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    SCL 6vs6 Semifinals Preview

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    As you all might have noted, we've traveled to Uppsala in Sweden for the SCL Finals. Birdie has treated us well so far and it's with great pleasure we got to announce @Eken45jr the new Swedish champion in 1vs1 NHL 19 earlier today. We even sent the kid home with a nice pocketful of change! 

    Friday and Saturday are going to be dedicated to our 6vs6 gamers as we're extremely proudly bringing our Swedish community their first ever 6vs6 LAN event. These events have seen great success in Finland, so it's very timely we bring the action over the pond. The season kicked off with 22 teams, all dead set on achieving one goal - being crowned champions by the end of a gruelling season. 16 teams headed into the playoffs, some being eliminated round by round as is customary to these tournaments. Now we're at the point where we have only four left. 

    We all know the Swedish community hold some very talented players, some have been there for years and some have astonished with their play more recently. This Nordic "home of the Vikings" is also home to some of the most prestigious and long-lived teams, such as Northern Stars (RIP) or Nordic Ascendancy, whose play we'll be treated to during the weekend. Also AIK (the former Sjukstugan) has been around for quite some time. Talk about heritage.

    (1) Bucketeers vs AIK Hockey (4)

    Bucketeers.png Regular season record: 20-0-0
    GF/GA (Regular season): 66/15

    Top scorer (Regular season): @Chrisbernt (l-maise-l) 22+30=52pts in 20 games
    Goaltending stats: @Obagol 20W, 87.50 SV%, 0.75 GAA in 20 games

    The course of Bucketeers quickly skyrocketed after the team made their entry into the 6vs6-scene and NHLGamer. A mere four seasons ago, they started their journey in ECL Lite - the entry level division of our ECL franchise. After getting accustomed to the new environment in their first season, the "Buckets" made their presence felt by putting forth three very successful consecutive seasons advancing to the Elite Level as a result. Their defensive style of play and impressive shutdown ability has proven to be a recipe for success even at higher levels as the team came very close to making playoffs in their first Elite campaign. What is maybe most interesting about the team doesn't directly concern their impressive on-ice feats, but the fact that a large part of their starting six has actually been preserved from their very early days. Original members @Dercie, @Jerkix and @SelanneFIN have stayed with their team and played a majority of games throughout all of the clubs history so far. It's quite impressive to look back at the development curve of these players as it isn't all too usual for teams to make such a rapid climb towards the top - even more without radically retooling their lineup. "Continuity", is the word founding member and now right winger Dercie uses to describe the strength of his team. "The base of our teams is built from guys that have been playing together for a very long time, so the chemistry is definitely there.", he mentions that he, Jerkix, and SelanneFIN have played various games together for around ten years. "Vesa Pompa or Northern Stars have been our toughest opponents. NOS were actually the better team against us in the regular season, but somehow we managed to come away with the wins anyway."

    Dercie, do you have any last words for your opponent AIK?
    "I hope we'll have a tight and especially fun series, but Buckets will prevail."

    AIK_Logotyp.png Regular season record: 16-3-1
    GF/GA (Regular season): 84/23

    Top scorer (Regular season): @FlyerKungen 43+26=69pts in 18 games
    Goaltending stats: @poliskontroll 8W, 74.07 SV%, 1.40 GAA in 10 games

    AIK is a franchise of such a caliber that surely a majority of Swedes and even non-Swedes are familiar with them. The Prestigious traditional sports franchise made their first endeavour into virtual hockey in ECL 8 and are now looking forward to achieving their first real success as they've pushed through to the semifinals in SCL 6vs6. After a difficult ECL Debut, the team decided to shuffle things around a little. Their moves seem to have worked wonders for the team, as AIK found themselves placing second in the regular season of group 2, losing only 4 games out of which one in overtime. 'as for the changes made in the offseason, AIK basically swapped goalies with Northern Ascendancy as they sent over @ICappeI and got @poliskontroll in return. Both very solid goaltenders. Other than that, AIK added old acquaintances and great defensemen @JaikenK & @Klingen45 to assist @Gustafsson7 on the back end - all old players from the Sjukstugan days. Not only did the defense get reworked, AIK also added on offense by signing recent ECL champ and Written In The Stars captain @FlyerKungen, who has been doing exactly what he was signed to do in scoring goals and creating chances.

