NEW YORK/TORONTO - Do you have what it takes? Registration for the 2019 NHL Gaming World Championship™ is now open. EA SPORTS™ NHL® 19 players from all over the world are polishing their skills and warming up their hands for a chance to take home a share of the $100,000 cash prize pool, win a trip to the Regional and World Finals, and raise the Championship Trophy in Las Vegas. Players can register for Online Open Play at NHL.com/Gaming. Game play is scheduled to begin Wednesday, March 13.
"Our introductory season exceeded expectations, but we decided to make a number of improvements for the 2019 NHL Gaming World Championship™ to better the player experience and increase viewer engagement," said Chris Golier, NHL Vice President of Business Development. "This year's format encourages more gameplay for all levels through month-long online qualifiers instead of single- elimination, and more strategy and intrigue in team roster selection by shifting our play mode to Hockey Ultimate Team™ [HUT]. These changes will undoubtedly produce exciting matches and fierce competition showcasing the best EA SPORTS™ NHL®19 players in the world."
Erik 'EKI' Tammenpää, the 19-year-old reigning world champion from Finland, took home $50,000 last June after winning the inaugural NHL Gaming World Championship™. "Bring it on, I'm ready and believe I'm better than ever," he said. "I know I have a target on my back because of recent success, but it's just fun to compete and I'm excited about defending my title in Las Vegas."
Defending champ EKI challenges all EA SPORTS™ NHL®19 players
This year's tournament will have something for everyone. Fans can follow the conversation using social hashtag #NHLGWC and by watching matches streamed on various digital channels. Full rules, regulations, prize pool allocations, tournament schedules and results can be found at NHL.com/Gaming.
Tournament Format & Leaderboard:
The Online Qualification Round will consist of two phases. The first phase is four weeks of Online Open Play and begins on Wednesday, March 13. During the Online Qualification Round, players may participate using an existing or newly created HUT team. Each week, the top 32 players for each region on each of the Xbox®One and PlayStation®4 consoles (based on wins in up to 25 games and their in- game Skill Rating) advance to the Online Play-in Bracket. An in-game leaderboard will keep players apprised of their standing. Players who do not advance at the end of each weekly play period do not need to re-register and are eligible to play in the remaining Online Open Play opportunities. The last chance to participate in the final weekly play period is Sunday, March 31.
Hosted on Battlefy, the Online Play-in Bracket phase begins on Saturday, April 13. European Union Online Play-in Bracket dates will be April 13 and April 20; Canada will play on April 20 and April 27; and the United States will compete on April 27 and May 4. Each Online Play-in Bracket will be single- elimination and consist of head-to-head best-of-one games for the first five rounds, and a head-to-head best-of-three series for the final two rounds. Battlefy has localized the digital experience in seven languages for ease of use.
The Live Regional Final will be an in-person broadcasted tournament consisting of the top eight players from the Online Play-in Bracket for each eligible region (four per console per region). The European Finalists will compete at Viasat studios in Stockholm, Sweden, on Saturday, May 18. Canadian Regional Finalists will compete at Sportsnet studios in Toronto, Ont., on Saturday, May 25. U.S. Regional Finalists will compete at NBC Studios in Stamford, Conn., on Thursday, May 30. All series will be single-elimination best-of-three. Only the winners of each Live Regional Final are guaranteed a spot at the NHL Gaming World Championship Final™ in Las Vegas.
The NHL Gaming World Championship Final™ will return to Las Vegas during the week of the 2019 NHL Awards™. The final will feature a bracket of the winners from each region (three total), with one final spot determined through a special play-in round-robin of the runner-up from each region. The entire semifinal main bracket is best-of-three, with the winners advancing to a final to determine the 2019 NHL Gaming World Champion.
Game Mode & Draft:
Hockey Ultimate Team™ ("HUT") mode will be the game mode for the entire tournament, with standard competitive* settings for all games. During Online Open Play, players may participate using an existing or newly created HUT team.
In each of the Live Regional Finals and then again for the NHL Gaming World Championship Final, participants will draft their unique rosters from a pool of available Hockey Ultimate Team Items featuring NHL players. Once a player is drafted, that player is no longer available, resulting in squads with no duplicate players or duplicate clubs. Draft dates and specific details can be found in the rules and regulations.
Where to Watch & Follow Along:
The 2019 NHL Gaming World Championship™ is a venture with NHL global broadcast partners NBC Sports, Sportsnet and Viasat Hockey. Each broadcaster will host a Regional Final and produce unique content throughout the various stages of the competition. The content will be available on NHL digital platforms, the digital platforms of the League's broadcast partners and on the NHL's Twitch channel (www.twitch.tv/nhl). Fans can follow the conversation using social hashtag #NHLGWC.
For the first time, both the Live Regional Final and 2019 NHL Gaming World Championship Final™ will be streamed live on Twitch with extensive community activation, including giveaways and promotions. Weekly community and lifestyle content will be integrated into live broadcasts. Packaged content created at the House of Chel, an NHL activation that took place during the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend in Palo Alto, Calif., will provide a fun and authentic look into the gaming community.
NHL.com's Cristina Ledra catches up with EKI and Andrew 'Nasher' Telfer ahead of the 2019 NHL Gaming World Championship™.
The 2019 NHL Gaming World Championship™ is supported by the NHL's corporate partners: North American partners Honda and Great Clips, Canadian exclusive partner Scotiabank, and endemic gaming partner ASTRO Gaming.
EA SPORTS™ NHL® 19 will be the game that is used for the 2019 NHL Gaming World Championship™ with Online Open Play taking place in NHL 19's Hockey Ultimate Team Mode.
New for this year, Battlefy will host an Online Play-In Bracket with an enhanced player experience. Battlefy, the trusted platform of choice for the 2019 NHL Gaming World Championship™, will also handle registration and administration for the Online Qualifiers.
FACEIT returns, having hosted the inaugural NHL Gaming World Championship™ in 2018, and will continue to serve as a strategic esports consultant to provide live event management, assistance with sales and distribution, and the tools to engage the viewing audience through a series of NHL-specific rewards during the live events.
Engine Shop will co-produce the Regional and Final broadcasts and create engaging esports programming for gamers and viewers.
Rules & Regulations:
Full rules, regulations, prize pool allocations, tournament schedules and results can be found at NHL.com/Gaming.
Want to Learn More? Check Out EA SPORTS NHL®19 HUT Beginners Guide:
What is 'HUT'? - Hockey Ultimate Team™ (HUT) is a popular EA SPORTS™ NHL® 19 game mode that allows users to create their fantasy lineup and compete online against other players from around the world or play offline. Along the way, players earn rewards from playing, and use those rewards to upgrade their team. Check out EA's Beginners Guide here.
• Getting Started
• HUT Objectives & Milestones
• HUT Game Modes
• HUT Deep Dive