The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) has announced that they will hold a live charity tournament called the NHLPA Open featuring Fortnite on May 18 at 2-5 p.m. ET (May 19, 2-5 a.m. GMT+8).
The NHLPA Open featuring Fortnite will comprise more than 60 NHL players representing their cities in Trios competition. Participating players include Sebastian Aho, Thomas Chabot, Johnny Gaudreau, William Karlsson, Clayton Keller, Travis Konecny, Mitch Marner, Bryan Rust and Alex Tuch.
Up for grabs is a US$200,000 prize pool, which will be directed towards charities chosen by the players.
The Colorado Avalanche’s J.T. Compher and Toronto Maple Leafs’ Zach Hyman are behind the project.
“Players across the league are passionate Fortnite players,” said Compher. “While we cannot compete on the ice right now, it is important to the guys that we give back in a meaningful way. We are excited to showcase our competitive skills online to an ever-growing audience, and I can’t wait to watch our event unfold.”
Hyman agreed that many of his peers in the league “would be thrilled to be part of this [charity tournament]”.
“Many players have [already] participated in a number of outstanding gaming events,” Hyman added. “J.T. and I knew players would jump at the chance to come together with such a large group of players like this to unite and compete for charity in a unique way.”
The NHLPA also hopes that its charity tournament will help “connect fans to many of hockey’s greatest personalities” while also “benefit[ing] player-selected charities [and] bringing some joy to the hockey community.”
“Our players have been taking part in countless initiatives during this uncertain time,” said Mathieu Schneider, NHLPA Special Assistant to the Executive Director. “The NHLPA Open featuring Fortnite is symbolic of the bonds connecting NHLPA membership away from the ice and their shared passion for giving back — something the players have demonstrated time and again.”
The NHLPA Open featuring Fortnite will be a live, three-hour special that will be streamed live on the ESPN Esports Twitch channel.