22.05.2020 15:00 Uhr
Gamers ready to rep the Stars and Stripes in IIHF Esports Fan Championship. 

'Daddy Padre' and 'johnwayne90' are USA’s Dream Team

by Niklas Aßfalg/Christian Bellinger

After advancing through an intense domestic qualification tournament last week, Team USA has its national champions ready to face the world for the first-ever IIHF Esports Fan Championship, starting this Friday. 

Tyler 'Daddy Padre' Stewart and John 'johnwayne90' Casagranda will compete in the knockout stage of the EFC against 15 other countries. In the qualifiers, 'Daddy Padre' beat out 79 other competitors on Xbox One, starting with a 1:0 opening game against 'Jr Pens'. He followed up with another tight game agianst 'Gonzo26' (2:1). As the tournament progressed, Stewart found more and more pleasure in the offensive, taking down 'nasher' (3:1) and 'OsW I92I' (5:0). He secured his place in the final by beating 'Shaggerty26' 4:2, to set up a finale against Matthew 'TSCCookie' Gutkoski. There 'Daddy Padre' defeated his final opponent 3:1 and secured his ticket to the knockout phase. 

The US duo is completed by John 'johnwayne90' Casagranda, who stood out from 74 participants on the PlayStation 4. Casagranda started strong with an 11:0 win over 'Preston39_' in the first round. 'PM_128' caused 'johnwayne90' much more difficulties in the following round, the 3:2 success meant hard work for the EA Sports™ NHL™ 20 pro. Against 'Slushy51', he rolled 5:1 and then took down 'notdbs20' 5:3. 

Things got tougher for Casagranda later on. The semifinal against 'Segweeen' turned out to be a thriller, which 'johnwayne90' finally won by a narrow margin 5-4. In the final Casagranda faced David 'Jr Pens' Roebuck, who had also tried his luck on the Xbox. In another exciting game 'johnwayne90' defeated his opponent 3:2 and secured his place in the playoffs.

U.S. champions Stewart and Casaranda will now get the chance to compete against national champions from the other World Championship countries, for the right to become the first-ever IIHF Esports Fan CHampion. In addition, They will each receive two tickets to see Team USA at the 2021 Ice Hockey World Championship, 100 euros prize money and an IIHF Esports Fan Championship puck.