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Image credit: Estudios Zürich NHLGamers, 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 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.
NHLGamers, We’re proudly welcoming yet another traditional sports organisation into the world of esports and NHL gaming as Växjö Lakers from Sweden have acquired the team formerly known as Lavetten. Recently we’ve seen an increasing number of teams sign deals and represent various organisations in our tournaments, not only is this a step towards a more professional environment but it is growing the game that we love. With traditional sports teams such as Düsseldorf, AIK and today Växjö Lakers joining our ranks we create a connection between the traditional sport and the quickly growing esports scene. This connection will hopefully induce growth on both the virtual and real life sides of the sport. Fredrik Sandberg from the Växjö Lakers organisation highlights the fact that esports is an uncharted territory for them: “In esports, we’re reaching a new demographic in which we see tremendous potential. We’re excited about setting the Växjö Lakers brand into new waters and very happy to have a few hometown guys on the roster.” We caught up with Växjö Lakers captains Fredric @EDHOLMINHO Edholm and Fredrik @Kattenj Jansson for a short interview about the teams current status: How did this project take off and is there a specific connection to Växjö within your team? Fredrik (Kattenj): It all took off a couple weeks back when we made the decision to make a return as Lavetten. One of our new recruits is @Hockeyjohannes, who mentioned that he’s been in talks with Växjö previously and that there’s interest on that front. After some emails back and forth with Fredrik Sandberg at Växjö, we set up a meeting and things went on smoothly from there. We’ve got three guys from Växjö on our roster, so that’s the main reason and it’s with pride we represent our club. Both of you have represented Lavetten before, your new roster consists of some familiar faces but a whole bunch of new guys, what kind of hockey can we expect from you guys in IS Cup 4? Fredrik (Kattenj): Both me and Edholm have represented Lavetten before. Ever since that era came to an end, we have been thinking about joining forces again and now the time seemed right. We knew our team could be successful if we find the right pieces to fit our puzzle. We’ve been able to recruit a competitive roster with impressive depth and having @Hullued as our backstop is a great confidence boost. Our aim is to play fast counter hockey and I believe that is something we’ve excelled at in the last few weeks. We’ve been on a hard grind and are definitely ready for what IS Cup has in store for us. How excited are you about representing Växjö Lakers and what are your goals for IS Cup 4? Fredric (EDHOLMINHO): First of all, we’re extremely grateful to have this opportunity. Växjö Lakers is a large and very well-known organisation and it’s very motivating to represent them in the upcoming IS Cup. Our number one goal is to make the playoffs, after that we’ll see what we can make happen. The roster of Växjö Lakers for IS Cup 4 Växjö Lakers Esport will be making their debut tonight as they face the German based Shooting Stars in an IS Cup 4 double-header tonight at 21:00 CEST. The games can be watched on the Växjö Lakers Esport Twitch channel and will be commentated by Adam @esdor Ericson. The team also has new Twitter and Instagram profiles that they welcome you to follow. Växjö Lakers Växjö Lakers Hockey Club, commonly referred to as Växjö Lakers is an ice hockey club playing at the highest level in Sweden (SHL). The club was founded in 1997 and plays their home games at Vida Arena. Despite their short history, the team has seen some success in recent years, hoisting the Le Mat Trophy awarded to the SHL champions in both 2015 and 2018.
NHLGamers, Today we’re extremely happy in announcing that Written In The Stars - our reigning ECL Champions and one of the most successful teams in the NHLGamer era has commenced a partnership together with HAVU Gaming - one of the most exciting organisations in Finnish esports. HAVU is one of the most well-established and active organisations in the Finnish esports scene and they have been announcing lots of convincing partnerships as of late. With the start of FCL today the timing is great to commence yet another tale of success. “HAVU has been looking for different options to expand into more games in competitive esports. Both the growth in popularity in different sporting games & the strong community and history around ice-hockey really made sense to go strongly into NHL esports. We had a great open discussion with the the team and our goals in the future were really similar. We want to show the world that Finnish NHL esports is going to stay in the absolute top also in the future. We are here to stay and to win titles.” - Lasse Salminen, CEO of HAVU Gaming "It is a great honor to welcome HAVU Gaming into NHL esports. HAVU has in only a couple years been able to make themselves an impressive powerhouse within esports and we know that anything they decide to dive into, they do it with focus and effort. NHL esports has taken some massive strides recently and a lot of the credit goes to organisations such as HAVU that possess the vision and courage to jump into uncharted territory, providing support to a very potential competitive NHL Gaming scene and bringing it to the eyes of an even bigger audience. Written In The Stars is the reigning ECL Champion and one of the most consistent performers in the NHLGamer era, I am confident these guys representing HAVU are destined to do great things in the future." -NHLGamer founder Kenneth @Kenu Lehtinen HAVU will from today onwards take the spot of Written In The Stars in ECL Elite. All team history will also be assumed by the new organisation. We had a short talk with the team captain Tuukka @FlyerKungen Kuha: HAVU has formed several interesting partnerships as of late and is making a convincing surge for the top of Finnish esports. What does it mean for you guys to represent HAVU? - We’re very excited and privileged to have this opportunity. HAVU has a great drive, an exciting brand and an organisation full of amazing people. We really got the feeling that HAVU wants to make a big push and invest in us, which surely adds to our excitement. How does it feel to turn a new page in the history of Written In The Stars? After all, you were one of the most consistent top-level performers in recent years at NHLGamer. - Personally I feel a bit sad, but all things must end someday and this new chapter will certainly be an interesting one. We’ve always wanted to lead the way and you’ll be seeing an even bigger push from us in the future tournaments. In the end, there’s nothing else but excitement about this new venture! Do you think the new organisation will effect your team in some way? What can we expect from HAVU’s NHL team going forward? - That’s a question you’ll have to ask again in a few months, but obviously the organisation having our backs will be a massive help to our team. We’ll have to take this chance in absorbing the positive energy and turning it into our asset moving forward. After all, we’re still playing the same game with the same guys, now only with more style! HAVU NHL Roster: Risto @Dominointi Järvi Ilmari @Buantso Lehkonen Topi @topikeranen Keränen Wille @willekunq Juntunen Hannes @Hansulinho Kettunen Vesa @VesKuLiNe Voutilainen Tuukka @FlyerKungen Kuha Kristian-Mikael @Nassustelija Katajisto (In order of appearence in photo, from left to right) About HAVU Gaming Having been established in April of 2017, HAVU Gaming has just over 2 years worth of history in the rearview. Despite a rather young age, the organisation has been making waves in the esports world and is currently one of the most followed Finnish organisations. The organisations most notable accomplishments include a Finnish Esports League Counter Strike-championship in 2018 and a second place finish in 2019. In addition to this, HAVU has an impressive variety of streamers on their roster. Partnerships with the wildly popular lifestyle clothing brand Billebeino, Finnish hypermarket giant Prisma and multinational tech company Lenovo in the last month speaks volumes about the impressive surge for the top HAVU is starting to make. About NHLGamer Since its inception, NHLGamer has continuously strived to offer the best possible experience for any and all gamers who have come to enjoy the competitiveness of playing the EA Sports series of NHL games. We made our biggest stride forward yet when we in late 2015 introduced the first ever European Championship League (ECL) - a league where all the best European NHL gamers create teams and compete against each other in the game mode EASHL (6vs6) for the title of best EASHL Team in Europe. Since then, NHLGamer has hosted a wide variety of leagues worldwide and live-events in both Finland and Sweden.