Major League Soccer will hold an esports tournament featuring 32 pro soccer players and FIFA 20 (opens in new tab) esports pros, in lieu of the suspended 2020 season. The tournament will benefit Feeding America and Food Banks Canada - donations will be made to both organizations after each weekend of play.
.@MLS superstars from the real and virtual fields to face off in a charity #FIFA20 tournament. 📰: https://t.co/TQtZ7J7mSM #eMLS | #MLSUnites | #StayAndPlay pic.twitter.com/jqpwSjr97CApril 13, 2020
Sixteen MLS teams will be represented in the tourney, with one pro player from each of those teams paired with an esports competitor. Each weekend, four teams will face off in two-leg, single elimination tournaments. The top clubs, based on aggregate goals, will face off in a single match to see which ends up at the grand final in May. Participants will play from their respective homes and the games will be broadcast on the MLS partner channels Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes. Coca-Cola and PlayStation are broadcast partners, as well.
The eMLS Tournament Special starts Sunday, April 19 at 7pm EDT and will run through Sunday, May 17, where the winning teams for the first four stages will battle it out in a grand final. The first games will be Chicago Fire (represented by MLS pro Francisco Calvo) against FC Cincinnati (represented by Kendall Watson) and an MLS derby: LAFC against LA Galaxy, with Adama Diomanda and Chicharito repping their respective squads. Should be an interesting weekend.
It's great to see how creative everyone is getting in the face of COVID-19. I'm hoping we can watch a FIFA 20 version of the Women's World Cup next (Megan Rapinoe, call me, we'll see what we can set up).
Here's the many ways the video game community is helping coronavirus relief efforts (opens in new tab).