VEGAS (January 14, 2020) - The thrill of hockey now extends from the ice to the computer, and the 2020 Chel Invitational NHL '20 esports Tournament offers hockey fans and esports players a chance to compete for scholarships and team prizes. The Golden Knights are teaming up with NASEF, the North America Scholastic Esports Federation, to launch this initiative in Vegas. One winner from the Vegas Scholastic Division and one winner from the Vegas Open Division will advance to the finals on Saturday, February 22 in Anaheim to compete against NHL '20 gamers representing the Anaheim Ducks, LA Kings, and Florida Panthers.
Information on how to register for the 2020 Chel Invitational Vegas Qualifier can be found at www.nhl.com/goldenknights/community/chel-invitational.
Vegas, Anaheim, LA and Florida will each host a qualifying regional esports competition for youth and adults. Winners of those local events will receive a trip to Southern California to compete on-stage in a live finals event at DreamHack Anaheim. Scholarships, grants, and team prizes totaling more than $50,000 will be awarded.
The tournament will use EA Sports NHL 20 for concurrent Swiss-style brackets divided by region and platform (Xbox, Playstation). Each of the participating NHL teams will manage its local event for participants age 18 and up. Tournament opt-in closes January 31, with the Live Finals at DreamHack Anaheim on February 22. Links and details follow.
"Scoring a goal or blocking a shot is always exciting, whether it happens in the chill of a rink or in a competitive on-screen battle. We're thrilled at the increased number of fans playing NHL online. This Chel Invitational takes the next logical step to have players from different teams play in a live tournament just like in real life," said Mark Deppe, commissioner, NASEF. "The youth focus is fantastic - this is a great way to connect with fans of all ages, encouraging their love of hockey and showing them how they can have related career paths on and off the ice."
NASEF leverages massive youth interest in esports by teaching students about career options that exist in esports, professional sports, and other industries. Students may develop gaming abilities, but the focus is on learning and practicing skills in related careers like shoutcasting, marketing, artwork and design, and more. In the Chel Invitational, high schoolers can win scholarships up to $2,000 for their own college education, plus grants up to $2,500 for their high schools. In addition to those given to NHL 20 gameplay winners, additional scholarships will be given to students who win analytic and creative "Beyond the Game" competitions with a hockey theme.
The Golden Knights are excited to work with NASEF and Clark County schools on introducing and expanding the esports and tech curriculums in Nevada. The Vegas Golden Knights launched their own channel on Twitch in April 2018, www.twitch.tv/vgktwitch. The channel has featured streams with Golden Knights players competing alongside Golden Knights fans in NHL, FIFA, Fortnite, Mario Kart and other games. The timing and details for future streams can be found on the VGKTwitch homepage. Information on how to register for the 2020 Chel Invitational Vegas Qualifier can be found at www.nhl.com/goldenknights/community/chel-invitational.
High school students opt-in for the Invitational through the NASEF club at their high school or community-based organization. There are hundreds across North America; establish a club for free if there isn't one in your area yet. An additional bracket has been established to enable students to participate in this exciting tournament even if they live outside the four regions. NASEF never wants cost to be a factor in student participation, so it will provide the game and 3-month membership to the platform of choice (Xbox Live Gold or Playstation Plus) to the first 100 clubs that register.
"We're stoked to see the partnerships developing between NHL franchises and their communities, including youth, as a result of this esports Invitational. Participating in an online hockey tournament with your favorite NHL team, possibly winning prizes and scholarships - plus the chance to play on the spotlight stage at DreamHack Anaheim - this is a dream opportunity!" said Deppe.
About the North America Scholastic Esports Federation
The North America Scholastic Esports Federation is working to ensure that ALL students possess the knowledge and skills needed to be society's game changers: educated, productive, and empathetic individuals. NASEF is on a mission to provide opportunities for ALL students to use esports as a platform to acquire critical communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills needed to thrive in work and in life. The Federation's core values are intertwined through all aspects of education and play: learning, opportunity, community, diversity, and respect.
Learn more at www.esportsfed.org. Members of the press can find videos, infographics, and leadership profiles in the online press room. See matches streamed live on our Twitch channel, and join online conversations on Twitter @NASEFedu, or at "Scholastic Esports" on Facebook and Instagram.
ABOUT THE VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
The Vegas Golden Knights are a National Hockey League franchise owned and operated by Black Knight Sports and Entertainment LLC. The Vegas Golden Knights were established by founding partners William Foley and his family and the Maloof family. For the latest news and information on the Golden Knights visit vegasgoldenknights.com. Fans can follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.