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  1. NHLGamers, Although the ECL season is in the books, this past weekend has still been full of excitement and drama for NHL gaming fans around the world. That's because the NHL GWC is rolling on and this Saturday marked the date for the European Play-In Bracket that determines which gamers are punching their ticket to the regional finals at Viasat studios in Stockholm on May 18th. The games started Saturday afternoon and although they are something of a grind - the format this year was a single elimination bracket which resulted in the day progressing rather quickly. The single elimination format has been criticised heavily on social media due to the harshness and the nature of the game in its current state - meaning it allows for uncontrollable bounces and unfortunate goals to happen on the regular. Regardless of this, a good player can always create their own luck and at the end of the day we're certainly seeing some top notch gamers grabbing their spot in the regional finals. Here are the gamers moving through at the end of Saturday: PS4 Saku @Sagee95 Björn, Kristian @kriketski17 Veijola, Risto @Dominointi Järvi and Paul @PleeMaker Arontie. Xbox Erik @Eki Tammenpää, Eilung, Hannes @Hansulinho Kettunen and Joonas @SUPERVIRTA Virta. Check Eki's reaction to making the regional finals: The defending champion didn't beat around the bush when asked about the NHL GWC format this year: "I don't like the format, you simply need to have more shots at making the biggest tournament of the year than one. One and done isn't the way to do it. It's the same for everyone but at the end of the day think we're going to see some players at the finals who probably wouldn't deserve to be there." It's great to see a few names making their presence felt, although it means a few established players have to face disappointments. Some of last years regional finalists including @Artuzio, @Darkic01 and @FlyerKungen fell short this time, being eliminated in the earlier stages of the brutal single elimination bracket. One of the new names included is Saku @Sagee95 Björn, who we reached for some comments about the NHL GWC so far: "There's certainly some positives and negatives about the format this year. I like moving over to HUT in the sense that you're seeing some diversity in the teams which wouldn't be there if it was versus. The single elimination bracket is rough, since one mistake could cost you the whole tournament." "I don't want to put down my opponents, but I think I had an easy way to the regionals. None of my opponents so far really tested me too much. The upcoming draft is going to be interesting, I'll try to build a team with big bodies and Zdeno Chara is a guy I hope I can secure in my lineup.", Sagee continues. Joonas @SUPERVIRTA Virta is another new name, who's been one of the fastest growing NHL streamers out there recently: "It feels amazing to qualify for my first bigger tournament. What makes it extra special is sharing those moments with all the people in my stream and getting all the support from there." The NHL GWC will continue with the Canadian Play-In Bracket next weekend and the US Play-In Bracket the weekend after that, so there's still lots of action to go around before the grand finals. Remember to tune in and watch the regional finals on May 18th. Who will you be cheering for? @jahajaha93 NHLGamer Editor
  2. Hello Gamers, We're glad to share with you what the NHL has prepared for their biggest gaming event so far - Season 2 of the NHL Gaming World Championship! Registrations kick off March 6th and closes on March 31st. However, online qualifiers will be starting already on March 13th. Ahead of the announcement, NHL Vice President of Business Development Chris Golier stated: “We’ve listened to the players and measured how the live events and content were received and are making changes this year that we think will make for a more competitive tournament and more engaged community.” So, what are the changes? First off, the NHL GWC Season 2 will be played in Hockey Ultimate Team. This will allow for players to create unique teams that are tailored according to their own style of play. It is definitely an interesting switch over from versus and it's refreshing to potentially see something else than the same two teams matching up against each other for the entire tournament. Right from the get-go, the switch to HUT received heavy criticism from some of the best gamers out there, and it hasn't been toning down. What do you think? The second new thing was the qualifier system, which was renewed as a natural continuation of switching to the HUT game mode. In order to qualify for the tournament, a player needs to register at Battlefy.com/NHL, whereafter one is eligible to play Online Open Play in order to qualify for the Online Play-in Bracket, where the top 23 players per console and region for each weekly period will compete for a spot at the Live Regional Finals. Online Play-in Brackets are hosted twice for each region (EU 13th & 20th of April, CAN 20th & 27th of April, US 27th of April & 4th of May). In the Online Play-in Bracket, the top 128 players from each console and region will battle it out for four spots at the Live Regional Finals. The third new thing is also related to the switch over to HUT and this is an interesting one. From the Live Regional finals onwards, players will be drafting their teams from a preselected player pool and no duplicate players will be allowed - meaning every team will be completely unique! This adds another layer of strategy to the competition and will definitely be some fun to speculate on. Players will draft their team for the Regional Live finals and redraft again for the NHL GWC Final. Andrew "Nasher" Telfer, who will be returning as analyst for season 2 of the NHL GWC commented on the draft as follows: “Players will be forced to step out of their comfort zone, some players stick to versus (with actual NHL teams), others focus on HUT, but for the first time, players won't know exactly what their team will look like going into the tournament. Tough decisions will have to be made during the draft, I'm sure we'll see some pretty crazy lineups come the live events. The good news is players will be able to build a team to fit their play style.” Prize pool: $100,000 1. $50,000 2. $15,000 3. $10,000 4. $5,000 5/6. $2,500 You can see the full schedule for the tournament below: EU US CAN March 6th Registration opens at Battlefy.com/NHL March 13th Online open play begins March 31 Registrations close April 7th Online open play ends April 13th European Online Play-In Bracket Day 1 April 20th European Online Play-In Bracket Day 2 April 20th Canadian Online Play-In Bracket Day 1 April 27th Canadian Online Play-In Bracket Day 2 April 27th US Online Play-In Bracket Day 1 April 27th European Regional Draft May 4th US Online Play-In Bracket Day 2 May 4th Canadian Regional Draft May 11th US Regional Draft May 18th European Regional Finals (Stockholm, Sweden) May 25th Canadian Regional Finals (Toronto, Ontario) May 30th US Regional Finals (Stamford, Connecticut) June 3rd NHL GWC Final Draft June 18th NHL GWC World Finals (Las Vegas, Nevada) Also check what your reigning champion @Eki has to say: Will we see you on the ice in season 2 of the NHL GWC? Who do you think will win? What are your thoughts on the GWC moving over to HUT? Let us know in the comments! NHLGamer Writers @jahajaha93 & @Serg1vratar
  3. I_Eki_I is the winner of the 2018 NHL Gaming World Championship and $50 000 (twitch.tv/nhl) Our very own @Eki has won the first ever NHL Gaming World Championship! Eki, who was unbeaten through the European qualifiers and the European regional finals, showed that he really is the best 1vs1 NHL 18 player in the world at the moment, as he beat every single one of his opponents in the World Finals in Las Vegas. In the finals he met JrPens91 and he won the best-of-3 series 2-0 with the scores of 2-1 and 7-3. Huge congratulations to Eki and coach @plee999 for the success in the tournament. Also congratulations to @Artuzio for his great effort of making it into the top 6. A longer article will be published later. The results of the group stage in the World Finals (twitch.tv/nhl) The final results of the tournament (twitch.tv/nhl)
  4. The two European players to make it into the World Finals: I_Eki_I and Artuzio, being interviewed by Andrea Helfrich (twitch.tv/NHL) Hey NHLGamers, Tonight is the night when the NHL will be crowning the first ever champion of the NHL World Gaming Championship and in addition to the ultimate bragging rights, that person will be walking away $50 000 (roughly 43 000 €) richer! Not too shabby, eh? Our very own community members Arttu "@Artuzio" Mustila and Erik "@Eki" Tammenpää are representing Europe, after coming out on top in the European Regional Finals. In case you didn't see the behind the scenes footage and the interviews with the gentlemen after securing their spots in vegas, you can check out the video below: The six players playing in the 2018 Gaming World Championship Finals are Finnish players Erik ”I_Eki_I” Tammenpää and Arttu "Artuzio" Mustila, Canadians Nicola ”FoolX90” Bruna and Matthew ”YungGren” Grenier, and John Wayne ”JohnWaynee90” Casagranda and David ”JrPens91” Roebuck from the USA. The majority of people seem to have the opinion that the Canadians or Finns will come out on top of this, while the two representatives from the USA are expected to finish 5th and 6th. And when we say the majority of people, we're of course referring to Twitter predictions. Most of the predictions put I_Eki_I, YungGren or Foolx90 on top. Predictions are only predictions, though, and whoever plays the best will come out on top at the end of the finals and we certainly can't wait to watch this thrilling display of talent tonight. The six finalists competing for the $50 000 main prize (picture credit: nhl.com/fans/gaming) The NHLGWC Finals will start tonight at 22:00 CEST and while we don't know the exact details of the schedule, we know that all players will face