Brief History of ENSL (NS1-era)
In 2001 a mod-called Natural Selection was released for the Half-Life engine. The game quickly became the most popular independent Half-Life modification because of its unique blend of fast-paced FPS and RTS gameplay. Bringing these two wildly different genres together resulted in a deep and engaging team experience, never before seen in comparable games. There are some video casts made by blind and the movie section has frag montage synced with music. Demos are available from most of the matches.
After its initial release, several NS competitions were launched in Europe, namely by Clanbase, Gamingorb, and UGL. In 2005 ENSL was forked off from French NS League by core competitive players: Naxo, Mike, Freeze, b1 and Fana. Later Bob_Slayer and frG took an important role in hosting and updating the website. After five seasons frG left, yours truly took over and new generation of admins started running the league.
In 2010 major NS1 leagues and competitions officially ended. The result was:
- 15 ENSL Seasons,
- 16 Night Cups (newer, older)
- 2 Nations Cups (2009, 2007)
- Some exhibition matches like Team EU vs USA
- Other small competitions
Thanks to the team leaders, players, referees, donators and admins we've been able to run for 15 seasons and about 20 cups between them. There're dozens, maybe almost hundred contributors who made this possible.
If you have any questions or problems with the website, matches and so on, don't hesitate to contact any admin for help. The best way to reach us is through this website, forums, contact form or #ENSL on Quakenet.
Hall of ENSL Donators
Download some here.
- The list of admins is ordered by number of news posts made which is hardly a good measure of merit.
- The list of donations is a bit incomplete as there are have been numerous indirect supporters.
- The list of predictors is not complete because many people contributed individual predictions
- The list of shoutcasters and referees is pretty good
Its hard to quantify people's contributions to the ENSL community.
- Some helped enforce rules and do administration like b1 and Voodo
- Some clan leaders like Fana, Morvie and Peach ran teams for very long time
- Some people wrote handy articles like Bacillus, go check them out on the articles page
- Some like lump` and Gibbz helped just get the games going and helped new players.
- Some were just fun to have around like Danny and frG
- Some people like Tane, vartija and Saebel played many games, keeping the game alive
- Also numerous NSFI admins paid for servers in the past.
- ENSL would also like to thank NS1 Developers (esp. Flayra) making this possible
- AMXX developers (modns.org) deserve thanks for making our job much easier
- YO Clan also deserves special mention for helping with server costs
At this point it is mission impossible to get all these names, but if you feel like you are missing, please don't hesitate to contact!
This marks the end for competitive NS1, and I'd like to thank everyone who made this possible. It was a great game, it was as social as internet games can be, it was fun, it was fast, it was demanding, it pumped up some adrenaline, rage and fury. Matches were sometimes boring, sometimes exciting and drama was always to be found. We had nine awesome years of good games, rivalries and camaraderie, but all good things come to an end. Big thanks to everyone!
// Written by jiriki
History of NSL and NS2 competitive
Many NS1 players had really high expectations to Natural Selection 2 after Unknown Worlds released the infamous video of their prototype of dynamic infestation in December 2006. Some years went by and the project was believed dead by many people. But that changed in 2010, when Unknown Worlds announced that they would be releasing an alpha version of NS2, on a game engine they designed themselves. From there, players could follow development of the game all the way up close, everything from playing the alpha version to live changelogs to videos of interviews with the developers from the office.
About a year and a half before launch, I, swalk, contacted jiriki about opening the gather service for NS2 at ENSL and as the interest was there, the gathers were opened and I administrated them for about the first year of NS2 at ENSL. At October the 31st 2012, the game was set for release. There were already a small tight-knit competitive community of a few handfuls of teams, who competed amongst themselves and in tournaments during the beta. And most noticably the ESL + UWE hosted ESL Launch Tournament, which surely was a historical day for Natural Selection, it had it's first big LAN event with prizes. Archaea ran with the first place prize, just ahead of Exertus.
I wanted to create the home for everyone to meet and play NS2 and I knew ENSL was the longest living competitive community of NS1, so I thought it was a perfect match. New blood and longevity together. I talked to jiriki once again and this time I was allowed to start the league. When I announced the league I was all by myself, albeit I was only alone for a very short period of time. Others quickly jumped on the bandwagon and a solid admin team was formed to keep everything in order. Among the first arrivals for the admin team were known people from the NS1-era like: bHack, noway, blind, huhuh and Jimmis. blind was given head admin. While I was given season admin and the others were given division- and website/ts3 admin responsibilities.
After the signups for the first season were opened, I was questioned if the ENSL would support teams from other regions of the world than Europe. Part of my philosophy was that it should be open for everyone and it should be a place that brings people together. Like UWE's motto; "Unite the world through play". I wanted to remove the "European" part of ENSL, making it NSL. After a lot of nostalgia, tears and reminisense about the old name, I was permitted to call the active league NSL as it made sense with all the intercontinental teams that had signed up. But the rest of website would stay the same, until it was clear that international play would be a success on the site. The first season kicked off with 100 participating teams from all over the world, making it the largest contest of all time on the site. It was split in three different regions; Europe, America, Australia/Asia. NSL became the largest league in NS2.
After the first season, the first Custom Map Cup was held, to help bring awareness about custom maps and support their development by giving them playtime and advice by competitive players. So the maps can improve and potentially be inserted into the league. At this point UWE had contacted me about cooperating a LAN event, which I had named NSL Invitational due to it's nature of only allowing European and North American participants. It was an online tournament leading into LAN finals. The online part was hosted by NSL, while UWE handled the LAN event with all the costs and logistics including plane tickets and hotels for the players. Archaea ran with the first place prize, beating Nexzil(now Titus Gaming) in the final. UWE wanted to continue supporting the competitive community, so they had also set up a bunch of servers dedicated for competitive play under NSL's name. Decreasing the server trouble from the first season. This marked the beginning good bond between UWE and NSL.
Directly after the Invitational had ended, Season 2 was played out with about 80 participating teams. Over the next period, there was several cups, including the European Open 2013, which was a similar event to the Invitational, except it only included European teams. The European Open 2013 was hosted by the NSL admin Zefram and UWE. This time the french team Legendary Snails ran with the first place prize, beating Saunamen to it.
In season 3, NSL switched from being several regional split leagues, to being one big intercontinental league. Partially because some of the regions could not withstand their own regional leagues anymore and there was an outcry for intercontinental matches. Towards the end of season 3, I resigned my post as season admin and recommended Zefram to take over my position and he did just so. And the rest of season played out nicely. Leading up to the 4th season, the website had an overhaul. The logo changed from ENSL to NSL. Boy, were I glad when I saw it. My vision had become reality by the hands of others. Massive shoutout to everyone who worked on it and are still working on it! csm, Simba, Feathermonster, jiriki, chris, simple and rantology.
Zefram hosted the seasons and cups for NSL for quite a while, hosting many great events such as the NS2WC in cooperation with UWE. The biggest NS2 LAN event to date, with four participating teams. Legendary Snails took the first place in the finals by catching Titus Gaming off-guard with an early baserush in the last round. blind resigned as head admin and Zefram became head admin and the season admin position ceased to exist for some time. After a couple of seasons and many cups, Zefram gave up his position right before season 6, where Pelargir took over as head admin and tudy became season admin.
Seasons have gone by and community have grown smaller, but more tight-knit than ever and everyone keeps coming back for some reason. The seasons and cups still go on and we are still writing history in the one true Hall of Fame. Let's see if we can surpass NS1's long list of winners!
Other Notable Admins and Referees (besides already mentioned)
Listed in no particular order. If I missed anyone, I'm really sorry. PM me.
// Written by swalk