It's official, hockey fans: the cover athlete for EA Sports' NHL 20 has been revealed, and it's cause for celebration in Toronto. After three seasons, scoring phenom (and hope for the future) Auston Matthews will represent the hockey video game franchise as its next poster boy.
At just twenty-one years old, Matthews still has plenty of time to help his Maple Leafs to post season success. It went without saying that Matthews would be a franchise player regardless of the team he ended up on, but even as Toronto has struggled with highs and lows, Matthews has racked up the kind of resume one would expect from a cover athlete. Three All-Star appearances after the Calder Trophy win in his first season, piling up 40 goals, with a current total of 111 goals, and 205 points.
The cover appearance will hopefully be a consolation prize for fans of the Leafs, after they were recently eliminated from the NHL Playoffs. To make it worse, it was their rival the Boston Bruins that did it. Even worse? It has now happened two seasons in a row. Ordinarily players would assume a curse to come for those who claim the cover of an EA Sports title. But given the Leafs' decades without a championship... perhaps this will change their fate.
Check out the official announcement trailer from EA Sports below, and Maple Leafs fans, enjoy this time in the spotlight:
Read on for EA Sports' own description of the new "Eliminator" game mode, inspired by the rise of "Battle Royale" game types (see: Fortnite, Playerunknown's Battlegrounds, Apex Legends). How well will such a strategy apply to hockey? Only time will tell. But players will get to enjoy it in one and three player variations, just in case.
In EA SPORTS™ NHL Ⓡ 20, your favorite NHL stars now look and feel more authentic with new Signature Shots and over 45 new shot types that make every attack a threat. A new broadcast package celebrates your biggest plays as you take on all-new game modes, including the new winner-take-all Eliminator mode where you play solo or team up with friends to take down the competition.
NHL 20 adds an all-new competitive game mode: Eliminator. Inspired by the winner-take-all competition in battle royale, Eliminator is a new way to compete in NHL ONES and NHL THREES that pits 81 players against each other in a survival tournament bracket to be crowned the ultimate winner. Compete solo in ONES Eliminator, or squad up with friends in THREES Eliminator as you attempt to win four back-to-back elimination rounds against increasingly competitive opponents for ultimate bragging rights. Also new to NHL 20, last year’s fan-favorite outdoor free-for-all mode, ONES, is now available to play in local multiplayer. You and two friends can select from an elite roster of your favorite NHL players, each with a unique class-based playstyle, and compete on eight outdoor ponds from the comfort of your couch in the ultimate party mode.
NHL 20 arrives on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this Fall, with EA Access Play First Trial starting on September 5th, 2019. Those who pre-order the game in either Deluxe or Ultimate Editions can gain their own Early Access on September 10th, 2019. The entire game will launch to the world at large on September 13th, 2019.