‘Tis the season... the season for world class NHL gaming once again! After an unusually long break for the ECL franchise, we return with a bang as we kick off FOUR divisions this season.
Yes, you read that right, this season we’re introducing ECL Neo into our framework. The newcomer will be exactly that - a division for new NHL gamers to get adjusted to playing in a league and the requirements that it has on a team and its players. See it as an incubator for future potential. ECL Neo will also be suitable for players who want to play games at a less stressful pace as this division only has two suggested weekly game days. Alongside Neo, we will run Lite, Pro and Elite as usual.
If you don't know what I'm talking 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 divisions 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 9:
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: 48-64 teams (TBC)
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.
- 6 vs. 6 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 9 ruleset will follow the same foundation as in season 8. We will fine-tune the rules a little bit, but more information is to follow. Meanwhile, you can find the ECL 8 rules here.
Meet the Cover Gamer of ECL 9: Hannes "Hansulinho" Kettunen
Hansulinho is well-known for his all-round abilities and success in the NHL-series. In the 6vs6 mode, he's stopping pucks. Photo credit: SEUL ry / Arttu Kokkonen
Having started a tradition of featuring cover gamers last season with Erik @Eki Tammenpää, we needed to bring equal heat this season. With that being said, we are extremely happy to announce that the second ever ECL cover gamer is one of the pioneers in this community. We are happy to have multiple Finnish 1vs1 champion, FCL Champion, ECL Champion, NHL GWC Finalist and overall nice guy Hannes @Hansulinho Kettunen serving as the ECL 9 cover gamer. His team HAVU Gaming managed to win the ECL 8 title at LanTrek under their old name Written In The Stars, after which the veteran gamer went on to make an appearance in the NHL GWC Finals in Las Vegas together with friend and occasional rival Eki and finally capping off NHL 19 with a Finnish FCL title in the crease for his HAVU Gaming. Hansu is a true veteran of the sport and rightfully so has been selected to be featured as our cover gamer.
“It’s an honor, I guess it means I’ve done things right and I’ll continue trying to set an example in the future too.” says the man himself about the selection.
ECL 9 Elite will be regularly broadcasted on the NHLGamer Twitch channel. Broadcasts will feature miscellaneous talent, such as fan favourite caster Arttu @OLVARI Hämäläinen along with other familiar faces, such as Adam @esdor Ericson, Joonas @SUPERVIRTA Virta and Jani @Janikka Tuominen. Be sure to follow our channel at twitch.tv/NHLGamer.
ECL Elite Finals and prize pool
The ECL 9 season is planned to culminate in a final event in Finland in early January (currently penciled in on Saturday the 11th - to be confirmed). All the details of this event are not finalized and will have to be confirmed at a later stage. At this event the two best ECL Elite teams will clash for the most respected title in 6vs6 NHL gaming and a share of the total prize pool of 5000€.
The Elite division of the prize pool will be as follows:
#1. ECL 9 Elite Champion: 3500€
#2. ECL 9 Elite Runner-Up: 1000€
#3.-4. ECL 9 Elite Semifinal losers: 250€
*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 9 Finals.
ECL Elite will kick off already next week, while the other divisions will have some more time to sign up for this season:
- ECL 9 Elite will kick off on Wednesday, 13th of November, signups end on Saturday 9th of November 23:59 CET
- ECL 9 Pro will kick off on Monday, 18th of November, signups end on Friday 15th of November 23:59 CET
- ECL 9 Lite will kick off on Tuesday, 19th of November, signups end on Friday 15th of November 23:59 CET
- ECL 9 Neo will kick off on Wednesday, 20th of November, signups end on Friday 15th of November 23:59 CET
Where to sign up?
- Sign up for ECL 9 Elite here
- Sign up for ECL 9 Pro here
- Sign up for ECL 9 Lite here
- Sign up for ECL 9 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.
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 on 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!