The NHL To Have An e-Sports Gaming House During All-Star Weekend
The NHL All-Star weekend is upon us, and the league is opening its doors to an e-Sports game House called “House of CHEL.” The idea is that the active players and gamers create streams and content on Twitch trying to reach a younger demographic of fans the NHL rented a 30,000-square-foot-mansion in Palo Alto, California for this idea alone. It will feature an indoor ice rink, and most gamers and several NHL players will engage in a battle to see who is the best at EA Sports’ “NHL 19.
“We’ve seen more properties getting engaged in esports whether that’s dipping a toe in or going all in – we wanted to try something a little different,” said NHL Chief Revenue Officer Keith Wachtel. “As we started to look at what would be a great launching point for year two while being a little irreverent and getting some buzz out there, we decided to do this, which is a little bit like the NHL meets ‘The Real World’ meets esports.”
The games and matchups will be stream on social media and digital platforms as well as its Twitch channel. The Pro gamer and Wild RW J.T. Brown will be the main guy hosting this idea. “This is something that I think can be huge for ‘NHL 19,’” Brown said. “Having a gamer house like this, especially with these players who are really skilled, will not only showcase how good they are at the game but also help people get to know their personalities.”
This is the first time one of the major sports league has created a gamer house directly link to a sporting event, but I can’t imagine it would be last time. The NBA and the union for NBA players made a deal with the e-Sports and gaming platform ReadyUp a few months ago to launch something similar.
The host, the NHL players invited and gamers will play NHL 19 for three days and will have a variety of activities in the house. People will be able to tune in via the league’s Twitch channel. “When you look at what drives viewership, personality is the key thing,” said NHL VP/Business Development & Global Partnerships Chris Golier. “Sitting and watching people playing hockey in a video game is not that interesting to the average viewer who isn’t already a hockey fan, so being able to capture the fun, lifestyle content that can bring out those personalities will help attract viewers and other younger gamers.”
The e-Sports All-Star Weekend Gaming House Is A pilot
The NHL sees this opportunity as a test run for bigger events. Several sponsors will help the league to put together the house and the activities, but they will aim to have something more prominent when the Stanley Cup arrives. When e-Sports events like this one from the NHL finds a place in the mainstream culture, then we will be just days away from sportsbooks offering odds on every player and every scenario. e-Sports betting is available in some form, but there is a lot of room for improvement.