Winnipeg Jets unveil hockey video game competition

The Winnipeg Jets are getting into the e-sports business.

The hockey club unveiled plans for the Winnipeg Jets NHL 19 Tournament on Friday.

The tourney will test the gaming skills of players aged 14 and up in an online video game competition for the EA Sports game NHL 19.

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Competitors will face off in an online multi-round tournament with qualifying to take place starting on Jan. 19 and finishing on Feb. 10. More than $10,000 in prizes will be available.

“E-sports is an incredibly dynamic genre of sport and we are excited to launch our official tournament to engage with Jets fans and ‘Chel gamers from across North America,” Director of Digital for True North Sports & Entertainment Andrew Wilkinson said in a media statement.

“We know how passionate the NHL gaming community is about hockey.”

Players can compete on either the Xbox One or Playstation 4 with the top player from each platform to meet in the “grand final.” The best two-out-of-three championship match will take place at Bell MTS Place on Feb. 18.

“This exciting launch is yet another example of the convergence between professional sports and esports,” General Manager and CEO of WorldGaming Network Wim Stocks said. “The whole team at WorldGaming Network is thrilled to support the Winnipeg Jets through powering this upcoming tournament.”

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Following the final match each finalist will be paired up with a player from the Jets to compete in a two-on-two game.

Registration opens on Jan. 3 on the WorldGaming Network’s website.

The National Hockey League held a similar competition earlier in the year with the launch of the 2018 NHL Gaming World Championship.

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