Image credit: Estudios Zürich
It’s yet another beautiful day as we get to announce another traditional sports franchise solidifying their presence in the rapidly growing esports environment. This time the Swiss hockey powerhouse ZSC Lions are making an entry into NHL esports by signing Swiss-based team The Black Jacks.
The team, led by captain Sven @Original-SnuS Julmi has been competing at the ECL stage for three total seasons now, being promoted to the pro level to cap off a championship run in ECL 7. The three founding members SnuS, Mike @burban26 Müller and Mario @Cami_7 Camenzind are still proudly sporting the teams colours after transitioning over from Xbox in late 2017. Besides ECL competition the former The Black Jacks have played GCL rather successfully, amassing three seasons worth of experience but never managing to overcome their arch nemesis BRAYCE Phantoms in the finals. Is that the hottest non-scandinavian rivalry in the scene?
"I met our manager Hakan Pazarcikli at a Call of Duty tournament some time ago, we had a short chat and I asked about the possibility to host an NHL tournament, which he showed some interest in. The tournament was held and with 124 participants signing up, we had proven the potential of NHL esports even in a non-traditional market like Switzerland. Negotiations ensued and Hakan managed to get us in touch with ZSC Lions about a 1 year engagement in NHL esports. We are happy to act as pioneers in the Swiss NHL community and eager to collect valuable experience with this project." - Captain Sven “Original_SnuS” Julmi on the negotiation process
Image credit: Estudios Zürich & NHLGamer
We had a short chat with captain @Original-SnuS about his feelings on the new partnership:
ZSC Lions is one of the more prestigious Swiss clubs and seems to have the urge to be pioneers on many fronts (Case Matthews). Now heading into esports, how does it feel to represent an organisation like ZSC Lions?
We are honoured to represent this club on the virtual ice. I am very happy that one of the best Swiss clubs showed interest in taking this step. We will proudly represent the colour of ZSC Lions in every game.
You’ve now established yourselves as a Pro level team - what are your goals going into your second season at that level?
Well, we only have one season behind us. The first one was decent but showed a lot of our weak points. Rest assured those quirks have been worked out and the next step is reaching playoffs. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves by setting bigger goals than that. The team didn’t give us any specific performance related goals to meet.
ZSC Lions eSports will play their first games on Sunday, 3rd of November in a friendly matchup against Växjö Lakers. The puck drops at 20:00 CET and the action can be followed at www.twitch.tv/zscesports.
Team captains Mike @burban26 Müller (A), Sven @Original-SnuS Julmi (C) and Reto @afc_Tschitsch Ulrich (A) Image credit: Estudios Zürich
ZSC Lions is a hockey club hailing from the Swiss city of Zürich. The club was founded in 1930 and is one of the most prestigious clubs in the country with a total of eight national championships and several other accomplishments such as a CHL championship in 2009. The club is also known for being Auston Matthews’ home for the 2015-2016 season when the superstar got his first taste of pro hockey after going through the US National Team Development Program. ZSC Lions is the first Swiss organisation to venture into NHL esports.