So the last we knew of the Final Fantasy 6 universe, the Returners had defeated Kefka, all magic was removed from the world, and Terra's half-esper side had been removed, leaving only her human side. Kefka, having been mostly magicite-infused himself at this point, and floating in the air at the top of his tower, would in theory have lost all magical ability and if there was enough of him left to live, he'd have been met with a massive free fall and a quik death upon landing. However, we were only really shown this from the perspective of the Returners, who were escaping Kefka's Tower themselves before it collapsed. We know Kefka was defeated, but we don't necessarily know he died, and video game logic works often pretty similarly to movie logic in this regard - if the person didn't visibly die on screen, or it wasn't confirmed in a cutscene (or flashback) shortly thereafter, there's a good chance he's not dead.
...which makes it all the more curious when we scroll through the names of the people who have applied or will be applying for the upcoming S66 VHLM draft. ACL Tear, Tormund Giantsbane, Kevin Low, Lucas Nygren, Bjorn Scoringsonn, Boris the Forest, Rayz Funk, Wrike Chyrnoble, Boomer Kuwanger... wait, what's this? Kefka Palazzo. "But he's dead" you say, and the echoes of many of the fans of the game join your quote in unison, absolutely certain he's dead. Remember, all we saw was that he was defeated. How did Kefka go from defeat and almost certain death, to a promising hockey career?
Well, it all started with this wolf-looking character in the middle. Meet Yura, an esper who lived exclusively in the esper world until the events at the Sealed Cave forced him out with all the other espers (and a character with maybe 3 lines in the whole game). Here, he's quoted as saying he believes Terra should be killed, as the product of an esper and a human, because "humans and espers are incompatible" but really, he secretly knew Terra would inadvertently bring about the end of all magic, and as such, the end of the espers. When Maduin (Terra's father, another esper) helped Terra escape the esper world, Yura had revenge on his mind. When he was released from the Sealed Cave, he went out of his way to stay in the shadows and try to ruin Terra in any way possible.
There was a well known trick in the game called the Vanish X-Zone trick. X-Zone was a spell that would banish an enemy to another realm, effectively killing them in the game, but it didn't work on bosses... unless you cast Vanish on them first to make them disappear. While Vanished, physical attacks had a 0% hit rate and magic attacks had a 100% hit rate, and for some reason this included X-Zone, so you could beat some high level enemies this way if they were susceptible to Vanish, even if they were intended not to be susceptible to X-Zone. Yura knew this. As Kefka was falling, the warring triad defeated and their control over all the magic in the universe fading, Yura saw his abilities, his race, and his own life fading before him as he knew would happen through Terra. Frantically, he cast Vanish and X-Zone on Kefka as he fell, hoping he'd be banished to a realm with magic and could somehow return to defeat Terra at a later time.
As it turned out, Kefka was banished to a realm known as modern day Earth. Not exactly the result Yura wanted, of course, and at this point Yura along with all other espers vanished with the death of magic. Fraught with difficulties, life on Earth and more importantly life in a non-magical realm was difficult for Kefka. His mind immediately started to associate some of the modern technological marvels with magic, since the two were hand in hand in his old realm, especially in the World of Ruin he so carelessly designed. Desperate to find something to cling to, he started the magic picture viewer box and found some form of what appeared to be a sporting event. The game on the screen was between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights, and even though Kefka couldn't really have even said for certain that Washington and Vegas were places, he knew what he was watching was entertaining to him. His favorite part, of course, was the hit by Ryan Reaves on Tom Wilson. A man who spent his entire life trying to destroy everything in his path just for the fun of it was now watching two men who dedicated their entire careers to a similar concept. He was hooked.
Immediately he signed up for classes in this game, which he soon learned was called hockey, and as with everything he'd ever done before, he quickly rose to the top through a combination of his own skill and sabotaging those he competed against. Over time, he began to find ways in which he could excel at the game, and one surprising aspect was that somehow the spell Scan remained in his memory. Trying it here, he found that somehow it worked in limited ways, one of which was a scan of opposing goalies. He could determine their weaknesses while on the ice, and then put the puck in precisely the location Scan told him to, and it would result in a goal nearly every time. Of course, while his scoring prowess was his most marketable skill in his quickly developing game, it was still not his preferred skill, which was of course big hits. Ruining other people had always been a passion of Kefka's on the World of Balance, he brought that to fruition on the World of Ruin, and it came full circle in that he could do so yet again on Earth.
Developing enough skill in a sport in a few short months to make an entire professional career out of it is no small task, and in fact it would be impossible for anyone and has never happened... until now. Kefka's shooting ability propped up by Scan, as well as his penchant for hits, have gotten him noticed by VHLM scouts and he will be joining the league shortly, hoping to begin playing and making his impact in the S66 VHLM season.