    (2) Northern Ascendancy vs Vesa Pompa HC (3)

    Northern_Ascendancy.png Regular season record: 17-2-1
    GF/GA (Regular season): 99/21
    Top scorer (Regular season): @Tacterz 35+36=71pts in 20 games
    Goaltending stats: @ICappeI 8W, 83.58 SV%, 1.10 GAA in 10 games

    After a short hiatus, Northern Ascendancy are making a very welcome return with a slightly renewed lineup that is looking stronger than ever. Even though they're missing @Foppatofflan, who is remembered as one of the more prolific scorers in club history - NOR is still arguably the strongest bunch on paper. The reworked NOR is expected to ice @jtorro1233 and @The_Alpha_Furyan on defense, together these two make up an intimidating duo with impressive scoring power simultaneously possessing the ability to complete smothering defensive plays. The forward group of NOR is definitely as dangerous as ever with @Tacterz more than effectively plugging the hole that Foppa left in the lineup - by being the league top scorer that is! The teams long lasting captain is at this point stuck waiting for a connecting flight, so we had to settle for interviewing the rest of NOR's lineup: "I had a lot of options but I knew I wanted to play with a strong offensive team. After some tryouts, NOR was the obvious choice.", says Torro, who is arguably one of the teams more high profile recruits. Although experiencing a relatively large scale makeover, the team has still managed to find chemistry "We've shuffled our lineup around a little bit, but after a short adjustment period the flow and chemistry has been there.", all the guys agreed.
    Vesa_Pompa_HC.png Regular season record: 16-2-2
    GF/GA (Regular season): 70/21

    Top scorer (Regular season): @Eki 14+35=49pts in 20 games
    Goaltending stats: @Thunborg5 16W, 85.10 SV%, 1.05 GAA in 20 games

    Vesa Pompa is quite the new acquaintance for many, as the team only played very casually and didn't have any notable success prior to the SCL. Don't sleep on these guys though, all of them are world class versus players and know how to handle themselves on the virtual ice. Their youngster and very talented right winger @Eken45jr, who recently introduced his patent pending "Eken-backskate" to the world in the Caps Esports Faceoff. As a result of some high-profile visibility, the team came in contact with arguably the worlds best player right now, @Eki, whom they recruited to play with them in the SCL. Vesa Pompa is still the fun-loving, easy going group of youngsters, but now their play has more of an objective. "We've put an immense effort into SCL. Eki has helped out a lot and it's not only that he's the best player in the world but such a nice guy too", says team captain @Lehmannens. Eken adds that they have been watching a lot of video of their games in order to get better and learn from their mistakes. 


    The SCL Finals are presented by Comeon! and we're really happy in being able to bring these games up for betting on their site. Head over to https://m.comeon.com/fi/sports/e-sports/nhl-19/ in order to place your bets now!

    Preliminary schedule for Friday 31.5:

    10:00-10:30 Vesa Pompa vs Northern Ascendancy - Game 1
    10:30-11:00 Northern Ascendancy vs Vesa Pompa - Game 2
    11:00-11:30 Vesa Pompa vs Northern Ascendancy - Game 3

    11:45-12:15 AIK Hockey vs Bucketeers - Game 1
    12:15-12:45 Bucketeers vs AIK Hockey - Game 2
    12:45-13:15 AIK Hockey vs Bucketeers - Game 3
    15:00-15:30 Northern Ascendancy vs Vesa Pompa - Game 4
    15:30-16:00 Vesa Pompa vs Northern Ascendancy - Game 5*

    16:15-16:45 Bucketeers vs AIK Hockey - Game 4
    16:45-17:15 AIK Hockey vs Bucketeers - Game 5*

    17:30-18:00 Northern Ascendancy vs Vesa Pompa - Game 6*
    18:00-18:30 Vesa Pompa vs Northern Ascendancy - Game 7*

    18:45-19:15 Bucketeers vs AIK Hockey - Game 6*
    19:15-19:45 AIK Hockey vs Bucketeers - Game 7*

    All games will be streamed on Twitch.

    Who do you think will win?

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