each other once and based on these games, the top two players will face each other in a best-of-3 final. That should provide us with plenty of exciting gameplay and what we assume will be a long stream of NHL Gaming action. Read more about the NHLGWC competitors elsewhere: NHL.com interview with all of the finalists Ilta-Sanomat interview with I_Eki_I (Finnish) Ilta-Sanomat interview with Artuzio (Finnish) The stakes for the games played are high - there's a lot of money on the line! (twitch.tv/NHL) While we are generally speaking very unbiased here at NHLGamer, we would like to wish the best of luck to our community members @Artuzio and @Eki! Get that championship guys! Let us know your predictions in the comments below! PS: We're pretty sure @plee999, coaching I_Eki_I, is the best dressed coach at the event Be sure to check out the finals embedded below or by visiting the official NHL Twitch page today, Tuesday June 19th, tarting at 22:00 CEST:
  5. I_Eki_I finished #1 in the NHL GWC European Regional Finals and took home the $5,000 and a ticket to the Finals in Vegas (twitch.tv/NHL) Hey NHLGamers, It's been an exciting weekend, as I was able to experience the European regional finals of the 2018 NHL Gaming World Championship on location at the Viasat studios in Stockholm. I'd like to start by thanking @Kane for making me his +1 and thus granting me access to the event - much appreciated! As we mentioned in an earlier news story, all of the eight players that made it to the European finals are a part of our NHLGamer community and it was really nice to get to meet everyone. The eight players made their way into the European finals through the four qualification tournaments: @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 finals were played using double elimination rules, meaning that losing one time puts you in the lower bracket and two losses means you're out. If you were to reach the final without any loses, that would put you one win away from winning the regional finals and $5,000, whereas reaching the finals through the lower bracket would require you to win two games in a row in the final round. The stakes for the games played on Sunday were high, and come June 19th, there's a lot of money on the line! (twitch.tv/NHL) The EU Finalists arrived in Stockholm on Saturday morning and for some players, such as PleeMaker, that meant getting up at 3 AM, as he had to fly out to Helsinki first. The day was spent at the Viasat studios, where the players got accustomed to the environment, were interviewed by the broadcast team, got photos taken etc. The day ended at around 8 PM and the players tried to get enough sleep for what would certainly be one of their biggest days in their NHL gaming careers. On Sunday morning it was off to the studio around 6:30 AM and after some breakfast, warmups and photoshoots it was time to play. The games were played in two rooms: The main stage and upstairs on a smaller stage. The best place to watch the games were outside the main stage room in the couch area and that's where most players and guests would spend their time between games. There were also some friendly games played in the warmup area. I made a small travel/behind the scenes video from the trip and it also features interviews of the two winners this weekend, be sure to check it out and give it a thumbs up if you enjoy it. At the end of the day, two players came out on top and met each other in the EU Regional Finals. I_Eki_I won the very first game of the day against Artuzio 7-2 and would only need one win to come out on top. The final game between these two was not at all as lopsided as the first game of the day, but I_Eki_I managed to keep his edge, taking home the $5,000 by a score of 2-1. The two players to make it into the World Finals: I_Eki_I and Artuzio, being interviewed by Andrea Helfrich (twitch.tv/NHL) Overall, it was really nice to be able to be on set for such an amazing event and I hope the broadcasts catch as big of an audience as possible and we'll see more of this (and hopefully 6vs6) in the future. A big thank you to all of the players and their friends and family members that I met during the weekend. It was also nice to get to meet the broadcast team of Andrew Telfer (TheNasher61), Arda Öcal, Frankie Ward and Andrea Helfrich, who all did an amazing job to bring the games alive. Not only are they professionals and good at what they do - they're also very friendly and approachable. The results of European Finals (twitch.tv/NHL) So there you have it. All of these eight gamers put on a great show and we should applaud them all for making it as far as they did. After this weekend, there could only be two remaining and NHLGamer would like to congratulate this weekends winner I_Eki_I and runner-up Artuzio for their success and wish them the best of luck in Las Vegas on the 19th of June in the World Finals! If you haven't already watched the official stream, you can watch it below via the NHL's official Twitch channel:
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