Introducing the 2020 IIHF Esports Fan Championship
by Niklas Aßfalg/Christian Bellinger
For the first time ever, the IIHF is offering fans the opportunity to represent their country in an international Esport ice hockey competition: the 2020 IIHF Esport Fan Championship!
Fans from the 16 nations that were qualified for the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship can participate in this tournament, which will be played using the EA SPORTS™ NHL™ 20 game on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One video game consoles.
The Fan Championship will open on 15th May 2020 with the qualification phase for Kazakhstan and Belarus. At the end of the qualification, one PS4 and one Xbox national champion for each nation will be crowned and will move into the playoff phase.
During the open qualifiers, to ensure a fair gameplay, all players will compete with their national teams. Playoffs will be held in the classic knock-out format and one matchup between two nations will be decided within four individual games, two on each console. After all games have taken place, the final result determines the winners and the continuation of the championship. In case of a draw, the last two games will be held in a separate Sudden Death, which will be decided through the Golden Goal rules.
The Playoffs will be starting on 29th May 2020 following the completion of the qualification round. On 7th June 2020 the championship will move on to the finals. The 32 participants will be rewarded with prizes including commemorative pucks and tickets to the next IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
Special rule preserves sporting integrity
Within the playoffs the players are free to decide a team – with one special rule applying. Since in NHL 20 there is no way to equalize the overall rating, a rotation rule will be set in place.
Playoff participants will not be allowed to play the same team twice and will have to switch teams in every round. The top games will be accompanied by an English-speaking commentator on the IIHF Twitch channel. More information will be available shortly.