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From zero to $27,500: The Rise & Fall & Rise Again of NESO.

The ground up work to make NESO the future of tournament organizers.

If you're here, you certainly have heard of NESO, but have you heard of Northern Esports Organization? Believe it or not, NESO is an acronym for the name we came up with over five years ago. With time, we've slowly shortened it down to just NESO, but that's not the only thing that has dramatically changed. We've switched logos numerous times, adopted various games, and constantly worked to improve the quality of tournaments we're able to provide to our participants. We proudly say we're a North American grassroots tournaments organizer with humble roots and ambitious goals. Learn about our story, and what we have coming up!

A green bear paw
Our first official logo!

As a teenager, our founder started NESO with $20 and a CSGO server. He had hoped to give opportunities to the North American teams who previously had no way to play against each other consistently, and so he began hosting weekly CSGO scrims between small teams for prizes ranging from $100 to $300. Soon, these turned into much larger tournaments that allowed teams across NA to compete against each-other with a live-broadcast. Casters, observers, and event staff all volunteered their time to make

those events a reality, and even though we are happy to say

we've much improved on their quality, we still proudly carry on their tradition of live-broadcast events focused on providing opportunities not just to players, but also to our staff members. With weekly training opportunities, and a constant commitment to using what we receive to benefit them, NESO has helped grow the NA scene.

You can watch some of our original clips above, featuring some casters you may even recognize still working with us today!


He will never let us forget this photo.

After 2018 passed, 2019 brought a new wave of esports optimism. There was a dramatic shift away from traditional shooters like CSGO or Overwatch, and instead we saw a rise in League of Legends and battle-royal games within North America. Titles like Fortnite and Apex Legends had become the new stomping grounds of try-hard FPS streamers in North America, and so NESO decided to take a break from hosting our events starting in July. Our members didn't quit esports however, and most of them spread throughout the industry to find new opportunities. In fact, our founder had ended up making their way to Twitchcon 2019 as a Twitch Rival and participated in the Apex Legends event that year. While things might've seemed done for NESO, we still had a spark of optimism and in early 2020 we had begun hosting events again, but this time in League of Legends!


The logo we adopted in 2020 is featured above. We had taken the mountains from a prior logo we had adopted sometime in early 2019 and put them inside of a shield, resembling the older style of logos used by LCS and other famous organizers.

Of course, League of Legends wasn't going to be the biggest game from Riot in 2020. Rumors

had begun of a new game called Valorant being developed by Riot Games, and it would be the first FPS shooter we'd seen from the studio. The game featured a unique mix of Overwatch and CSGO traits that meant it would be the perfect fusion for NESO. We began working towards beginning the new NESO by getting the crew back together. It honestly was something out of a movie as we reached out towards our oldest members and casters to get involved and relaunch NESO not just as a community but as a real grassroots tournament organizer. In late 2020, early 2021, we had officially launched our beta by hosting League of Legends, CSGO, and Valorant tournaments on a weekly basis. We were rapidly experimenting with new logos, styles, and tournament formats to create the best possible events, and near the end of 2021 we finally launched our Winter Invitational, along with a shiny new logo!

NESO's late 2020 and early 2021 logo. Still using the full name.

We were excited to have partnered up with Opera GX for an opportunity to host our biggest Valorant event yet. At the same time, we had stopped hosting tournaments for CSGO and League of Legends as we wanted to put all of our effort into this new event series, we're still all volunteers after all. It was the first of a multi-week tournament series leading to a large final prize pool, and we streamed every tournament! It was really when the NESO you see today started to fully take shape, because it marked the beginning of NESO's dedication to our current style of events. As well, many of our current staff members had fully joined the team following this event series, along with a lot of the teams who have become staples of NESO's tournaments.

Able Esports had won the 2021 Winter Invitational, and you'll still see their organization winning various major tournaments across NA as they've remained extremely competitive. Following this relative success, we had one more tournament series to really put together before we were comfortable fully launching and that was our Spring Invitational. Our Spring Invitational would be much larger than our tournaments, but also would remain to be entirely streamed. We weren't entirely sure how we would continue at that weekly pace, since we had only a handful of staff members, but through consistency and the amazing efforts of various people who have became part of NESO in a variety of ways, we're glad to have concluded our Spring Invitational!

It's exciting to think about those successes, but we're even more excited for our future. NESO will soon be launching our Summer Invitational, with a prize pool of up to $27,500. That's a crazy tournament to be able to host in North America, and we're proud to be the ones doing it. It wasn't easy for us to take this leap, and you might've noticed that we'd been a bit more quiet than usual while we prepared for it. We'll be switching to a full two day schedule every single week for the Summer Invitational along with hosting our usual small Sunday tournaments on Friday now, and that means we've had to do a lot of training and preparation to make sure this switch could be almost effortless.

Every single week starting in June (Except the weekend of the 4th of July and Father's Day) we'll be hosting qualifiers for our Summer Invitational, which will occur in August! Registration is right through our website at www.playneso.com/upcomingevents! In cooperation with BattleFy we'll be hosting our tournaments on their platform so stay tuned for those brackets every single week! Finally, we'll have every event live-broadcast as usual. Nothing has changed on that front, except the quality. We've worked heavily on increasing the quality of our media with a professional design studio and it certainly wasn't easy! We went through over thirty different logo design sketches before deciding on our newest one!

Bringing in a new style for our brand, we're proud to have it!

We've retained our colors, and felt that keeping the mountain was essential to what made NESO still Northern Esports Organization! We believe that every player climbs a mountain of their own to participate and do the best they can, and we're proud to host them here at NESO. We're still the same old grassroots organizer you love, but we're just getting a little more cocky about it and decided we're going to be the best one yet.


As you see, NESO didn't grow quickly. It has taken us five years of trial and error to finally become who we are today, and we're proud of that! We're striving to be the best grassroots organizer in North America, and that won't happen without breaking a few eggs (Or missing a few deadlines more accurately.) So stay tuned, and sign up for our amazing upcoming events today. Don't miss out on the early bird entry!


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