MLS launching FIFA esports competition

Major League Soccer announced the formation of the eMLS, which will feature the best FIFA 18 players from the United States and Canada competing to win the eMLS Cup for their respective clubs.

Nineteen of the current 23 MLS franchises will participate in the inaugural season of the competition. Each club will recruit a player from its region, with the 2018 competition scheduled to take place in April during the PAX East gaming convention in Boston.

“This step forward into competitive gaming is a key component in our partnership with EA Sports to promote deeper engagement and connections between MLS supporters and millions of FIFA players around the world,” said MLS Business Ventures president and managing director Gary Stevenson.

Details of the competition structure and prize money have yet to be announced.

New York City FC became the first MLS team to sign a professional FIFA player last April, and now 18 more teams are joining.

The eMLS is following the lead of several European FIFA esports competitions, including the Dutch E-Divisie, the German Virtual Bundesliga, the French e-Ligue 1, and the Italian IGL. The eMLS will also serve as the qualifying tournament for the U.S. and Canadian participants for the Global Series Playoffs, where the FIFA eWorld Cup participants will be decided.

The eMLS is also following in the footsteps of NB2K, which is scheduled to launch its inaugural esports season in May. The NBA2K teams are at the beginning stages of player tryouts.

–Field Level Media