Introducing Capitals eSports!

Posted December 13, 2019

Monumental Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Washington Capitals, has recently entered the world of eSports, and we here at Caps Outsider are here to give you a primer on this.

Introducing Caps Gaming!

You can follow Caps Gaming on these social media platforms:

Twitter: @capsgaming | Twitch: @Capitals  | Instagram: @capsgaming

To help explain what Caps Gaming is, we asked the eSports Business Operations Manager of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Jordan Zelniker to answer a few questions.  “Caps Gaming is the eSports sub brand of the Washington Capitals.  For those who might not know, this does not entail Capitals players, [but] playing NHL 20.”  The Caps Gaming tournament is played on Xbox One with EA Sports NHL 20.  “We have 8- teams in the tournament that is right around 600 people participating, but we had many more sign up.”

The difference between this tournament and other tournaments like the NHL Gaming World Championship is Caps Gaming decided to go with the 6 versus 6 player format.  Most other tournaments go 1 vs. 1 with the versus mode or the Hockey Ultimate Team (fantasy hockey player cards).  When asked on why Caps Gaming decided to go with this method, Jordan said, “There were a few reasons behind this.  First, we’ve listened to the community and heard [them] loud and clear.  They have been asking for a 6’s tournament for a long time now.  We’re in the business of team sports and wanted to relay that into our gaming initiatives rather than having one person control a team.  Second, we strongly believe there should be no room for computer error in competitive gaming.  Looking at the model we use in the NBA 2K League with Wizards District Gaming, we wanted to mimic the style of gameplay where every player on the court/ice would be controlled by a human.”

Caps Gaming has teamed up with Battlefy in order to make this possible.  We reached out to Shay Pomeroy, the Marketing Communications Manager of Battlefy on who Battlefy is.  “Battlefy is the largest online tournament platform and acts as a full-service competitive eSports hub for both players and organizers.  We work with partners like Monumental to design, build, and execute unique eSports experiences across major game titles like EA SPORTS NHL and NBA 2K.”  When asked about their role with Caps Gaming, Shay responded, “The Battlefy admin team manages all day-to-day operations around tournaments, this one includes setup, tournament seeding, bracket creation, matchmaking, and dispute management.  Basically anything and everything related to the tournament execution.

Caps Gaming also made history before their first tournament by signing the first ever NHL eSports athlete, John Wayne.  John Wayne resides in Anchorage Alaska and has been a member of the NHL community for quite awhile.  We asked Jordan why John Wayne was the correct choice for Caps Gaming.  “After extensive scouting, we decided John was the perfect candidate for this role.  He has shown professionalism in and out of the game.  After coming in third and then second at the NHL Gaming World Championship, he has constantly learned and adjusted to become a better player.”  With John Wayne being the first ever player to be signed by an NHL team, Caps Gaming is looking at the future of eSports through NHL.  Jordan went on to say, “There is also a lot of weight that comes with being the first ever NHL eSports player.  The player we choose was going to create a pathway for many more to come, so we had to make sure it was someone who could set a good example and become a leader.  After looking at all the different factors and interviewing a couple different players, we felt John was the perfect player to represent the Capitals brand.”

Here is a great interview conducted by Brody from SQUAD:

The Caps Gaming tournament started last weekend (12/7/19) and will run a regular season every weekend until the January 25th/26th weekend.  All games during this time will be online through the Xbox One.  After that, there will be a 32 team playoff bracket that will take place over the weekends of February 8th and 15th.  The finals will take place in a LAN format, live in Washington DC on February 29th, at a venue that is still to be determined.  Oh, and the champions get $15,000!

There are many big names in the NHL community participating in the Caps Gaming tournament.  The largest name is NHL eSports influencer in the world and Bauer sponsored, Nasher.  He owns Montage Moment, which is completing in their first tournament.  They currently sit 1-0 after the first weekend by defeating Mercenary 2-1 in a best of three series.  Here is Nasher’s first pro goal:

You can follow Nasher on Twitter here: @TheNasher61.

There is also players like Regs of Entourage, who won the Capitals Chel Classic tournament last year:

You can follow Regs on Twitter here: @reg_84.

There has been a lot of hype around the NHL eSports community about Caps Gaming.  Some have even created simulation jerseys to represent their teams.  But first, @JerseyIdeas created these Caps Gaming jerseys:

Here are the jerseys for Montage Moment:

There is also some created jerseys around the tournament with custom Caps Gaming patches that was created by @BakerAndTymo on Twitter:

The future is changing in entertainment.  eSports is growing in many different venues around the world.  The next step in competitive eSports is here.  

Introducing, Caps Gaming!

Cory Lyons covers The Hershey Bears and Caps Gaming.  You can follow him on Twitter here: @CoryLyonsAHL.