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  1. Hi there NHLGamers, As you might have heard by now, our very own @Eki and @Artuzio have signed new contracts with an esports organisation called Sampi. I had the chance to have a discussion with both guys regarding their new contracts and how all of this went down. Most of you might have noted that Eki was already signed to Helsinki Reds, so this is a transfer for him. Artuzio, however is now signing his first ever pro contract. NHLGamer congratulates both! Team Sampi is most likely a very unfamiliar name to all of you, not simply because of the fact that is isn't a big organisation, but it wasn't officially founded until September 1st 2018. The founder of the franchise is professional football player Jakub Jankto, who currently represents Sampdoria in the Italian Serie A. "Jakub contacted me a few weeks ago and told me about his plans of launching an esports franchise. He mentioned that he used to compete in EA Sports FIFA some years ago, but financial restrictions came in the way. I think he even won a Czech championship in 2012. Jakub also got the chance to pursue a professional football career. He has a desire to help young gamers achieve their goals without restrictions.", says Eki about how the contract talks with Team Sampi begun. Artuzio says that in addition to NHL, the organisation has players competing in FIFA and Rocket league. competitive NHL will be one of the main focuses of the organisation. « Team Sampi made me an offer I couldn't refuse » -Artuzio on signing with Team Sampi I asked Artuzio about how he feels about his new organisation: "After the European Qualifiers of the NHLGWC I started receiving offers quite consistently, but I didn't want to rush it. Team Sampi made me an offer I couldn't refuse, so I'm very excited to represent them and start making a name for my new team!" What will your roles be representing the new organisation? "The organisation is so new right now, so I'm not completely sure what my role will be, but the main objective of Team Sampi is to support us players and provide the possibilities for us to compete at the very top.", said Eki. Both Eki and Artuzio will be focusing most on attending various tournaments and competitive play, they will be streaming occasionally but it isn't a requirement of the organisation. As this is now a transfer situation for Eki, I wanted to go a bit into the reasons behind the transfer and what he had to say about his former organisation Helsinki Reds. "Team Sampi offered me a contract I couldn't refuse. I have nothing bad to say about Reds, it was a good time. I learned a lot about the esports business and got to participate in all kinds of events thanks to them. It was a completely new thing for me. As Helsinki Reds was so close by, they were very involved in my gaming, creating stream graphics and hosting events. Team Sampi will be different in the sense that they merely aim to support their players and stay in the background. As of now there are no plans on hosting events or such. We will simply focus on winning and gaming." A piece of advice from the champion - Eki, as you now have some experience in the scene and have signed your second contract, what kind of tips would you give to gamers out there waiting to get their shot and sign a deal? "Once you have some success, you might get be getting several offers. I'd suggest staying patient and not just signing any deal. I've heard of players with really bad deals, so be careful and don't just sign a deal for the sake of representing an organisation." "Vegas didn't go as planned and I feel I am better than that, so I'll be looking to attend as many tournaments as possible and gain a lot of success in NHL 19. Versus is my main focus due to my contract, but I'll be looking to compete in some 6v6 action too!", states Artuzio after being asked about his ambitions for the new iteration of NHL. Eki's Car situation - I recall you saying you'll be buying a car if you win the NHLGWC, what kind of car stands in your driveway? I asked Eki. "I didn't get a car, says Eki with a laugh. I received the money a few weeks ago and decided to save it. It was the smart thing to do." Not only an unbelievably skilled gamer and new found the poster boy for the EA Sports NHL series but a responsible young adult too, who would've known? Huge thanks to both Eki and Artuzio for taking the time to have a chat with me. On behalf of the community, I wish both luck in their upcoming competitions. We're excited to see what the future brings!
  2. NHLGamers! As of today, the European online qualifiers for the NHL Gaming World Championship 2018 are over and we have very exciting news to share. All eight regional finalists are part of the NHLGamer community! Best wishes are going out to: @Hansulinho (Xbox Live: Hansulinho) - EU XBOX #1 bracket winner @plee999 (Xbox Live: PleeMaker) - EU XBOX #1 bracket runner-up @Erkki (PSN: I_Eki_I) - EU PS4 #1 bracket winner @FlyerKungen (PSN: FlyerKungen) - EU PS4 #1 bracket runner-up @Kane (Xbox Live: Kaneyh) - EU XBOX #2 bracket winner @Nieppii (Xbox Live: Nieppi) - EU XBOX #2 bracket runner-up @Darkic01 (PSN: Darkic01) - EU PS4 #2 bracket winner @Artuzio (PSN: Artuzio) - EU PS4 #2 bracket runner-up The European Region Finals will take place in Stockholm, Sweden at Viasat Studios on May 6th, from which the winner and runner-up will be invited to the World Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 19th to compete against the best players from Canada and the USA, who will be represented by two players each as well. If you don't know what the NHL Gaming World Championship is about, read up on it in our previous news story! Good luck everyone - the entire NHLGamer community will be rooting for you!