(Source: Ilta-Sanomat - Picture by Mika Tuononen)
@Eki takes it home once again.
Seems to be the common occurrence nowadays, right? Success just seems to follow this youngster. IS Cup 3: NHL 19 1vs1 eSM was a blast and we had a lot of people showing up to cheer for their favourite in our stream! On top of that, we also had a nice amount of people show up at the event in Kauppakeskus REDI, Helsinki. The atmosphere was intense especially as the last games were being played. NHLGamer, together with your partners Ilta-Sanomat and SJK eSports would like to thank all of you for showing up, either live or through the broadcast!
The event didn't lack any excitement as we were treated to some absolute thrillers by our competitors. Here are the results of each group after the group stage:
Group A was regarded as 'the group of death' prior to the games, with really strong and experienced players @Dominointi, @Artuzio and @eskoeinari, joined by youngster @MrNipsuli who managed to cause an upset and make his way into the finals, playing as his favourite team Toronto Maple Leafs. Everything was up for grabs until the last round in group A, but Dominointi and MrNipsuli- managed to snag their second victories and move on. In group B we saw the only player who made it through the group stage without a loss in @kriketski17, a name that will certainly be on peoples lips in the versus scene from now on. @xDoumi managed to pave his way into the playoffs as the second player from group B.
Group C didn't offer much in terms of surprising outcomes. @Eki took a routine route to the big games and @Nassustelija managed to cop the second place spot, although he edged out @Markoohh- only by goal differential. To no surprise @PleeMaker grabbed the first spot in group D, whereas @Hansulinho had himself a night to forget going 0-3-0. @buranaburana made his way to the playoffs in second place of group D.
We definitely saw some upsets in the group stage already. @kriketski17 took the whole competition by storm as he went undefeated through a tough group B. Group A with @Dominointi, @eskoeinari, @Artuzio and @MrNipsuli was an absolute free-for-all, as players pretty much traded wins through the first two rounds, leaving a ton of factors to decide who moves on to the playoffs. The underdog in that group was definitely Nipsuli, who together with Dominointi managed to make it through from the group stage. Another massive surprise was the weak performance of @Hansulinho, who didn't quite get into the groove of things this time around. In a group where he could have had the chance of moving on from on a good day, the former IS Cup champion didn't get it done, dropping all group stage games.
The most interesting quarterfinal matchup was definitely Dominointi vs xDoumi, which ended 1-2. The two guys battled hard trading wins and going into double overtime of game two. The younger xDoumi showed his skill and managed to take home the tight series, moving on to a semifinal matchup against PleeMaker. Plee managed to overcome Nassustelija 2-0, as did Eki against buranaburana. Kriketsi17 also won 2-o against MrNipsuli, we saw an interesting turn of events in their second game, as Kriketsi managed to score on a pass from the neutral zone after Freddy Andersen of Nipsuli's Maple Leafs let in an abomination of a goal in the first period. The game was tied up after which Kriketsi managed to secure a win in overtime of game 2.
Jani "JiiHoo86" Hetta and Arttu Hämäläinen had a busy day in the commentator booth. (Source: SEUL - Picture by Jussi Jääskeläinen)
The semifinals offered us a series to remember as PleeMaker and xDoumi went head-to-head. Plee drew first blood in game 1 after a long period of offensive pressure from Doumi to start the game. The game was close all the way through, Plee leading 2-1 until just about the end of regulation when Doumi managed to score off of a shorthanded one-timer chance with 4,7 seconds remaining in the game. To start OT we saw some undisciplined play by Plee, allowing Doumi to snag the win of game 1 by scoring on the powerplay. The second game was a one goal bout - a defensive battle ending in Plee tying up the series. Game 3 was certainly a headscratcher. Doumi came out swinging with two quick goals to start the game, whereafter Plee managed to mount a comeback and the guys went on somewhat on a scoring spree, leaving the game at 5-4 in favour of Doumi at the start of the 3rd period, which is where miracles happened. Doumi scored two goals first, putting him at a three goal advantage. Plee came back to 7-5, Doumi made it 8-5, Plee scored - 8-6 - spectators couldn't even keep up! The guys were nowhere near done, Plee scored three unanswered and the game seemed like a win until Doumi decided to spoil the party again, tying it up AGAIN with 8,5 seconds left! Regulation ends 9-9. Plee ended up securing a final spot in after scoring his 10th goal of the game about halfway through the first period of OT. As Eki managed to win two games against Kriketski, we were treated to a final game with the matchup Eki vs Plee!
See PleeMaker vs xDoumi here:
The Plee - xDoumi series is certainly hard to top in terms of excitement. However, the final matchup was one of the best we could ever have asked for. Eki and Plee are FILADELPHIA teammates, they are arguably the two best NHL 19 players of the world - and we were treated to the opportunity of seeing the two battle it out with 4000€ on the line. The first game of the finals was a tight battle as expected, Plee opened the scoring, but Eki quickly came back. Both guys scored once more in regulation sending us to overtime, which was decided about three minutes into OT at the hands of Eki, making his first claim for the championship. Game two was a bit different in the sense that Eki seemed to run away with the game early as he made it 2-0 in the first period. Plee had different ideas as he scored three unanswered. That remained the case until 41,9 seconds remaining, when Eki managed to find twine on a cross-crease one-timer. We had OT on our hands once again! The first OT period went into the closing seconds, where Eki had an offensive zone faceoff and managed to find the lane for a blueline slapshot - we had a winner!
See the decisive final game here:
Eki was certainly the favourite to take it home all along. The world champion joined the tournament through invite and didn't disappoint. Eki lost only one game in the final tournament, his last group stage game against Nassustelija - a game without any real meaning going forward as Eki had already secured a playoff spot by winning his first two games. When being asked how he felt about the result of the final, Eki stated: "Games between me and Plee have always been a coin toss, he had his chances that didn't go in and I had some luck on my blueline slapshot. It's the way this game is, sometimes the bounces go your way."
Eki is the new champion! (Source: SEUL - Picture by Jussi Jääskeläinen)
PleeMaker had to settle for second place (Source: Ilta-Sanomat - Picture by Mika Tuononen)
Kriketsi17 took home the bronze. (Source: SEUL - Picture by Jussi Jääskeläinen)
Congratulations to all participants!
Once again, NHLGamer would like to thank everyone involved in the event and all of you who tuned in to the stream or showed up at the event. You have played a significant part in promoting the NHLGaming scene and we greatly appreciate every single one of you!