At the beginning of the year, we announced our cooperation with the tournament platform “Challengermode” focusing on the growth of the amateur esports scene in the region, primarily through the National Esports Leagues (NEL) system.
The Esports Balkan League (EBL) will be integrated into the National Esports Leagues framework built by Challengermode. Today, the EBL belongs to Riot’s European Regional League (ERL) program and qualifies its best 2 teams to the European Masters.
This allows players in the Balkan region to play at their national level (NEL) all the way up through the regional level (EBL) into the European Masters (pan-European level).
The establishment of National Esports Leagues will take place in several stages, and for the time being it is confirmed that Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro will have their national competitions in the first stage which begins in April.
Fortuna Esports will lead the projects for Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the National Esports Leagues of Montenegro and Slovenia will be organized in cooperation with the Esports Association of Montenegro (ESSCG) and Društvo za elektronske športe (SPID.SI), respectively.
In addition to the prize money, NEL champions will also get a spot in the closed qualifiers for the next EBL season and thus get the opportunity to play in an international tournament against other champions from the region.
At this moment, each National League will have only the first division made up of top 6 national teams, which will be selected on the basis of previous successes and through the open qualifications that will precede the competition season.
“The development of amateur competitions has always been one of our top priorities because we believe that it is necessary to have a healthy foundation that will support the highest competitive rank, which is currently EBL.
At the moment we have a situation where players who played in the first Junior Cups, organized in cooperation with Asus, are now debuting in EBL teams and representing new talents in our region. The National Leagues will provide an even better and more straightforward framework for all players and teams who have the desire to prove themselves and show that they have what it takes to succeed. “
– Mihajlo Džaril, CEO, Fortuna Esports
“We’re incredibly proud of what Fortuna are setting up in region, and excited for the roll-out of the National Leagues in the Balkan. The guys have done a formidable job at setting up what we believe is the best-case scenario for amateur and casual players alike. A clear path from the amateur level of play to the absolute top for those wishing to get there, and a place to consistently play with players of your own skill level for those simply wishing to engage in competitive play for fun.”
– Philip Hübner, Head of Business Development & Strategy, Challengermode