About Team Norse Thunder
Founded in 2016, Team Norse Thunder uses the power of games to bring people together. The team has players representing it at the elite level of competition in the Pokemon TCG, Hearthstone, and League of Legends gaming titles, and also runs a number of community teams and events that are open to all.
Thanks to a UnLtd grant in 2020, Team Norse Thunder moved from a passion project to a registered Community Interest Company. As a not for profit organisation, it focuses on putting time and effort, and reinvesting profits, into supporting and growing the community. This shift also sees the team running events and gaming get-togethers at community facilities to help people re-engage with their local area in a post-COVID-19 world.
The team has a track record of supporting players in successfully qualifying for and playing at the premier level of competition, including world and international championships, while also helping them build life skills and a growing network of friends. One day, a world champion will be wearing the yellow and black jersey of Team Norse Thunder!
In late 2016, Team Norse Thunder launched as a small group of friends in the West Midlands who came together to play the Exodus TCG - a trading card game founded in America. As the group grew, it became the world's first Exodus TCG team and supported players taking part in competitive level events by working together to build decks and test out strategies.
Two years later, three of the team's players qualified for the inaugural Exodus TCG World Championships, with two ultimately taking part in the event in Fresno, California. The team went on to secure 10th and 11th place. In the run-up to the event, Dave Scotford, who finished 11th, held the world number one ranking, while his teammate, Zach Carlson was ranked third.
While competitive play was at the heart of Team Norse Thunder, the team also ran casual play events in local game stores and community spaces in the West Midlands. The team’s work helped to grow the game's overall audience and supported local game stores in setting up competitive and casual play programs.
The Modern Day
January 2020 saw Team Norse Thunder return to some of its player’s gaming roots, The Pokemon TCG and Hearthstone, and roster changes and a restructure were announced. With the change came a greater focus on community-level events and helping players chase their goals while also giving them the skills to succeed in life - the Team Norse Thunder social enterprise was born.
To lead the Pokemon TCG division, Karys Belfield was brought in and set about securing a season-high ranking inside Europe's top 32 players. Her first season playing the game saw her on the brink of qualifying for the 2020 World Championships before COVID-19 saw the event cancelled. The team’s Pokemon TCG community-building work has brought together people from all walks of life with life-changing friendships developed!
Meanwhile, Phoebe Belfield joined to lead the Team Norse Thunder Hearthstone division. As well as securing an impressive Diamond rank in her first season of competitive play (the second-highest rank available), she has built a growing community of Hearthstone players who meet regularly to play and watch games together.
2021 saw the team move from a focus on trading card games and open up to the world of esports with the launch of a League of Legends program. An elite-level team act as community figureheads while Team Norse Thunder coaching staff are building community event programs.