05.06.22, 21:01
22 IIHF nations competing for the title in NHL™ 22

Introducing the eWorld Championship

by Niklas Aßfalg/Adam Steiss
Photo: EA SPORTS

The IIHF has announced an all-new esports competition: the IIHF eWorld Championship.

Two years after the inaugural IIHF Esports Fan Championship, IIHF Gaming is back with a bigger and better competition on the virtual ice. The annoucement comes following a 2021/22 IIHF season that saw for the first time ever the inclusion of IIHF licenses and the debut of women's teams in EA SPORTS™ NHL™ 22. 

“With the launch of the IIHF eWorld Championship, we are aiming for this to be the start of a new program of esports offerings in the future,“ said IIHF President Luc Tardif. 

The IIHF made an initial foray into esports in 2020, when the Finnish duo of Erik 'Tilantekija' Tammenpaa and Joel 'Rottadee' Myllymaki won the title of the IIHF Esports Fan Championship against their Nordic rivals from Sweden.

Almost two years later IIHF Gaming is back with a bigger and better competition on the virtual ice. As part of its goal to create more opportunity for esports players to represent their country in official IIHF esports ice hockey competitions, the IIHF has expanded the number of competing nations from 16 to 22.

But before the teams can battle it out on the digital rink, each nation has to find its two-man squad.

Qualification phase in June

The eWorld Championship will kick off with an online qualifier to determine the 44 national champions: 22 competing on PlayStation and 22 on Xbox. The qualifiers will begin on 16 June with the national competition of Norway and Switzerland, the last qualifier will be held on 26 June – deciding who will play for the 2020 finalists Sweden.

Once the national champions are confirmed, an initial group stage will be played in early July. The 22 countries compete in two groups of five and two groups of six, the top two squads of each group progressing to the playoffs.

The playoffs start one week later with the quarter-final, followed by the semi-final – where the two finalists of the IIHF eWorld Championship 2022 will be found. From group stage to the grand final all matches between the member national associations will be streamed live for all the ice hockey and NHL™ 22 fans around the globe to follow.

Registration already open

An IIHF Gaming registration can already be made here. To compete a player needs to hold the nationality of one of the participating countries, be at least 16 years old and own an "Xbox One" or "PlayStation 4" version of NHL™ 22. If the version is correct, the tournament can also be played on PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S.

IIHF is hosting the eWorld Championship 2022 in cooperation with the two main partners Skoda and Strauss.