NEW YORK/COPENHAGEN - The National Hockey League (NHL®) has selected DreamHack Sports Games (DHSG), the global leader in organizing and producing sports gaming tournaments and live events, to produce online and live esport tournaments under the NHL Gaming World Championship™ umbrella. As part of the multiyear relationship, DreamHack Sports Games will be tasked with producing hockey's premier esport events with the NHL through production of compelling content, live streams from tournaments, and influencer-driven competitions. The parties will collaboratively approach the sponsor market and lean on DreamHack Sports Games' strong relationships with leading brands, including those in the endemic categories and across international territories.
The 2021 NHL Gaming World Championship™, which is expected to launch in March, will have a new look this year as it expands on the Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT) format and aligns more closely with the League's on-ice product. More information will be released in the coming weeks.
"We have built a great base for competitive gaming at the NHL over the past three years and have seen our Gaming World Championship capture the attention of fans and gamers across the globe," said Chris Golier, NHL VP of Business Development and Innovation. "This partnership with DreamHack Sports Games will help to strengthen our brand in the gaming ecosystem as they provide world-class production resources and longstanding relationships in the industry."
"This cooperation with the NHL is a landmark moment for us. It is a confirmation of the innovative work everyone at DreamHack Sports Games has been doing in the Sport Gaming vertical," said Roger Lodewick, DreamHack Sports Games CEO. "We're genuinely proud and privileged to work with the NHL team to produce and jointly sell these amazing NHL esports properties."
The inaugural European eTour (2019), a partnership between DreamHack Sports Games, the European Tour and golf entertainment firm Topgolf, was a global competition featuring more than 480,000 unique registered players from 180 different countries. The live-broadcasted tour allowed fans to enjoy a premium experience in more than 70 territories on both digital and linear platforms. DHSG has globally organized more than 15 FIFA esports seasons in cooperation with the respective traditional soccer Premier Leagues. With more than 200-million watch views - and an average watch time of over 20 minutes with 42 percent of the viewers between the ages of 18-24.
The NHL began to explore the competitive video game environment in 2018 with the inaugural NHL Gaming World Championship™. The first global event delivered promising metrics for both participants and viewers and showcased a passionate hockey gamer community that has continued to expand through the modified 2020 GWC tournament. Along with the GWC, last year's esports calendar of events included the Chel Gaming Challenge hosted during NHL All-Star Weekend and NHL Gaming First Look™: EA SPORTS NHL® 21 in October. More than 45 NHL players - including avid gamers Zach Hyman (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Filip Forsberg (Nashville Predators) and brothers Brady (Ottawa Senators) and Matthew Tkachuk (Calgary Flames) - representing NHL Clubs also competed in the NHL Player Gaming Challenge™ that was held during the NHL's pause in the summer of 2020.