Minnesota Wild is a professional ice hockey team based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In this instance, Minnesota Wild and FACEIT are collaborating to create their first ever eSports event, named 2019 Wild Gaming Tournament.
This icy tournament will naturally be in NHL 19, a hockey video game, on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It will be presented by Mall of America and will be starting off with various online qualifiers, leading to an offline finale.
The event finals will have a total prize pool of $7,400.
Firstly, a single elimination event will take place online, on both consoles, over February 2nd – 3rd. The best players from each will make it to the finals in Rotunda, Mall of America.
The finals will take place on February 18th, broadcasted on Minnesota Wild’s Twitch channel.
They will be comprised of best-of-three matches, from a total of four finalists. The interesting part is, the event will be run alongside a pro-am tournament, where the public at the mall will be able to compete against Minnesota Wild players! Space is limited, though.
Michele Attisani, CBO and Co-founder of FACEIT has said: “The crossover between eSports and sports is huge and it’s fantastic to work with a mainstream sports brand who recognizes that, and sees that same exciting opportunities that we do. Esports fans are multi-generational and we view esports as an evolution of traditional entertainment. Games such as NHL 19 are a great way to illustrate this. They offer a low barrier to entry and go a long way towards taking esports mainstream. We’re excited to see how the public reacts to the tournament. For many people this will be a first and being able to educate more people on the scale of the industry is fantastic.”
On the other side of the collaboration, Jamie Spencer, the executive vice president of business development for Minnesota Wild stated: “We are thrilled to launch our official NHL gaming tournament with great partners such as FACEIT and Mall of America. The esports gaming community is incredibly unique. With this tournament, we hope to create a sports fan experience unlike any other.”