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Capitals Host Inaugural Esports Tournament

Eight players from around the globe qualified to play in the first ever Capitals Esports Faceoff presented by Leidos

by Taryn Bray @tarynbray / WashingtonCaps.com

The Washington Capitals hosted their inaugural esports tournament on Friday where eight different EA SPORTS NHL19 players from around the world qualified to play.

Three Canadians, two Finns, two Americans and one Swede all descended upon the District to compete in the Capitals Esports Faceoff presented by Leidos.

Several of the players were relatively familiar with one another thanks to the tight knit gaming community.

The tournament was a double elimination bracket style setup where winners continued on and losers had to play their way out of the losing bracket.

The tournament included the number one ranked NHL19 player in the world, Erik Tammenpää (gamer tag I_EKI_I).

"I play hockey myself so of course Chel was always the #1 game for me," said Tammenpää.

He continued: "In NHL 17 - I realized that even though gaming had always been just a hobby for me, I was very good and when I finished 2nd in my first tournament I started really playing a lot to see where this goes."

Erik moved through each round with relative ease - until the grand finale.

Erik defeated the tournament's number two seed Justin Reguly (gamer tag Regs84) in the semi-finals to move on to the finals without a single loss on the day.

But as the finale approached, Reguly worked his way out of the losers' bracket to face Erik with some momentum on his side.

With five-thousand dollars on the line, the two duked it out in a best of three series. The first game ended in a lopsided victory for Reguly, winning 4-0.

Needing a win to even stay in it, Erik came back from a two-goal deficit to tie it up three goals apiece with just over a few minutes remaining in the second game.

But Reguly needed just 15 seconds in overtime to win it and claim the title of Capitals Esports Faceoff Champion.

Video: Esports Game Winner

"It [today] was everything I expected plus more," Reguly said after his victory. "I'm excited that I came out on top."

The top three finishers from today's tournament - Reguly, Tammenpää and Samuel Landry (gamer tag Canadiens-27) - will compete together next month and represent the Capitals in the 2019 Chel Classic against the top three finishers from a similar tournament being hosted by the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Chel Classic will be a best of five, three versus three contest taking place at Capital One Arena from center ice on March 19.

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