Russia and Finland were the first nations to advance to the semi-finals of the 2020 IIHF Esports Fan Championship
on Tuesday while Norway and Germany dropped out of the tournament. On Wednesday Sweden beat the Czech Republic and Canada advanced against Slovakia.
Russia vs. Norway 15-11
Finland vs. Germany 19-8
Sweden vs. Czech Republic 15-12
Canada vs. Slovakia 19-8
Click in the streams above to watch the games live and visit esports.iihf.com
for more information and live scores.
There were no surprises on the first day of the quarter-finals. The favourites prevailed in EA SPORTS™' NHL™ 20 as expected. While Russia narrowly held their own against brave Norwegians with a 15-11 victory, the Finns made it clearer against Germany. With a 19-8 win they secured the ticket for the round of the last four. Russia and Finland will face each other in the semi-finals next Friday. The two neighbouring countries are united by a long-standing rivalry on real ice. The Russians will probably be the underdog among the esports bookmakers, but they are by no means to be underestimated.
Sergei 'Serg1vratar_vH' Filippov and Maksim 'mahoney88' Krinitsyn already made their claims clear in the quarter-finals’ first legs: On PlayStation 4 and Xbox One they defeated the Norwegian representatives Lars Petter 'Larsto50' Sto and Daniel 'Bacon' Baekken 4-2 each. The Scandinavians were not able make up for the four-goal deficit in the second half of the duel, but 'Bacon' still managed a single win, 3-1, against 'mahoney88'. But the 6-4 victory of 'Serg1vratar_vH' against 'Larsto50' restored the old four-goal margin and the final result was achieved. The 21-year-old remains unbeaten in the first playoff round after his two wins against Kazakhstan.
The Finns also suffered a single defeat. Joel 'rottadee' Myllymäki lost his second game on PS4 3-2 against German gamer Tim 'Timasy' Hess. In addition to his previous 2-1 win, he reached an aggregate score of 4-4 on the Sony console. Erik 'Tilantekija' Tammenpää became the big trump card of the reigning Ice Hockey World Champion on Xbox: The 20-year-old didn't give Martin 'Venomenyce' Perenz a chance in either match. He followed the 8-2 win in the first game with a 7-2 victory and thus established the clear 19-8 success for Finland. After winning the NHL™ Gaming World Championship in 2018, 'Tilantekija' is looking for his next big international title.
On Wednesday, the Swedes had a hard time with the Czech Republic but the Scandinavians advanced to the semi-finals after a deserved 15-12 win. Canada had fewer problems with the Slovaks, defeating them 19-8. Next Friday will see a duel between Sweden and Canada, the virtual remake of the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship final. Back then, Tre Kronor were ahead 2-1, but in EA SPORTS™' NHL™ 20 they will probably be the slight underdog.
The Swedish triumph over the Czech Republic was not so much a clear one, but it worked out thanks to a large portion of work. Sebastian 'SebbeLarsen86' Larsen on the PlayStation 4 and Henrik 'eken45jr' Eklund on the Xbox One were able to win their first games by a narrow margin. Thanks to Larsen's 4-3 victory against Josef 'Pepcastachurcik1' Stachura and Eklund's 5-3 win against Jaroslav 'J4rincze' Rehor, the Scandinavians had a three-goal advantage at half-time. But in his second game, 'SebbeLaren86' had to admit a 4-3 defeat and thus created a lot of tension. 'eken45jr' had a calming effect on the Swedish nerves, the 20-year-old secured the semi-final entry with a 3-2 win in the second leg on the Microsoft console.
The Canadians did not lose a single game against Slovakia and their progress in the first leg was almost inevitable. Joshua 'Joshfearless13' D'Eri and Karl 'hswertha23' Caslib already had a comfortable cushion in their first two games. 'Joshfearless13' beat Anton 'Fenomen36363' Mesko 5-0, 'hswertha23' scored a 6-2 win against Sandra 'Lady Brunette' Demitrová, the only woman in the playoffs. With a 11-2 lead at the back, the North Americans had less pressure in the second legs. Nevertheless, D'Eri (5-4) and Caslib (3-2) scored two tight wins and underlined their title ambitions in an impressive way.
Semi-Finals on Friday:
Russia vs. Finland 17:00 CET / 18:00 EET / 18:00 MCK
Canada vs. Sweden 21:00 CET / 3pm ET / 12pm PT