The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has extended partnership with Infront Sports & Media and eSport Studio to launch the IIHF Esports Fan Championship form May 15.
The digital competition will offer an opportunity to the fans from the 16 nations which had qualified for the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship to represent their country in the digital tournament.
The IIHF has launched an esports web portal on Friday, May 8, for the fans to register for participating in the tournament.
Games will be played in EA SPORTS™ NHL™ 20 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, enabling all participants to compete from home.
René Fasel, IIHF President, said: “We very much value our partnership with Infront as, thanks to its growing expertise in esports, we are able to bring ice hockey action to fans’ homes in a new and engaging manner. We look forward to seeing the fans create their own destiny and become stars of the virtual tournament by representing their home nation.”
André Fläckel, Infront’s Head of Gaming & Esports, said: “The IIHF Esports Fan Championship is a perfect example of how to leverage the potential of esports in the current situation and deliver a product that fans can get passionate about. Infront is proud to jointly work with the IIHF and eSport Studio, introducing such a promising project in such a short space of time.”
The first phase of the game will consist of qualification tournaments that will be run online from 15-22 May. Once a national PS4 and Xbox champion has been chosen, together they will compete in a playoff phase that will begin on 29 May, with a champion crowned on 7 June.
Both the national champions and the playoff finalists will have the chance to win prize money, hockey merchandise and ‘money can’t buy’ VIP-experiences.
The playoff tournament will be streamed live on the IIHF’s Twitch channel. Fans around the world will also be able to follow the action on the IIHF’s social media channels.