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ASHA eSports Challenge

FIRST-EVER ADAPTIVE NHL21 VIRTUAL EVENT RAISES $70,000 First-Ever American Special Hockey Association eSports Challenge Raised over $70,000 to Support Special Hockey 48 Special Hockey Athletes from Across the U.S. and Canada competed in first ever adapt


First-Ever American Special Hockey Association eSports Challenge Raised over $70,000 to Support Special Hockey

48 Special Hockey Athletes from Across the U.S. and Canada competed  in first ever adaptive EA SPORTS™ NHL®21 virtual tournament.

Binghamton, NY  June 6, 2021 – The American Special Hockey Association (ASHA) hosted the first-ever ASHA eSports Challenge powered by Bauer on the Capitals Twitch Channel on Sunday, June 6th.  The broadcast production is supported by SONY Gaming, ESL Gaming, the Washington Capitals and Caps Gaming, and Bauer Hockey.

48 special hockey athletes from the United States and Canada competed in an adaptive virtual EA SPORTS™ NHL® 21 tournament. Each player represented their home ASHA teams to raise awareness toward special hockey and compete for prizes for their home special hockey team.   Thousands of special hockey athletes are played the Bauer Vapor Challenge to win prizes for their ASHA teams.  Joining Caps Gaming, the Anaheim Ducks Gaming, Columbus Blue Jackets Gaming, and Arizona Coyotes Gaming, Bauer Hockey, and the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, D.C. also teamed up to support this innovative inclusive event.

NHL esports athlete and Bauer athlete Andrew “Nasher” Telfer & Teagan “King Lyme” Blair hosted the event and were joined by guest stars in support of the special hockey athletes. In addition, 16 of the top EA SPORTS™ NHL®21 competitive players volunteered to coach a team, guiding the athletes each step of the way from setting up their console to scoring their first goal. A dozen celebrity coaches and mascots from 10 NHL Teams also participated in the challenge to support the eSports athletes. 

“What started out as small idea, the ASHA eSports Challenge has grown into a much larger opportunity for our athletes and families,” said Jen O’Brien, ASHA executive director. “Many of us were largely unaware of eSports and couldn’t have imagined the incredible impact we have seen. Where special hockey athletes were isolating and growing increasingly detached due to the pandemic, they are now engaging. They've all made new friends and worked together to break through barriers. Every one of them has reached beyond their comfort zones to be a part of this and learned how to stay connected. Their confidence and sense of connection has really grown.”

Fans supported special hockey by texting “ASHA eSports” to 71777. Each ASHA eSports Challenge athlete is raising funds in support of their home special hockey team. In recognition of its longstanding support for ASHA’s mission and programs, the UAE Embassy in Washington, D.C. pledged a $10,000 grant. All proceeds will benefit special hockey programming. To date, the pledge campaign has raised more than $70,000

“As soon as this tournament was announced, we received an overwhelming amount of support from top gamers, creators, and fans in the NHL eSports community,” said Jordan Zelniker, Caps Gaming manager of eSports business operations. “Players from all over the country stepped up to help coach and assist in the ASHA eSports challenge. This platform has become an incredible outlet to connect players & coaches of all different backgrounds and skill levels to compete with each other through gaming.”

“When we talk about making the game of hockey accessible for everyone, we are referring to all forms of the game,” said Peter Robinson, Capitals director of youth hockey development. “Whether that is playing on-ice or off-ice hockey, watching games on TV, using hockey as a teaching tool in school or following teams and players on social media, the goal is access. The ASHA eSports Challenge is a perfect example of how providing people an opportunity to play hockey in a new, virtual format, allows them to join the hockey community and engage with others.”  

ASHA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving those with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities through the sport of hockey. ASHA provides an environment of learning, mutual respect and a sense of community to 5,000 participants in over 100 programs across the United States of America. To learn more, visit

Broadcasting Live June 6th 12pm EST

Broadcasting Live June 6th 12pm EST

Donate Here - Your Donations Are Being Matched Through June 6th

ALL ASHA Athletes Are Welcome to Play & Win!

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ASHA eSports Athletes

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