'Tilantekija' becomes MVP of the IIHF Esports Fan Championship
by Niklas Aßfalg/Christian Bellinger
Finland earned their triumph at the IIHF Esports Fan Championship with a strong team performance, but Erik 'Tilantekija' Tammenpää stood out throughout the tournament.
In the final the winner of the NHL™ Gaming World Championship 2018 had left the big performance to his colleague Joel 'rottadee' Myllymäki. While 'Tilantekija' won 3-2 and 2-1 against Henrik 'eken45jr' Eklund, 'rottadee' against Sebastian 'SebbeLarsen86' Larsen (7-2 and 12-3) made sure that things were clear. Tammenpää enthused about his counterpart on the PlayStation 4 and wanted to found a fan club in his honour. It is likely that he himself had gained one or two fans with his performances. 'Tilantekija' was the only player besides the Latvian Kristers 'chibra' Bauers to go undefeated in the entire competition, winning 14 games in a row. Already in the national qualification, he had dominated in five individual games, only in the final against Niklas 'NikkeDangles' Tukiainen, he had to battle hard in a close 5-4 win.
This was followed by two safe 8-2 wins against Sean 'Sean' McIntosh in a duel against Great Britain to open the playoffs. When 'rottadee' had his problems with Tim 'Timasy' Hess in the quarter-finals against Germany with a 4-4 aggregate score, Tammenpää was on the spot: the fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs who had just turned 21 years old didn’t give Martin 'Venomenyce' Perenz much of a chance in 8-2 and 7-2 wins. The situation was similar in the semi-final against Russia where Myllymäki scored two rather tight wins, 5-2 and 6-4. But 'Tilantekija' dismantled Maksim 'mahoney88' Krinitsyn 9-1 and 13-0, and the young Finn from Espoo made the difference when the game was in danger of becoming tight. In the final game, he had with 'eken45jr' a real heavyweight of the NHL™ 20 scene at the other and and mastered the last challenge in a routine and calm manner.
Tammenpää secured the next big international title after 2018 and like two years ago he remained unbeaten. Joshua 'Joshfearless13' D'Eri, Tyler 'Daddy Padre' Stewart, John 'johnwayne90' Casagranda or even 'eken45jr' - the IIHF Esports Fan Championship 2020 had a number of well-known names in store. But none of them was able to show their potential as constantly as 'Tilantekija'. The maestro of virtual ice dominated on the Xbox One and continued the Finnish success story. In 2019, the national ice hockey team surprisingly won the World Championship in Slovakia, and in 2020 the Nordic country became Esports Fan Champions. Winning the title is no real surprise, but the performances were no less impressive. Tammenpää, in particular, made his mark and is rightfully awarded the title of Most Valuable Player.