Sweden and Canada complete the semifinals
by Niklas Aßfalg/Christian Bellinger
The second day of the quarter-finals of the IIHF Esports Fan Championship again brought no surprises, with Sweden and Canada moving into the round of the last four.
On Tuesday, Russia and Finland prevailed as favourites. On Wednesday, the Swedes had a hard time with the Czech Republic but the Scandinavians advanced to the semifinals after a deserved 15-12 win. Canada had fewer problems with the Slovaks, defeating the Eastern Europeans by 19-8. Next Friday will see a duel between Sweden and Canada, the virtual remake of the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship final. Back then, 'TreKronor' were ahead 2-1, but in EA SPORTS™' NHL™ 20 they will probably be the slight underdog.
The Swedish triumph over the Czech Republic was not so much a sovereign one, but connected thanks to a large portion of work. Sebastian 'SebbeLarsen86' Larsen on the PlayStation 4 and Henrik 'eken45jr' Eklund on the Xbox One were able to win their first games by a narrow margin. Thanks to Larsen's 4-3 against Josef 'Pepcastachurcik1' Stachura and Eklund's 5-3 against Jaroslav 'J4rincze' Rehor, the Northern Europeans had a three goal advantage at halftime. But in his second game, 'SebbeLaren86' had to admit defeat 3-4 and thus created a lot of tension. 'eken45jr' had a calming effect on the Swedish nerves, the 20-year-old secured the semifinal entry with a 3-2 win in the second leg on the Microsoft console.
The Canadians did not lose a single match against Slovakia, however, and their progress in the first leg was almost inevitable. Joshua 'Joshfearless13' D'Eri and Karl 'hswertha23' Caslib already had a comfortable cushion in their first two games. 'Joshfearless13' beat Anton 'Fenomen36363' Mesko 5-0, 'hswertha23' scored 6-2 against Sandra 'Lady Brunette' Demitrová - the only woman in the playoffs. With a 11-2 lead at the back, the North Americans could take it easy in the second legs. Nevertheless, D'Eri (5-4) and Caslib (3-2) scored two tight wins and underlined their title claim in an impressive way.