The NSL originated from the NS1 competitive community where in 2005, it was created as a fork of the French league and named as the ENSL (European Natural Selection League).
From its formation until the end of NS1 competitive play in 2010, It hosted 15 seasons, 16 Night Cups, 2 Nation Cups (in 2007 and 2009), various exhibition matches and several other small competitions.
When NS2 was released in October of 2012, there was already a small competitive community formed from beta-testers and the league was able to quickly re-establish itself as a major hub for competitive play to be organised. After discussions on which countries would be supported by the league, it was decided that the name would change from ENSL to NSL as it is known today, to reflect the fact that teams are accepted on a world-wide basis.
The NSL follows a standard group tournament ranking system where teams with a similar skill group are separated into divisions and play one season per calendar year. The number of divisions in the NSL for a season will vary based on the amount of competing teams. Usually, each team will play an even-number of matches and each team will play every other team once.
Matches are played across 2 maps with 2 rounds played on each map. Teams are awarded 1 point for every round won.
|Competitive scoring examples|
|Map 1||Map 2|
|Team||Round 1||Round 2||Round 1||Round 2||Total points|
As shown in the example above, the possible score a team can take from any competitive game is 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4 points.
The map pool (maps that may be selected for competitive matches) generally changes with each respective season.
|2015 Map pool|
The NSL operates several media channels to allow viewing of competitive events.