Tampa Bay Lightning to Host $10K NHL 19 Tournament

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The Tampa Bay Lightning surprised the NHL gaming community when they announced their own NHL 19 tournament just hours after the Washington Capitals announced theirs.

Tampa is now the 4th NHL franchise to host an esports activation after announcing the “Bolts Chel Challenge” on December 17, 2018.

This two-stage event will pit the best NHL 19 gamers in Canada, the USA and select countries in Europe (Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic) against each other for a piece of the $10,000 USD prize pool.

Once all of the money is won during the Bolts Chel Challenge, the Top 3 finalists will be headed to the 2019 Chel Classic. These three gamers will represent the Lightning in a Best-of-5 showcase match against the three champions of the “Caps esports Face-off” – the Washington Capitals’ sister tournament, which was announced on the same day. More details on that event here.

The Bolts Chel Challenge will be smaller in scale, with only a single online qualifier being held, and only 4 finalists will earn a spot in the finals at Amalie Arena on February 16, 2019.

Fans can watch individual players live-stream their games during the online qualifier (02/02/2019) by visiting NHL 19’s Twitch page. The Lightning will also be broadcasting the Top 4 Finals (02/16/2019) on their official Twitch channel.

Are you ready to play? Click below to register for the Bolts Chel Challenge online qualifier.

Key Information

Tournament Schedule

Qualifier (Part 1)Double Elimination (Bo1)OnlineFebruary 2, 201910:00 AM (EST)
Qualifier (Part 2)*Double Elimination (Bo1)OnlineFebruary 3, 201910:00 AM (EST)
Top 4 FinalsSingle Elimination (Bo3)LANFebruary 16, 20194:00 PM (EST)
2019 Chel ClassicSingle Series (Bo5)LANMarch 19, 20197:00 PM (EST)

*if necessary

Tournament Prizing

1st$5,000 + Showcase Match + Tickets to WSH vs TBL
2nd$3,000 + Showcase Match + Tickets to WSH vs TBL
3rd$1,500 + Showcase Match + Tickets to WSH vs TBL

Qualification Process

The Bolts Chel Challenge consists of a single online qualifier that will conclude when the top 4 Finalists are determined, or on February 3, 2019 at 11:59 PM EST, whichever is earlier. Match play will be conducted for no more than 8 hours each day. The qualifier will start at 10:00 am EST and will run until there are only 4 players left. These 4 players will then be invited to a live, 1v1 tournament hosted at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay to compete for their share of the $10,000 prize pool and a spot in the 2019 Chel Classic.

Tournament Format

The online qualifier will consist of a double elimination, Best-of-1 format bracket, where the upper and lower bracket finalists will move on to the Top 4 Finals. These finalists will then be grouped into a single elimination, Best-of-3 format bracket, where the prize money will be divided. In order to decide 3rd place, there will be a Best-of-3 series between the losers of each semi-final. The Top 3 finalists will then represent the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2019 Chel Classic – a 3-vs-3, Best-of-5 series against the corresponding Top 3 finalists of the Caps esports Face-off.

Key Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be 16 years of age or older to participate
  • All games will be played on the PlayStation 4 (PS4) console
  • You must be a legal resident of the USA, Canada, Sweden, Finland, or the Czech Republi
  • You cannot win both the Capitals Esports Face-off and the Bolts Chel Challenge

For more information, please visit the official tournament website, hosted by smash.gg.


Online Qualifier
1FinlandTeri25Valtteri LaaksoN/A
2FinlandKriketsi17Kristian VeijolaN/A
3FinlandxDoumiAaro RuuhinenN/A
4USAJohnwaynee90John Wayne CasagrandaLeagueGaming
5FinlandHansulinhoHannes KettunenSJK eSports
6CanadaHanekTyrus RehanekN/A
8CanadaFoolx90Nicola BrunaLazarus

Have questions? Ask us anything in the comment section below.

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