Danish dynamite vs. German firepower
by Christian Bellinger/Alexander Maier
With Germany and Denmark in the first playoff round of the 2020 IIHF Esports Fan Championship, two nations from the extended ice hockey world elite will face each other in the first round of the tournament.
Denmark and Germany are not only close geographically. There are also some parallels with regard to their national teams: Both have been part of the repertoire of the ice hockey elite for many years, but no significant successes at world championships have yet been achieved. Can this change at the IIHF Esports Fan Championship!
German ice hockey has been on the upswing at the latest since its second place at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. The German fan community, represented by national champions Tim 'Timasy' Hess and Martin 'Venomenyce' Perenz, will be looking to reach similar heights on the virtual ice.
'Timasy' was crowned virtual German ice hockey champion at the eDEL CUP in March 2020. With 45 goals in six games he underlined his ambitions in the PlayStation 4 qualifier. His duo partner 'Venomenyce' had to go through five hard-fought rounds on the Xbox, in the final he defeated Kevin 'xKevinator' Würterle from ECDC Memmingen eSports with 3:2. "I dont really have a goal for the playoffs, but I think we have a chance against Denmark", says Hess.
The Danes are sending a much younger duo into the playoff season - Martin 'vibholm16' Vibholm shone in the PS4 qualifier with his defensive skills: The 23-year-old did not concede a single goal in four games and scored 16 goals.
Xbox representative Paw Fonnesbech 'Paw Fonnesbech Christensen' Christensen not only cuts a fine figure on the controller. He regularly represents the U20 team of Herning Blue Fox on the ice. Together they want to represent the red and white colours in the playoffs. "It means a lot to represent my country at the first IIHF Esports Fan Championship", says Christensen.
The Round of 16 duel involves two individual games on each console, the added results of the four matches make up the overall winner. If the final score is a draw, the last two games will go into a simultaneous Sudden Death, which will be decided by a Golden Goal. While in the qualifiers the players still had to play with their respective national teams, in the playoffs there is free team selection. However, participants may only use each team once, which allows for various tactical variations. The puck drop will take place on Saturday at 4pm (UTC) and can be followed on the official IIHF Twitch channel, the winner will advance to the quarter finals against Finland or Great Britain.