NHL '94 tournament comes to Vancouver for iconic video game's 25th birthday

Harrison Mooney Published on: March 9, 2018
Vancouver Sun

The greatest hockey video game of all time turns 25 this fall.

NHL ’94, the third game in EA Sports’ iconic and long-running franchise, was released in October 1993. A quarter-century later, it remains as popular as ever, even as every single skater in the game has since retired. (The last, 46-year-old Jaromir Jagr, played what was likely his final NHL game in January.)

That popularity will be on full display at the third King of 94 tournament, which will be held in Vancouver this October.

King of 94 is the brainchild of Mikey McBryan and Darrell Sampson, who connected through the NHL ’94 online community at NHL94.com. According to Sampson, McBryan was working on a documentary about the video game and he wanted a tournament to be at the centre of it. Sampson offered to help run it, and in September 2015, the first King of 94 was held in Toronto.

“We had 128 entries,” Sampson said. “64 for each side on Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis.”

Two years later, the second King of 94 was held in Las Vegas. And now, as the game approaches its 25th anniversary, McBryan and Sampson are bringing the tournament to its birthplace in Vancouver.

NHL ’94 was developed at EA Canada in Burnaby, and it’s not difficult to spot the Vancouver influence: the Canucks boast the fastest line in the game in the trio of Geoff Courtnall, Pavel Bure, and Cliff Ronning.

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