Finnish Hockey League, as many other leagues around the world, got cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak. As an enthusiastic hockey nation, the people in Finland took it hard. As a response to feedback from the hockey community, it was decided that the league won’t be cancelled after all.
Instead it will be played online with the NHL 20 console game and presented by Finland’s largest esports league, Telia Esport Series. Games are broadcasted in national television. First round of playoffs will begin on 8th of April.
Coronavirus crisis has led the whole world into chaos, people are on lockdown and many sport events are either cancelled or postponed. To offer people comfort and entertainment Finnish Hockey League combined forces with Telia, a long-standing broadcasting company and e-sports provider in Finland. In addition to showing the finale on television by MTV, the biggest commercial TV company in Finland, all the games will be broadcasted to multiple video on demand platforms.
“This year the ice hockey season ended prematurely due to the coronavirus outbreak. We agreed together with Finnish Hockey League that we should find an alternative way to finish the season. It is with great honour that we announce that ePlayoffs will be broadcasted in national television during prime time and every Finn can follow the games from the safety of their living room”, says Niklas Segercrantz, Commercial Manager of Telia’s esports team.
Each team has chosen one representative to represent their team in the entertaining ePlayoffs. There are both professional players such as 2019 World Championship winner Harri Pesonen and AHL players like Joni Tuulola and Joona Luoto, but also Finnish celebrities and other hockey enthusiasts.
“To our knowledge we are the only ice hockey league that goes online to finish the season. It is great that, together with Telia, we can provide entertainment to hockey enthusiasts even if we had to end the actual season prematurely. Kudos also goes to the former players and loyal fans for stepping up to defend their team online. This is guaranteed to become something exiting and entertaining to watch,” comments Aija Saha, Marketing Manager of Finnish Hockey League.
Games are played with the best three out of five method and the game format is 1 vs. 1. The ePlayoffs will continue directly based on the rankings of Finnish Hockey League’s regular season. All 10 teams that made it to the playoffs are included. To give hockey fans an authentic experience, all the games will be broadcasted with commentary and the program will be identical to a regular Finnish Hockey League broadcast. The main partner of the ePlayoffs is OnePlus.
“The premature end of the Finnish Hockey League season was a hard blow to all hockeyists in Finland, which made it obvious to us that we wanted to join Telia Esport Series to make virtual hockey history. This entertaining concept combines two things important to OnePlus: ice hockey and esports,” says Country Manager Tuomas Lampen of OnePlus Finland.
See full playoff schedule and read more from Telia Esports series page here.