CHEK Upside: BCHL goes digital gaming route for playoff simulation

CHEK Upside: BCHL goes digital gaming route for playoff simulation
Watch A long-time gamer and avid BCHL fan put his quarantine time to use in order to create a BCHL playoff simulation via the EA Sports video game NHL 20.

Duncan native Luc Wilson scored the overtime winning, series-clinching goal in the first round of the BCHL playoffs.

It’s a memory the Cowichan Valley Capitals forward will never forget.

It’s also the last goal, and the last win recorded by the Capitals in a season cut short due to COVID-19.

But while the BCHL season has been cut short, the players are keeping their spirits high through an innovative venture.

Using the EA Sports video game NHL 20, Jacob Lazare, a graphic designer and BCHL contractor, has created a playoff simulation down to the finest detail.

“I’m a self-described uniform nerd. So within NHL 20 you can create teams and I spent a lot of time customizing the uniform and the logos and getting them as realistic as possible,” Lazare told CHEK News.

Lazare created uniforms for the eight teams that advanced to the second round of the BCHL playoffs. He then went one step further, creating all the individual players on each roster and detailing everything from their skating ability to hairstyles.

In total, Lazare created approximately 150 players.

“It takes a lot of time, but luckily, I was home alone and there’s not much else to do and it ended up really being worth it,” he said.

The teams then had player representatives go play against each other online. Upon completion of the games, Lazare created highlight reels that featured real BCHL storylines and were voiced by actual BCHL broadcasters.

“I wanted to create the essence of a highlight pack of a 7-game series,” said Lazare.

According to Wilson, the players are grateful.

“It’s really impressive and I know a lot of fans throughout the league and I know a lot of players appreciate it,” he said.

While there is no substitute for the real thing, the hard work and talent of Lazare has created a healthy distraction for players and fans.

“It’s such a terrible time right now and there’s a lot of bad news. At least we were able to create a little bit of fun and an escape for people with those two minutes they can spend on social media watching those videos,” Lazare said.

Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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