'Pepcastachurcik1' and 'J4rincze' live the Czech dream
by Niklas Aßfalg/Christian Bellinger
Sunday's qualifying tournaments have determined the two Czech playoff participants for the 2020 IIHF Esports Fan Championship. The Czechs are ready for the main round.
A total of 158 ice hockey enthusiasts gathered online on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Sunday afternoon. Only the two winners earned their ticket to the playoffs and are allowed to represent the Czech Republic in competition with the other nations qualified for the World Championship. On the PS4, 'Pepcastachurcik1' underlined his main-round ambitions from the start: With 22:0 he beat 'Siwy-230288' in the first round already - the role of the favourite was tailored to him from then on. The superiority of 'Pepcastachurcik1' was not lost, 'TheSadesCZ' (12:0) and 'Iedvos93' (8:0) were also not able to score against him. His first real challenge came in the round of the last 16. The game against 'hcpce1996_new' turned into a thriller, the 5:4 victory was hard fought. After a great performance in the quarter-finals against 'michaelhetzinho88' (8:3), the semi-final game against 'Kumbik' (3:2) was again a close one. In the big playoff final, 'Pepcastachurcik1' beat 'Henry' 3:2. 61 goals in seven games testify to a well-deserved tournament victory.
Jaroslav 'J4rincze' Rehor's five Xbox wins were enough to reach the main round, but his rivals didn't make it too easy for him. The first two games against 'Egonstick' (5:0) and 'Domek Team' (11:1) were a walkthrough. But already in the quarter-finals Rehor had to bring all his class on the virtual court of EA SPORTS™' NHL™ 20. 'Zaky111' demanded everything from 'J4rincze' at 7:6, nuances finally decided the outcome of the game. The semi-final was hardly less thrilling, 'Dzouvi-' was the last opponent before the final and the score was 6:4. Rehor made the final comparatively clear, 'Svicko' could not stop his triumphal procession and missed the global playoffs at the last minute with a 4-0 win for Rehor. With 'Pepcastachurcik1' and 'J4rincze' as national representatives, the Czechs can look forward to the main round with confidence. In addition to the playoff entry, the qualifier winners were rewarded with two tickets to a Czech preliminary-round game at the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, an IIHF Esports Fan Championship puck and 100 euros prize money.