Who will reach the Esports final?
by IIHF Esports Team|05 JUN 2020
In the semi-finals of the 2020 IIHF Esports Fan Championship, the four leading nations of the IIHF Men’s World Ranking will compete on Friday: Canada, Finland, Russia and Sweden are the Final Four.

Schedule & Stream on Friday, 5 June 2020:

Russia vs. Finland 18:00 EET (17:00 CET, 11am ET) Stream in English / Finnish / Russian
Canada vs. Sweden 21:00 CET (3pm ET, noon PT) Stream in English / Swedish
Russia and Finland will kick off the semi-finals on Friday at 18:00 EET/MSK. The reigning 2019 World Champion Finland will meet Russia, who last year took home bronze at the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. Both nations have already proven in the course of the tournament that they can also play on the virtual ice of EA SPORTS™' NHL™ in the concert of the big ones: The Finns Erik 'Tilantekija' Tammenpää – winner of NHL™ Gaming World Championship 2018 – has not had to accept defeat in international competition so far and dominates his competitors on Xbox One. His teammate Joel 'rottadee' Myllymäki lost 3-2 to German Tim 'Timasy' Hess in the last single match of the quarter-finals, but still has a remarkable record of 15-6 in the playoffs.

The Finnish duo will face off against Sergei 'Serg1vratar_vH' Filippov (PS4) and Maksim 'mahoney88' Krinitsyn (Xbox). The Red Machine duo has so far defeated Norway (15-11) and Kazakhstan (24-8) in the play-offs, but will go into this match-up against Finland as underdogs.

The second semi-final match is between Canada and Sweden, with puck drop at 21:00 CET (3pm ET / noon PT). With Joshua 'Joshfearless13' D'Eri and Karl 'hswertha23' Caslib, Canada is represented by two of the world's best NHL 20™ players. The duo did not leave a strong Slovak team any chance in the quarter-finals and outclassed them 19-8. In the previous round, Canada met the big North American competitor from the USA and despite two defeats in the first legs against John 'johnwayne90' Casagranda and Tyler 'Daddy Padre' Stewart they eventually won 17-12. 

The Swedish duo Sebastian 'SebbeLarsen86' Larsen on the PlayStation 4 and Henrik 'eken45jr' Eklund on Xbox One managed to beat the Czech Republic (15-12) in the quarter-finals. After 43 play-off goals, the two 20-year-olds will need to keep their offence humming in order to topple the favorites and book a spot in the Grand Final. 

The semi-finals will be played in the familiar mode: The four individual results - two games each on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 - will be added up to form a final result, the goals scored will be the deciding factor. The two victorious nations will finally meet on Sunday in the Grand Final of the 2020 IIHF Esports Fan Championship.