NHL team, the Toronto Maple Leafs has announced it will host “Leafs Game Day” on October 21st featuring competitions in NHL 19 and Fortnite. Competitors in the matches will include members of the Maple Leafs, players in the Leafs Gaming League, members of the attending audience, and members of esports organisation FaZe Clan.
Last week, the Leafs announced a partnership with WorldGaming Network to launch the Leafs Gaming League, an online ladder for NHL 19. Players can climb the ladder for the chance to qualify for the Grand Finals held in January live from Soctiabank Arena in Toronto. The top eight ranked players as of October 18th will be invited to compete in a bracket showdown during the Leafs Game Day event. The winner will receive a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey, a piece of the $5,000 prize pool along with the change to compete against “the best NHL 19 celebrity”, according to the announcement.
Aside from NHL 19, members of FaZe Clan will compete in Fortnite squad games alongside Maple Leafs players and fans in attendance. There’s no word yet on the members of FaZe that will be in attendance, but the organisation also plans to hold an interactive meet and greet during the event.
There’s not much of an establishment for NHL esports quite yet. Last year the NHL held the NHL Gaming World Championship live in Las Vegas, Nevada during the 2018 NHL Awards. The event was broadcast online an on national cable television. After the World Championship, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman stated in an interview plans to establish NHL esports, alongside developers, Electronic Arts, and that it would not be a “full-blown league, but we’re going to have teams participate in some way, shape or form.”
Esports Insider says: While NHL 19 might not be an established esports, yet, Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment is certainly looking to capitalize on the growing gaming industry. The partnership to get FaZe Clan involved, as Fortnite is growing casually and competitively, is a great opportunity for the Maple Leafs to interact with its fans and hopefully grow more of an audience in real-world hockey.