We know you've got that competitive itch and it's time to get the action started! The total of 196 teams signed up shows that we are growing at a rapid pace. The tenth iteration of our longest-running league will be bringing you that high-level competition you've been longing for, but this time we wanted to up the ante - in bringing you a historical 6s prize pool of 15 000 €! This is made possible because of the several steps forward that we've taken in the past few months, but first and foremost due to our cherished partners Ilta-Sanomat Esports & Prisma Gaming.
We'll also be seeing an unprecedented number of professional teams present in our league, with the Elite division alone featuring a total of ten teams representing esports organizations as well as traditional sporting associations. Among the newest additions, we have recently welcomed JYP Jyväskylä, SJ Gaming, hREDS, and KOVA Esports, whereas teams such as HAVU Gaming and Farjestad BK have already been sporting their colors for an extended period of time (and done so in successful fashion!). These organizations joining in brings an added level of interest and some existing rivalries to the scene, where for example the Finnish organizations are battling between themselves and our Swedish eSHL teams surely want to be able to call themselves kings of the hill in their own neighborhood.
Continuing the tradition that began in ECL 8 when NHLGamer introduced NHL 18 World Champion Erik "I_Eki_I" Tammenpää as the first-ever cover gamer in the NHL 6v6 scene, a torch that was carried further by HAVU Gaming's star goaltender Hannes "Hansulinho" Kettunen in ECL 9, we are proud to present our ECL 10 cover gamer.
None other than two-time ECL Elite champion and Linköping HC goaltender, Casper "ICappeI" Lundgren!
Meet the ECL 10 cover gamer - Casper @ICappeI Lundgren
You're the third ECL cover gamer and in good company at that, what are your thoughts about your selection?
I'm proud to have been selected obviously and it's even more special to be the first Swede having the honor. I have tremendous respect for both @Eki and @Hansulinho and think they are the embodiment of sportsmanship, being in this club with those guys feels humbling.
Your team Linkoping HC had a rather perfect run over the winter months and you walked away with two trophies to stack your shelf with. How motivated are you to defend that top spot and how does it feel to be the team everyone is gunning for?
Yeah, it seemed like everything clicked and we really got our game going so there definitely was no stopping us. We're all competitive people and having established that winning culture makes us want to keep that momentum going, rest assured we will do everything in our power to keep that top spot. I know a lot of teams are out to get us and especially HAVU Gaming must be looking for a rematch after last season's finals. I also see hREDS as a prime candidate in the championship battle and Symphony has looked stronger than ever during the preseason.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put the world on halt, but with the absence of traditional sports, that has opened up the opportunity for esports to shine. What are your thoughts on that and what do you think we can do to best utilize that opportunity?
It's a shame to not have traditional sports, especially in a time where a majority of leagues would have been in the decisive times and the biggest games of the season would have been starting.
With all of these esports orgs and traditional sports clubs joining, this is our chance to develop the NHL gaming scene and the interest around our league. I think the best we as players can do is to stay active on social media, get your Twitter, Twitch or Instagram going and support all the teams and people putting content out there! Check in on each other's broadcasts to get those viewer numbers up. It is up to us as a community to take care of this opportunity and growing the scene. Now is our chance to show all other sports fans how exciting esports really is!
ECL Elite Finals and prize pool
Due to the COVID-19 situation, the ECL 10 season is currently planned to be played online. The semifinals are played May 25th-28th and the finals on June 4th-5th. More details about the playoffs will be shared closer to the playoffs.
The Elite division of the prize pool will be as follows:
#1. ECL 10 Elite Champion: 10 000 €
#2. ECL 10 Elite Runner-Up: 3 000 €
#3.-4. ECL 10 Elite Semifinal losers: 1 000 €
*Prizes are subject to tax as per Finnish law and the tax is withheld before payment. Prizes will be paid out within 90 days of the ECL 10 Finals.
ECL 10 Elite kicks off on Wednesday, April 8th at 20:00 CEST. Our broadcast of the night features heated battles between Unlucky Boys vs JYP Jyväskylä, followed by JYP Jyväskylä and GHETTO FIREBIRDS.
Where/how to follow?
ECL 10 Elite will see a whole new level of coverage and with traditional sports out of the picture for the time being this is our time to shine. The top division will feature two weekly broadcasts on Mondays and Thursdays at 20:00 CEST with our very own Cody @Tougie24 Tougas and Paul @CynAnderson being the prevalent voices over the course of the season and for those of you that have tuned in for some of our NACL broadcasts, you know that we've been working on the production a lot over the last few months, so you can expect us to have a few tricks up our sleeve. All broadcasts can be seen live at our Twitch-channel, but due to our fresh partnership also now on IS TV and Ruutu.fi. To clarify - while our regular scheduled broadcasts are on Mondays and Thursdays, the season will kick off with a Wednesday broadcast tomorrow, on April 8th at 20:00 CEST!
About our main partners
Ilta-Sanomat is Finland's largest digital media measured by unique daily readers. The tabloid is distributed in traditional form, but thrives online, prevailing as one of the main daily news outlets for Finns alike.
Prisma Gaming is a carefully picked assortment of consoles, computers, and other gaming gear. The selection has been built together with the professionals at HAVU Gaming and can be found in all Prisma locations and online at Prisma.fi. Prisma Gaming wants to support Finnish esports and through the ECL, now also supports esports internationally.
About our partners
Hockeysverige.se is the biggest independent hockey site in Sweden, covering everything from the NHL to women's hockey and E-sport