Much alike last year, the very first tournament in the new iteration of EA Sports NHL has been the IS Cup, and similarly the culmination of it all takes place at GameXpo in Messukeskus. The event in November 2018 was the first 6vs6 LAN hosted by NHLGamer and we chalk that up as a tremendous success, which started an array of other great NHLGamer events such as the ECL 8, SCL and most recently the FCL finals. We've learned a lot and so have our players, so we're glad to be back at GameXpo and aim to deliver an outstanding final event together with Ilta-Sanomat, Playstation and Alpro.
(1) HAVU Gaming vs Butterfly Effect (6)
Group stage record: 12-0-0
79 GF - 6,58 GF/GP (1st)
10 GA - 0,83 GA/GP (Tied for 1st)
Top scorer (Playoffs): @Buantso 9GP, 9+20=29 (2nd)
Goaltender (Playoffs): @Hansulinho 9GP, 9W, 81,25 SV%, 1,22 GAA, 2 SO (T-2nd)
These boys from Finland are playing convincingly dominating hockey, they are often seen trying to look for perfect opportunities to score a goal and surprisingly often end up successful. They recognise the flow of the game and know when they must switch game style, but most of the time they are combining skill-based puck control hockey and stellar team play, as they have a level of game sense and chemistry that's unheard of. HAVU's last two LAN outings have seen them go up against FILA in the finals and they've come out victorious each time. Their key player in puck control and the offensive quarterback is @FlyerKungen, who often sets up his office behind the opposing teams net. At the same time, their defenders etch closer to the net taking away all space from the opponents and allowing for fast passing and beautiful chaos, which HAVU knows how to utilise.
Group stage record: 11-1-0
67 GF - 5,58 GF/GP (8th)
15 GA - 1,25 GA/GP (8th)
Top scorer (Playoffs): @Vilupoika 12GP, 18+6=24 (9th)
Goaltender (Playoffs): @PCJP 12GP, 9W, 80,37 SV%, 1,75 GAA, 2 SO (T-2nd)
Stick handling, greasy goals, breakaways and utilizing game mechanics to the greatest potential are all factors that bring to mind the play of Butterfly Effect. The team relies on their effective trap to create quick turnovers and score goals off of rushes often ending with @Vilupoika netting a goal. Another strength of the FLY squad is the utilisation of redirections and rebounds, which is something they do extraordinarily well. FLY cycles the puck and are more keen to take point shots than the other teams we see at GameXpo. Their defenders can be seen closing in on the net and generating heavy offensive pressure, much like their semi-final opponent HAVU. FLY also has an effective forecheck that keeps the opposing defenders on their toes in breakout plays and when the puck is in deep.
(2) Delusion vs FILADELPHIA (5)
Group stage record: 14-0-0
94 GF - 6,71 GF/GP (2nd)
21 GA - 1,5 GA/GP (T-8th)
Top scorer (Playoffs): @Beniittto 9GP, 11+21=32 (1st)
Goaltender (Playoffs): @ICappeI 9GP, 9W, 88,57 SV%, 0,88 GAA, 4 SO (1st)
The players in Delusion feed off of puck control and possess an incredible chemistry which dates back some 3 years and countless games. Delusion will cycle the puck and tire out the opposition until they find an opening to strike, but at the same time never pass up on an opportunity to drive the net. They have an interesting defensive combination with the offensively minded @Ilmari_30 and the long time FILA defenseman @Janzuh, who is matching up against his old teammates in this bittersweet battle. Delusions forecheck is bad news to any opposition and will strike if they smell a mistake coming up.
Group stage record: 11-1-0
70 GF - 5,83 GF/GP (7th)
13 GA - 1,08 GA/GP (5th)
Top scorer (Playoffs): @Eki 9GP, 14+13=27 (5th)
Goaltender (Playoffs): @FinKonna 8GP, 8W, 81,81 SV%, 1,25 GAA, 1 SO
FILA is a franchise name in the 6s community and together with HAVU they've been the ones to beat for quite some time. A year back in time we saw a legendary final between FILADELPHIA and HAVU Gaming (Written In The Stars) where FILA drew the longer straw. Since then these two have been matched twice and HAVU has been the better team by a country mile on both occasions. We'll eagerly wait and see if we se a repeat of IS Cup 3 or if someone else is ready to take the throne. FILA seems to have picked up on the utilisation of the office behind the net too, but if their opponents shut that down they won't be hesitant to switch their game up and even go for greasier options if need be. It won't be a surprise to see these guys in the top 2 this year again.
Preliminary schedule for Friday, 15th of November:
12.30 CET Delusion vs FILADELPHIA, games 1-2
13.45 CET HAVU Gaming vs Butterfly Effect, games 1-2
16.00 CET Delusion vs FILADELPHIA, games 3-5 *
17.45 CET HAVU Gaming vs Butterfly Effect, games 3-5 *
*Games 4-5 if required.
All games will be streamed on IS Streamcorner Twitch.
Who do you think will win? Let us know in the comments below!