video game developer Riot Games and telecoms operator Telia have teamed up to launch a Northern European arm of the League of Legends Championship.

DreamHack and Riot Games have entered an agreement to launch the Northern League of Legends Championship (NLC), a new Northern European league in Riot Games’ LoL title, which will be run by DreamHack.

The NLC will be supported by a new competitive ecosystem in Telia Esports Series, which is expanding from Finland to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, featuring national leagues and the DreamHack-operated UKLC in the UK and Ireland.

The inaugural season of NLC is scheduled to start in June, and will be played online with the season finals planned to be held on August 7-8 at DreamHack Summer in Jönköping, Sweden. Twelve of Northern Europe’s best League of Legends esports teams will participate in the NLC, including ENCE, Nordavind, Singularity, Barrage, BT Excel and Fnatic Rising. They will compete for a minimum of SEK1m (€92,000/$100,000) per season, which will be awarded to teams and players.

“DreamHack has been the leading esports organiser in the Nordics for a very long time and we are very excited to partner up with Riot on a long-term basis to create a more stable ecosystem for players, fans, and teams around League of Legends,” Michael Van Driel, chief product officer at DreamHack, said.

“In partnership with 12 top team organisations from all of the different countries here, the NLC believe it is going to be the best regional esports competition out there.”

Together with DreamHack and Riot, Telia will establish the League of Legends Nordics with national series and several international components. Telia said the co-operation with Riot makes it possible for Telia Esports Series to expand from Finland to Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

All countries will have their own national leagues with gamecasts offered in the native languages of each country. The best two teams from the Telia-produced national leagues will move on to the Telia Masters tournament, from where the best teams will advance to the Northern League of Legends series.

“Riot Games already has League of Legends leagues in North America, Europe, China and Korea,” Heli Partanen, chief executive of Telia Finland, said. “With the new Telia Esports Series we want to make the Nordic countries a significant part of the global esports ecosystem and provide the players and viewers with world-class esports content and experiences. Only our imagination is the limit in our new co-operation.”

Telia last month acquired rights in Finland from DreamHack and ESL to the ESL Pro Tour. DreamHack and ESL also agreed a media-rights deal for the ESL Pro Tour with Norwegian commercial and pay-television broadcaster TV2.