'Tilantekija' and 'rottadee' for the next Finnish title
by Christian Bellinger
After winning the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship title in 2019, Finland should be feeling confident in its chances to take home the IIHF Esports Fan Championship in 2020.
A total of 283 players wanted to qualify for the playoffs on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at NHL™ 20 and compete under the Finnish flag. On the Sony console, Joel 'rottadee' Myllymäki won seven games to claim the national title. In round one he had a walk-through, but in round two he was faced with a difficult task: 'DjLedos88' gave him a tough fight, but 'rottadee' finally beat his opponent 7-5. In the following matches Myllymäki kept his scoring touch, but had some lapses on defence. 'jezbaru' (5-2), 'Patzlaf' (5-3), 'Dreamickie' (4-3) and 'Aabeli' (5-3) were eliminated one after the other on the way to the semi-finals. In the preliminary round 'rottadee' met 'Artuzio', who had previously walked through the tournament quite effortlessly. With superb defensive work he held off his opponent 2-1, and in the final he had to face Hannes 'Hansulinho' Kettunen. At the end of an entertaining exchange of blows, Myllymäki scored another narrow victory, 5:4 to advance to the main round.
He will be joined by Erik 'Tilantekija' Tammenpää, who held his own on the Xbox in comparison to the other 15 nations in the IIHF Esports Fan Championship. He was also able to take it easy at the start thanks to a walk-through and entered the action with round two. The 16-2 win against 'FatheredRuby49' was a statement to the competition, even 'MakeHarley' (8-0) could not stop him. Against 'Aqutzi' 'Tilantekija' had a harder time at 3-0, but the offensive was already hot again in the quarter-finals against 'clumpyindiana79' (6-1). In the semi-finals Tammenpää had no problems with 'Risupekka' and the 9-0 win reflected his dominance. But the biggest challenge was still ahead of him: In the final game 'Tilantekija', winner of the NHL Gaming World Championship 2018, had to play Niklas 'NikkeDangles' Tukiainen, the match turned into a thriller. But Tammenpää had the better end for himself, with a 5-4 victory over his opponent in the end.
The two qualifier winners can not only be happy about their entry into the playoffs, but also about two tickets each to see their countrymen compete in a 2021 Ice Hockey World Championship game, 100 euros prize money and an IIHF Esports Fan Championship Puck.