Welcome to the tenth iteration of the European Championship League!
It is with great pleasure we are once again able to open the registrations for the longest running and most prestigious competitive NHL league in Europe. The best players and the best teams gather to battle for the title that's long been reigned between the current champion Linköping HC and HAVU Gaming. There have been challengers before, but the rumour has it that this season we'll see something special with a great uprising of new talent in our community. The pinnacle of NHL gaming - our Elite division is running as smooth as ever and interestingly enough has received an influx of new teams through relegation matchups and will most likely also see an Elite Qualification Series. The Pro and Lite divisions are extremely well established too, and competition is ramping up through the introduction of ECL Neo that was done last season. The divisions framework will roll on in the same fashion and teams will further solidify their position at a suitable level of play.
If you don't know what we're on about by now, here's a briefing of what ECL is; ECL is a competitive EA Sports NHL League. Games are played in the EASHL game mode in a 6vs6 manner. Since ECL 4, we have implemented a division framework with Lite (and now also Neo) being entry-level, Pro being our mid-level and Elite holding the best 16 teams in Europe. A season in each division consists of a group stage/regular season and playoffs.
Here is the planned divisions' structure for ECL 10:
ECL Elite: 16 teams
- Sign up: ECL Elite eligible teams
- Gamedays: Monday, Wednesday & Thursday
- Regular season: One group
- 8 teams
7 days per round
ECL Pro: 32 teams
- Sign up: ECL Pro eligible teams
- Gamedays: Monday, Tuesday & Thursday
- Regular season: Two groups
- 16 teams
8 days per round
ECL Lite: 64 teams
Sign up: Anyone can apply for ECL Lite
- Teams will be decided by Franchise history, Roster composition, and EASHL record
- ECL Lite registrants are also allowed to apply for a spot in ECL Pro
- Teams signing up for ECL Lite that don't make it into ECL Pro or ECL Lite will be automatically placed in ECL Neo
- Gamedays: Tuesday, Wednesday & Sunday
- Regular season: Four groups
- 32 teams
8 days per round
- Sign up: Anyone can apply for ECL Lite
ECL Neo: 32+ teams
- Sign up: Without restrictions
- Gamedays: Wednesday & Sunday
- Regular season: Four groups
- 16 teams
- 7 days per round
Basic information/requirements of ECL:
- Regional restrictions: ECL is a European tournament format, however, we do not necessarily exclude North American or Russian players. North American players are not allowed to host matches / be captain in the lineup, which means all games need to take place on European servers. This also applies to Russian players - please evaluate your previous connection experience against some of the teams participating in the ECL, especially if you live in eastern parts of your country (which likely connects you to US West servers). In case of severe connection issues, we reserve the right to exclude teams or players.
- 6v6 tournament: ECL is played 6 vs. 6 only, using the EASHL Challenge Club game mode in NHL 20.
- Individual requirements: Each player needs to have an account at NHLGamer.com and create their personal player card.
- Roster requirements: Teams in ECL Elite need to have at least 7 players to sign up. Teams in ECL Pro, ECL Lite and ECL Neo need to have at least 8 players to sign up. The roster cap is 14 players.
- ECL Elite license: Teams in ECL Elite will be required to pay for an ECL Elite license in order to play (more details to follow).
- Rules: The ECL 10 ruleset will follow the same foundation as in season 9.
ECL 10 Elite will be regularly broadcasted on the NHLGamer Twitch channel. Broadcasts will feature our favorite casters @Tougie24 and @Cyn, but also other familiar faces throughout the season. Be sure to follow our channel at twitch.tv/NHLGamer.
ECL Elite Finals and prize pool
The ECL Elite Finals information and prize pool will be confirmed close to season start. NHLGamer will continue to follow the COVID-19 situation and regulations and talk to the teams before making final decisions on how the ECL Elite finals will be played.
ECL Elite is planned to kick off first, while the other divisions will have some more time to sign up for this season:
- ECL 10 Elite will kick off on Monday, 6th of April, signups end on Thursday 19th of March 23:59 CET
ECL 10 Pro will kick off on Monday, 6th of April, signups end on Thursday 2nd of April 23:59 CET
- Pro teams that play for potentially open Elite spots will need to be signed up by Thursday 19th of March.
- ECL 10 Lite will kick off on Tuesday, 7th of April, signups end on Thursday 2nd of April 23:59 CET
- ECL 10 Neo will kick off on Wednesday, 8th of April, signups end Thursday on 2nd of April 23:59 CET
Elite Qualification Series
If all 16 Elite teams don't sign up for the ECL 10 season, we will have an Elite Qualification Series among the teams that are qualified to take part. In this case the teams eligible for a possible Elite Qualification Series are:
- TIKI TALK (Elite Relegate #13)
- Almost Famous (Elite Relegate #14)
- BRAYCE Phantoms(Elite Relegate #15)
- Leksands IF (Elite Relegate #16)
- Vaxjo Lakers (Pro Quarterfinalist #5)
- Reality Check (Pro Quarterfinalis #6)
- Kaupallinen Yhteistyo (Pro Quarterfinalis #7)
- Black Horse (Pro Quarterfinalis #8)
The Elite Qualification Series exact format will be determined based on the available spots and the teams that want to play for the spot in Elite, but the dates for the games are 22nd-26th of March, with potential gamedays on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday in order to ensure a fair competition for the spot. More details will be given to the eligible teams on Friday, March 20th.
Where to sign up?
- Sign up for ECL 10 Elite here
- Sign up for ECL 10 Pro here
- Sign up for ECL 10 Lite here
- Sign up for ECL 10 Neo here
Please note: If you are currently in negotiations with an organization and have plans to change your team name, but are uncertain if you will make it until the start of the season, please contact @Kenu with this information as soon as possible.
If you are a free agent looking to be picked up, please head over here.
If you are representing a team looking for players, please head over here.
While it's totally ok to ask for help on Discord and you might get a quicker reply from fellow community members to some of the simpler questions, when you actually want to get help with an issue from our staff, please contact support. While sending PM's to staff members may be tempting, using our ticketing system is the best way to go.
You can join the NHLGamer Discord server by clicking here. In the NHLGamer Discord, add the appropriate ECL role as well as the role for your team to help with league communication. This can be done in the #role-commands-entry channel (see #role-commands-guide for instructions).
What can I do to help out?
If you feel like you want to do more for the project, head over to this article for some examples of what sort of staff we are looking for and where to get in touch.
As for the small things everyone can do, follow our different channels and spread the positive word of our community and your fellow players and teams - together we can make a difference!
Hopefully, that covers most of the questions you might have. Without further ado: Welcome to the ECL!
Finally, a short word about COVID-19
As mentioned above, we will continue to monitor the situation with COVID-19 (also known as the coronavirus) when determining whether or not to have a live on-location element to the ECL 10 Elite season or not. We at NHLGamer love to get together with the community and celebrate the game and the players, but we must also be responsible in stopping the spread of the virus. We will communicate with the Elite teams internally about this before the start of the season.
In addition to the considerations of a live event, we must of course keep the health and safety of our community in mind and reserve the right to pause or cancel the season, in addition to altering the details of it.
If you've somehow managed to miss what the COVID-19 is all about and what actions you should take, we definitely recommend you read about it.
UPDATE: We have made the call to postpone the start of ECL 10 Elite by one week, until Wednesday the 6th of April.
There are several underlying reasons and without going into great detail we want to ensure the best quality output possible.