The Detroit Red Wings took a big step into the esports realm by announcing their very own NHL 19 tournament via Twitter on January 17, 2019. It looks to be the most time-consuming event to date, with a whopping 16 qualifiers and a live Finals event that will be held at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan on February 24, 2019.
This event doesn’t come without its quirks though, seeing as it is only open to US residents. European gamers are used to being excluded from these types of events (see the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets) but this is the first time in a while that Canadian gamers are unable to play as well. There is certainly a bit of disappointment amongst gamers north of the border. Most Canadian NHL gamers live in either Ontario or Quebec, which are only a few hours’ drive from Detroit. Many of these gamers would likely have been willing to make that journey for a shot at the prize money, even if the travel was at their expense.
Americans can also thank the Red Wings for hosting majority of their qualifiers on weekday evenings instead of on weekends like every other team.
Players can qualify for the live finals by winning 1 of 16 qualifiers, beginning on January 25, 2019. It’s important to note that players may use any NHL team during qualifiers, but must use the Detroit Red Wings during the Finals. The winner of each qualifier will book their ticket to Little Caesars Arena to compete for a share of the $8,000 USD cash prize pool and other prizes as noted below. The championship and consolation games to determine 1st and 3rd place will be played on Xbox One.
Fans can watch individual players live-stream their games during the online qualifiers (dates below) by visiting NHL 19’s Twitch page. The 2 live qualifiers will be held at High Score esports in Ferndale, Michigan. The Red Wings will also be broadcasting the Grand Finals (02/24/2019) on their official Twitch channel.
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The Red Wings esports Face-off consists of 14 online qualifiers (7 per console) and 2 live qualifiers (1 per console). The winner from each qualifier advances to the live, 1v1 Finals hosted at Little Caesars Arena. The 16 finalists will be split by their console and play to determine the final 2. The final match will be played on Xbox One to determine the overall tournament champion. The runners-up on each console will play a consolation game to determine 3rd place.
Each qualifier will consist of a single elimination, Best-of-1 format bracket. Online qualifiers will be hosted by GamerSaloon and the live qualifiers will be played at High Score esports
The entire Finals bracket, including the championship, will be a Best-of-1 game series.
Key Eligibility Requirements
Must be 16 years of age or older to participate
Must be able to travel to the Finals at your own expense
Must be a legal resident of the USA
You cannot compete in qualifiers on the same day, and you cannot qualify more than once