Finland, like many other countries around the world, is having to come up with some novel ways to broadcast its national sport. But while the likes of the Premier Leage are on total hiatus, when coronavirus forced the cancellation of the country's top-flight ice hockey competition, Liiga, organisers quickly turned to NHL 20.
Via the medium of EA's long-running hockey series, the league will continue. Not simply confined to Twitch streams, however, the 'Liiga ePlayoffs' will be broadcast on national television in its normal prime time slots, allowing Finland to watch on from the comfort of its living rooms.
Ten teams will compete in the ePlayoffs, which begin on April 8 with two days of quarterfinals, two days of semis, and then a grand final. But while FIFA's esports competitions often feature a dedicated pro per team, Liiga is doing things a little differently - anyone can represent their team, as long as they're up for it. One team is represented by a current American Hockey League player, while another has chosen the winner of Top Chef Finland 2012 as its representative.
As lockdowns continue, it's seeming increasingly unlikely that we'll be filling stadiums again for several months. Which could mean that if Liverpool want any chance of winning the Premiership, they better get practicing at FIFA...