With the cancellation of the beloved hockey carnival that is the IIHF World Championships, we received news last week that an Esports Fan Championship will be hosted. It's an exciting way of involving fans around the world and putting the tournament in your hands - EA Sports NHL players from each country will represent their nation in an effort to take home the championship, in addition, IIHF have put some amazing prizes such as game tickets and pucks on the line for the competitors.
The IIHF Esports Fan Championship is a virtual counterpart to the world championships. The tournament is played with a 1v1-format in the online versus game mode. Each of the participating nations will host open qualifiers to determine a player on PS4 and Xbox that will represent their respective nations. These qualifiers will kick off starting May 15th.
After the online qualifiers are done and each nation has their participant on each console, the playoffs will commence on May 29th. The playoffs are played in a classic knock-out format, where one matchup is decided based on the result in four individual games (two on each console), out of which the aggregate score will serve as a final result in that respective matchup.
For the playoffs, the IIHF have applied a special rule in order to ensure competitive integrity. The rule is a rotation rule, where players are only allowed to use each national team once over the course of the playoffs. This ensures diversity in the matchups and allows for some more strategy on this front too.
The open national qualifiers start May 15th, but signups are open right now! Head over to https://esports.iihf.com/ in order to sign up for the qualifiers of your nation.
Here's a full schedule for online qualifiers:
Kazakhstan - PS4 & Xbox One - 15/5/2020
Belarus - PS4 & Xbox One - 15/5/2020
Denmark - PS4 & Xbox One - 16/5/2020
Latvia - PS4 & Xbox One - 16/5/2020
Czech Republic - PS4 & Xbox One - 17/5/2020
Italy - PS4 & Xbox One - 17/5/2020
Switzerland - PS4 & Xbox One - 18/5/2020
Slovakia - PS4 & Xbox One - 18/5/2020
Norway - PS4 & Xbox One - 19/5/2020
Finland - PS4 & Xbox One - 19/5/2020
Great Britain - PS4 & Xbox One - 20/5/2020
USA - PS4 & Xbox One - 21/5/2020
Germany - PS4 & Xbox One - 21/5/2020
Canada - PS4 & Xbox One - 22/5/2020
Sweden - PS4 & Xbox One - 22/5/2020
Russia - PS4 & Xbox One - 22/5/2020
The IIHF has released a short info video on what it's all about, also, check this page for all additional instructions.