After a short and valid delay, EA is finally giving us our first look at details on World of CHEL in NHL 21. In a blog post, NHL 21 online producers Ariel Giovannetti and James Capadouca explain NHL 21’s new ranking system: World of CHEL Seasons.
World of CHEL Seasons
In NHL 21, World of CHEL players will be competing for ranks in six planned seasons. Each season will last around six to eight weeks. The final two to three weeks of a season will be dedicated to Club Finals, NHL 21’s evolution of the EA Sports Hockey League (EASHL) playoffs. Finally, after a few weeks to audit results, players will receive awards based on their Club Finals results and on their player rank. What’s your player rank, you may ask?
In NHL 21, your competitive ranking becomes your player rank. If you’ve ever been stuck in Bronze in a game like Overwatch, you’ll immediately recognize this. In case you’re luckier than me, here’s how it’ll work. Once you reach level 10 in World of CHEL, you’ll be able to play in placement games. Your win/loss record in these games will determine your initial rank in World of CHEL. Then, it’s a grind to the top. Each of NHL 21’s six ranked tiers has 3 levels of progression. This puts weight on your placement games, since starting in low Bronze means there’s a staggering 17 tiers of ranked to climb before you make Elite, NHL 21’s top rank.
Your rank is separate in each of World of CHEL’s four competitive modes. Luckily, you receive rewards at the end of each season based on your highest rank among those four modes. If you hit Elite in threes, you get the rewards for hitting Elite no matter how low your other ranks are. Your rank resets at the end of each season, so every new season the grind begins anew, sending you on a never-ending quest to reach Elite.
All EASHL Clubs get to participate in the Club Finals, which rules. Clubs compete for the cup that corresponds to their online season division. Similar to the player rank system, season divisions are divided into five different cups. EASHL Clubs compete for these cups, each progressively taller than the last.
Only two teams per division will raise a cup each season, one in 3v3 and another in 6v6. All clubs that compete, regardless of finish, receive rewards.
Since Club Finals replaces the rest of ranked for EASHL Clubs, NHL 21 will let Clubs queue up for scrimmages. This way, Clubs will be able to continue to practice without risking their Club Finals standings. If you don’t wanna practice against opponents, you’ll be able to enter Free Skate as well.
Traits Rework and Quality of Life Changes
Traits in NHL 21 will now have two variations: blue and purple. The traits share the same bonus, but have different tradeoffs. The blog post specifically says they have removed the Marathon Man trait, “to maintain the stamina/fatigue system in balance.”
The blog post also shares a series of quality of life improvements, which are posted in full below:
- Ones Eliminator – We have removed 1 round from the Ones Eliminator tournament to streamline the experience and reduce matchmaking times in the higher rounds. This turns the tournament into a best of 27 players.
- Recent Game Details – Now in the Recent Games lists for Threes, Drop-in and Club games, you can dig a little deeper into the team vs team stats and view all of the players participating in those games and the stats they earned during that game.
- Server Selection for Private Games – For third party leagues that use the Private Game option from the Clubs 3v3 or 6v6 Dressing Rooms, we have added a sub option that allows for the group to choose which game server location they want to host the game from.
- Human Goalie Pulls to control the Extra Attacker – Human Goalies who skate to the bench, can now control the extra attacker player (who would normally be an AI skater).
- WoC Menu Restructure – With WoC Seasons being so integrated into the core WoC experience we felt it was a good opportunity to restructure the HUB a bit. The Clubs HUB is now accessible from the WoC HUB. Multiplayer modes are clustered in their own section and Pro-Am is more visible to our newer users.
- New Stat Categories – We have added new stats to help you track your performance and scout new players for your EASHL Club: passes, pass attempts, pass %, shot attempts, shot on net %, interceptions, penalties drawn, saucer passes, penalty kill zone clears, deflections, offsides per game, hits per game, penalty shot goals, penalty shot attempts, penalty shot %, breakaway goals, breakaway %.
What’s Next for NHL 21?
According to the NHL 21 content reveal schedule, we’ll get our first look at NHL 21 gameplay in mid September, followed closely by Hockey Ultimate Team news in late September. Obviously, these date may change at any time, especially considering the ongoing pandemic. You can pre-order NHL 21 right now ahead of its October 16 worldwide release.