Slovakia and Latvia go face-to-face in EFC playoffs
by Christian Bellinger/Patrick Wichmann
Who reaches the quarterfinals? Slovakia and Latvia will meet at the start of the playoffs in the 2020 IIHF Esports Fan Championship on Friday.
Three wins for Slovakia, three wins for Latvia, one draw - a look at the historical statistics on the real ice gives no indication as to which team could be ahead at the start of the main round of the IIHF Esports Fan Championship next Friday. At the start of the playoffs, Slovakia and Latvia will meet and fight for a place in the next round.
In contrast to the real world championship, the 16 participating nations of the IIHF Esports Fan Championship will start the tournament immediately in knockout mode. While the national team of the respective country had to be chosen during the qualification, the final round is free to choose the country they wish to compete with. However, there is one restriction: Each nation may only select each country once during the course of the tournament, so it is likely to be very busy from the first round onwards.
In the qualifying round for Slovakia, Anton 'Fenomen036363' Mesko, a virtual ice hockey veteran since NHL 2002, on PlayStation 4 and Sandra 'Lady Brunette' Demitrová on Xbox One won the tournament as the best players, beating out a field of 144 opponents.
"It is the biggest honour to represent my own country. I am absolutely excited about it", says Demitrová. More than twice as many players had started in Latvia's qualifying tournament, with 19-year-old Kristers 'chibra' Bauers on PlayStation 4 and 22-year-old Juris 'snipencelly8' Lopatko on Xbox One, two youngsters who secured their place in the main round of the IIHF Esports Fan Championship. "Hopefully we will get past a couple of rounds, but it also depends on which opponents we will have", says Lopatko.
Which duo will win the tournament and thus secure a ticket to the quarterfinals, and which duo will have to drop out of the tournament after the first match, will be revealed on Friday. Two games will be fought on the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One in EA SPORTS™ NHL™ 20, and the total score will decide whether they are to be eliminated or advance. The first game between Slovakia and Latvia starts on Friday at 7pm (UTC) and can be followed on the official IIHF Twitch channel.