Updated by Jonathan Monopoli (@TheOohwayy) on 11/25/2019
The Washington Capitals and their parent company, Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE), have a knack for being early adopters when it comes to competitive sports gaming. Just last week we saw MSE add to their extensive portfolio by creating Caps Gaming. They also made history by becoming the 1st NHL team to sign a professional NHL 20 player. Following the trend, Caps Gaming just released the full details behind the Caps Gaming Showcase that was teased last week.
The first of its kind, the Caps Gaming Showcase is a competitive NHL 20 tournament that will feature full 6v6 EASHL gameplay. That’s right. No AI. Virtual hockey as it was meant to be played.
Oh, did we mention the prize pool?… $15,000 will be played for on February 29th and split between the Top 2 teams. The first-place team will receive $10,000 ($1,666.67 for each of its six players) and the second-place team will receive $5,000 ($833.33 each). There will be no third-place match or other prizes for the remaining two teams at the live event. While teams can have up to seven players on the roster, only six will be flown to Washington. These six players will receive the payment directly from MSE. Teams wishing to split their prize money amongst the full 7-man roster can do so at their discretion.
The format of the event will also be quite unique. Beginning on December 7, 2019, teams will play through an 8-week long season ending on January 25, 2020. The regular season will use the Swiss matchmaking format – a matchmaking system that iteratively matches opponents each round based on their performance to-date. Each week, as games are won and lost, teams will face opponents that own similar records and who are at or near their own skill level. This will ensure that the best teams end up at the top of the standings, providing the most accurate seeding heading into the Finals bracket.
Each week, teams will find out who their opponent is for the following weekend. The default time to play their series is at 9:00 pm EST, every Saturday night. However, teams are able to coordinate with their opponents to schedule a different time, as long as the series takes place between 10:00 am EST on Saturday morning and finished before midnight EST on Sunday evening. If a time cannot be agreed upon, the match must take place at the default time. If only one team shows up for the default time, they will be credited with a win while the other team loses. If both teams cannot agree on a time and do not show up at the 9:00 pm EST default time, a double forfeit will be assigned to the match.
At the end of the regular season, the top teams will qualify for the Finals bracket. If there are 64 or fewer teams registered, then the Top 16 teams will qualify. If there are 65 or more teams registered, the Top 32 teams will qualify. In either case, single-elimination, Best-of-Three series will be played to eliminate teams until there are four teams left.
The online playoffs will be played from February 1 to February 9, 2020. If there are 32 teams that make the playoffs, then two rounds will be played on the weekend of February 1st. If only 16 teams make the playoffs, then just the Round-of-16 series will be completed. The quarter-finals will be played on the weekend of February 8th. The four winners of the quarter-finals will be the four teams that are flown to Washington, D.C. on February 29th to compete for the grand prize at the live event.
This tournament is open to players across North America (INCLUDING Quebec) and should provide viewers with some of the most entertaining virtual hockey gameplay the world has ever seen.
UPDATE: With the recent petition by the Quebec NHL community, the local government from Quebec was able to get in contact with MSE. With clarification under the esports laws and how it applies to Quebec, it turns out that this community will, in fact, be able to participate now.Click for more on this development.
The online portion of this tournament will be hosted by Battlefy – the same company that administered last year’s NHL Gaming World Championship. Caps Gaming has also created a Discord server to share tournament updates and to help players find a team.
The Grand Finals will be played live in Washington D.C. on February 29, 2020 at the MedStar Wizards Gaming District Studio* and will be live-streamed on Twitch on the Capitals channel.
*Not confirmed. Location may be subject to change.
Registration for the event is currently open. The deadline to register is December 6th at 11:59pm EST. There will be a maximum of 96 teams allowed to register. If that 96 team limit is reached, registration will be closed before the December 6th deadline. Register your squad below.
The Caps Gaming Showcase consists of an 8-week long season, followed by a single-elimination finals bracket.
Teams will be matched up and will play against eight different opponents, one matchup per week. Each weekly matchup will involve the two teams playing each other in a Best-of-3 series. Matchups will be determined by Caps Gaming and will be published on the official tournament site mid-way through each week. Teams must agree on a time during the upcoming weekend to play their games. If a game time cannot be agreed upon by both teams, the teams must play their series at 9 PM ET on the corresponding Saturday.
Regular-season matchups will be determined using the Swiss matchmaking system. At the end of the season, the Top 16 or 32 teams will qualify for the Finals bracket and will be seeded based on their regular-season standings.
The Finals bracket will be single-elimination. Matchups for Rounds 1 and 2 will be a Best-of-3 series. Matchups for the Semi-final and Grand Final will be Best-of-5.
Key Eligibility Requirements
Must be a legal resident of the USA or Canada
Must be at least 18 years of age on or before December 7, 2019
Must be correctly registered in only one team on Battlefy