Following the success of other EA titles such as FIFA and the impending NBA league, it looks like the NHL eSports could be coming soon.
FIFA is currently hosting their eWorld Cup, with their streams on Twitch regularly pulling in over 100,000 viewers at any one time.
NBA 2k18 is also set to hit the world of competitive gaming this year, with the qualifiers having already taken place and the league starting in May.
And now it appears that the NHL is ready to move their flagship titles into the eSport scene.
A tweet from ESPN writer and podcaster, Greg Wyshynski revealed the plans:
Bettman plans to unveil an NHL EA Sports eSports league before end of the regular season.
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) January 27, 2018
This tweet backs up claims from Sportsnet.ca writer Elliotte Friedman who revealed that the eSport discussion has been on the table since 2016.
“At the December 2016 Board of Governors meeting in Florida, one particularly interesting nugget caught my attention.
“The NHL was starting to look at eSports, thinking how to best ride the exploding video game tidal wave.
Details are sketchy, but we are getting closer to an answer. How close? Probably the new year.”
Obviously with the booming eSports scene and the fact that the Overwatch league is currently pulling in more viewers than Thursday Night Football streams.
However, for NHL 18, is there the fan base to actually turn it into something which could pull in big numbers?
The game sold just 175,000 copies in the first week, more than 31,000 copies fewer than the 2017 version sold.
According to VGA Charts, the game has only sold 470,000 copies to date. In comparison, NBA2k18 sold more than two million copies alone on ps4.
Even Madden sold over a million copies on both PS4 and Xbox One…so can NHL really match up? Well, we’ll have to wait on this one to see if their competitive scene is really there.