SAINT PAUL -- The NHL's Minnesota Wild announced Friday it will host its first-ever esports event, the 2019 Wild Gaming Tournament, presented by Mall of America. The tournament, powered by FACEIT, the leading competitive platform for online multiplayer games and organizer of the inaugural NHL Gaming World Championship, will consist of two rounds of competition: an online qualifiers tournament and a live finals event at MOA.
"We are thrilled to launch our official NHL gaming tournament with great partners such as FACEIT and Mall of America," said Jamie Spencer, executive vice president of business development for the Minnesota Wild. "The esports gaming community is incredibly unique. With this tournament, we hope to create a sports fan experience unlike any other."
"The crossover between esports and sports is huge and it's fantastic to work with a mainstream sports brand who recognizes that and sees that same exciting opportunities that we do," said Michele Attisani, Co-Founder and CBO of FACEIT. "Esports fans are multi-generational and we view esports as an evolution of traditional entertainment. Games such as NHL 19 are a great way to illustrate this. They offer a low barrier to entry and go a long way towards taking esports mainstream. We're excited to see how the public reacts to the tournament. For many people this will be a first and being able to educate more people on the scale of the industry is fantastic."
[RELATED: Sign up now for the 2019 Wild Gaming Tournament presented by Mall of America]
Players will go head-to-head in EA SPORTS NHL 19 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One during single-elimination, online-qualifying matches slated for February 2 and 3. The top two competitors from each of the two online qualifiers, a total of four finalists, will compete in the 2019 Wild Gaming Tournament Finals on Monday, Feb.18 in the Rotunda at Mall of America.
The finals competition will feature live best-of-three matches with the winners taking home part of a $7,400 prize purse. The in-person finals event will be live streamed on Twitch.tv/minnesotawild_official. Additionally at the finals event, the Wild will host a pro-am tournament where mall guests can face off against Minnesota Wild players. Space is limited.
Registration opens on Friday, Jan. 25 at 4:15 p.m. CT. Participants must be 16 years of age or older and from a qualifying state or country to be eligible. To register, visit fce.gg/mnwild.
[For more information on the 2019 Wild Gaming Tournament, visit wild.com/gaming]
About Mall of America
At 5.6 million square feet, Mall of America is the largest shopping and entertainment complex in North America with more than 520 world-class retail stores and restaurants; Nickelodeon Universe, the nation's largest indoor theme park; SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium; FlyOver America; Crayola Experience; Hard Rock Café; The Escape Game; CMX Cinemas; and more. The Mall opened in 1992 and is located in Bloomington, Minn., minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul and adjacent to the MSP International Airport. Follow Mall of America on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and visit our blog. Download the Mall of America app from the App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android.
FACEIT is the leading competitive gaming platform with more than 12 million users playing over 15 million online game sessions each month. Esports organizers, influencers, players and communities use FACEIT to create and manage online competitions. FACEIT's SDK allows game creators to easily integrate user-friendly esports features into their titles to allow gamers to engage in competitive online games at all skill levels. Our Media division produces over 1,000 hours a year of premium esports live content and events, owned and operated as well as in partnership with NBC Sports (Comcast), NHL, Sky, Turner Sports (ATT/TW), ESPN (Disney) and more. For more information on FACEIT, please visit www.faceit.com.
Video: 2019 Wild Gaming Tournament pres. by Mall of America