The thrill of hockey now extends from the ice to the computer, and the 2020 Chel Invitational offers hockey fans and esports players a chance to compete for scholarships and team prizes.
The LA Kings and NASEF, the North America Scholastic Esports Federation, are teaming up with the Anaheim Ducks, Vegas Golden Knights and Florida Panthers for this exciting event.
The Kings will host an online qualifying competition for the Open Division on Saturday, Feb. 8.
High school students opt-in for the Invitational through the NASEF club at their high school or community-based organization. NASEF never wants cost to be a factor in student participation, so it will provide the game and three-month membership to the platform of choice (Xbox Live Gold or Playstation Plus) to the first 100 clubs that register.
Winners from the Open and Scholastic Divisions will win Kings prizes and represent the Kings by competing on-stage in a live finals event at DreamHack Anaheim.
"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."
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 2020 Chel Invitational 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.