Finland and Sweden go for the title
by Niklas Aßfalg/Christian Bellinger
The finalists of the 2020 IIHF Esports Fan Championship have been determined: Finland and Sweden have reached the finals and will play for the crown on virtual ice on Sunday.
The Scandinavian dream final became reality on Friday evening as the two most convincing teams were able to hold their own in the preliminary round. However, the way they played differed significantly. Finland outclassed their archrivals Russia 33-7 and shot their way to the final. Those who had hoped for an exciting duel between two hockey heavyweights were disappointed. But if you are up to the challenge of the Finns, you might have been impressed by the more than sovereign performance of the Scandinavians. The Swedes, on the other hand, took the sword, triumphing late against the slightly favoured Canadians with only a one goal difference.
Sebastian 'SebbeLarsen86' Larsen and Henrik 'eken45jr' Eklund managed the little surprise with willpower. While 'SebbeLarsen86' defeated 'Joshfearless13' D'Eri 5-3 in the first leg on the PlayStation 4, 'eken45jr' had to give up his first game. Karl 'hswertha23' Caslib kept the Canadians' half-time deficit as low as possible thanks to his 4-3 win. In the return games, the quartet swapped roles, 'Joshfearless13' secured a 6-4 against Larsen. Caslib, in turn, lost to 'eken45jr' 3-5 and thus sealed the elimination of the North Americans. Until shortly before the final whistle, the score was 3-4 and the duel was heading for the first simultaneous Sudden Death. But the Swedes prevented this and can now look forward to the final.
The Finns could not keep up with the drama of their neighbour, but an old rival was defeated. Finland and Russia have an eventful history, not only politically but also in ice hockey. However, the question of supremacy at the controller has been answered for the time being. The Finns did not give the Russians the slightest chance, the 33-7 score made the balance of power clear. Joel 'rottadee' Myllymäki had some minor problems with Sergei 'Serg1vratar_vH' Filippov, his wins (5-2 and 6-4) were quite close. Erik 'Tilantekija' Tammenpää on the other hand did not show mercy with Maksim 'mahoney88' Krinitsyn. The winner of the NHL™ Gaming World Championship 2018 gave his opponent two traumas at 9-1 and 13-0, so 'Tilantekija' will be difficult to beat in the final.