Lots of news are here along with the new ECL season, as always - bigger and better than ever before. This season we will also be able to realize a long-time community dream by organizing the first ever 6v6 World Finals!
The ECL is back, and this time we’re in for a wild ride, leading up to the World Finals! Yes, you read that right - this season, we’ll have our ECL ‘23 Winter Champion go head-to-head with the NACL Champion in a World Finals event live at Assembly Winter 2023 in Helsinki. The event hosted in Messukeskus of the Finnish capital is the same venue where so many legendary moments have taken place. FILADELPHIA hoisted the trophy to cap off the unbelievable IS Cup 3 Finals, whereas HAVU Gaming celebrated their FCL 2019 victory at the very same spot. Who will be the next team to hoist the trophy in Helsinki and are you ready to ramp things up to the next level?
The ECL has established itself as the superior European NHL esports league and the objective is to continue solidifying that position with even bigger and better things in the future without forgetting our trademark quality. The new season ramps up the heat in several ways and we're extremely happy to announce a new record high prize pool of up to 28 000€ for only the Winter Season spread out across the divisions. Let’s also take a look at some of the other news our next season brings.
Introducing ECL 1v1
The first and most visible change will be the introduction of the all new 1v1 European Championship League. This is the new 1v1 league to rule them all in the European market, with the ultimate prize being the 1v1 European Championship. The format is designed to follow the true and tested format of our national 1v1 competitions, and as this falls under the ECL umbrella, you can also expect big production and a hefty prize pool to go along with it.
Changes to licenses
The ECL has been on a steady growth trajectory over the past few years and we’re keen on continuing that trend. In order to help with that ambition, we will be introducing player licenses, and increasing team license fees for the upcoming ECL.
The new ECL Player License will cost 20€ and allow for participation in both the ECL 6v6 and 1v1 leagues for the full ECL ‘23 year including both the ECL '23 Winter and Spring seasons. This license will grant you access to compete in the most prestigious and biggest competitive NHL esports league in Europe. An ECL season spans over the course of two to three months and guarantees a minimum of roughly 20 games of competition on the 6v6 side*, whereas the 1v1 league adds - at the very least - the opportunity to participate in four single-elimination qualifier events that are used to qualify the top 128 players that move forward to the group stage.
Starting this ECL Winter season, ECL Neo will continue being available at no license fee for teams wishing to get a taste of competitive virtual hockey, whereas all other divisions are subject to a team license fee. The license is exponentially higher at higher levels of competition, given the increased spotlight and additional content around the divisions in question.
Each team can name up to 3 backup players (outside of the primary 6) that can help the team out and play up to 10 games without having to own the player license.
The ECL ‘23 Player License can be purchased during the season if a backup wants to play more games than expected.
ECL Neo will remain free to play, with no player license required to compete, however
- To uphold the integrity of ECL Neo as the beginner level, we reserve the right to deny teams to participate in cases where they are clearly above the amateur level, as it could significantly impact the experience of what ECL Neo is intended for.
- The ECL ‘23 Player License can be purchased by an ECL Neo player if they want to participate in ECL 1v1, benefit from the additional advantages that come with the license (more on this later), or simply as a form of supporting the league.
License fees will be allocated to fund prize pools and developing operations, such as our broadcasts, live productions and promoting the league.
*Based on the minimum amount of games played in a starting role in the ECL '22 Spring: Core regular season.
ECL Legacy for PlayStation 4
As the ECL is moving over to new generation consoles, we realize that a number of teams have still chosen to continue playing on the previous generation. In order to satisfy their need for competitive action, we will be hosting an ECL Legacy league that will be based on our ECL ruleset. ECL Legacy will be open for all PlayStation 4 teams, only requiring a player license.
Taking the next steps for the ECL into a more professional direction has been a long time coming already, and it has been an inevitable step to take in our journey to developing the league and platform as a whole. The league has been active since 2015 and ran without profit every season. Since the start, we’ve grown from a 50 team single division into a five division league with around 300 active teams, which has led to the requirements of the team increasing. These changes allow us to focus on core operations and develop even further, with the first step being the all new ECL 1v1.
The ECL is the pinnacle of European NHL esports - a league where all the best European NHL gamers compete against each other in both EASHL (6v6) and Online Versus (1v1) for the European Championship title. ECL 6v6 currently features five divisions, so action is guaranteed for everyone regardless of skill level and experience!
Basic information/requirements of ECL:
Regional restrictions: ECL is a European tournament format, however, we do not necessarily exclude players located in North America or Asia. A European server will always be used. In case of severe connection issues, we reserve the right to exclude teams or players.
Individual requirements: Each player needs to have an account at SportsGamer.GG and create their personal player card.
ECL licenses: Teams in ECL Elite & ECL Pro, ECL Lite and ECL Core will require their respective ECL ‘23 Winter team licenses in order to play. In addition, every player needs to have a valid ECL ‘23 Winter Player License before taking the ice.
Rules: The ECL ‘23 Winter ruleset will follow the same foundation as the previous season. The updated rulebook will be available before the season.
The divisions framework for the ECL ‘23 season will follow the same logic as for previous seasons. We will have a total of five divisions with the following team allocation: Elite 16 teams, Pro 32 teams, Lite 64 teams, Core 128 teams and Neo 32+ teams.
Please refer to this ECL Ranking in order to understand which teams are eligible to sign up for each division.
Wildcard teams: 14.-19.11.2022 ⚠️
ECL Lite Qualifier: 14.-22.11.2022 ⚠️
ECL Pro Qualifier: 14.-22.11.2022 ⚠️
ECL Neo: 14.11.-8.12.2022
ECL Core: 14.11.-8.12.2022
ECL Lite: 14.-30.11.2022
ECL Pro: 14.-30.11.2022
ECL Elite: 14.-30.11.2022
*Signups will close at 23:59 CET on the last day mentioned unless otherwise specified.
Qualifiers: 24.11-7.12.2022 ⚠️
Season duration: 11.12.2022-1.3.2023
Signups are open right now, so now is time to brace for that final push in building your teams! Get your team together and sign up for the biggest event of the year!
For our North American members who are eagerly waiting for the NACL announcement, we can reveal that it is in the works and will be dropping within the coming days.
Read more about specific division schedules, prize pools and more:
Don't have a team yet? Team looking for additions to your roster?
If you are a free agent looking to be picked up, please head over here.
If you are representing a team looking for players, please head over here.
Did your team sign with an organization that is represented in the game and needs in-game unlocks?
Fill in this form. (Only if your organization has unlockables available in NHL 23)