Russia and Finland move into the semi-finals
by Niklas Aßfalg/Christian Bellinger
Russia and Finland were the first nations to advance to the semi-finals of the 2020 IIHF Esports Fan Championship on Tuesday while Norway and Germany dropped out of the tournament.
There were no surprises on the first day of the quarter-finals. The favourites prevailed in EA SPORTS™' NHL™ 20 as expected. While Russia narrowly held their own against brave Norwegians with a 15-11 victory, the Finns made it clearer against Germany. With a 19-8 win they secured the ticket for the round of the last four. Russia and Finland will face each other in the semi-finals next Friday. The two neighbouring countries are united by a long-standing rivalry on real ice. The Russians will probably be the underdog among the esports bookmakers, but they are by no means to be underestimated.
Sergei 'Serg1vratar_vH' Filippov and Maksim 'mahoney88' Krinitsyn already made their claims clear in the quarter-finals’ first legs: On PlayStation 4 and Xbox One they defeated the Norwegian representatives Lars Petter 'Larsto50' Sto and Daniel 'Bacon' Baekken 4-2 each. The Scandinavians were not able make up for the four-goal deficit in the second half of the duel, but 'Bacon' still managed a single win, 3-1, against 'mahoney88'. But the 6-4 victory of 'Serg1vratar_vH' against 'Larsto50' restored the old four-goal margin and the final result was achieved. The 21-year-old remains unbeaten in the first playoff round after his two wins against Kazakhstan.
The Finns also suffered a single defeat. Joel 'rottadee' Myllymäki lost his second game on PS4 3-2 against German gamer Tim 'Timasy' Hess. In addition to his previous 2-1 win, he reached an aggregate score of 4-4 on the Sony console. Erik 'Tilantekija' Tammenpää became the big trump card of the reigning Ice Hockey World Champion on Xbox: The 20-year-old didn't give Martin 'Venomenyce' Perenz a chance in either match. He followed the 8-2 win in the first game with a 7-2 victory and thus established the clear 19-8 success for Finland. After winning the NHL™ Gaming World Championship in 2018, 'Tilantekija' is looking for his next big international title.