Major League Soccer is joining forces with EA Sports to launch a new FIFA 18 esports gaming competition.
Known as eMLS, this exciting new venture will use a format based on successful competitions such as the NBA 2K League, in which a professional player is selected to represent each of the teams that compete in the real-life National Basketball Association.
MLS and EA Sports have decided to leave the procedure of choosing their professional representative up to each of the clubs involved. Each team will organise their own tryouts in order to select a local player to front their eMLS team.
Announcing the partnership, Gary Stevenson, President of MLS Business Ventures, said:
“We are excited to unveil eMLS. 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 the millions of FIFA players around the world.”
eMLS will kick off with the inaugural eMLS Cup. This cup tournament will take place at PAX East in April in Boston.
The organisers have yet to announce how much prize money will be up for grabs.
However,those that perform in Boston will qualify for EA Sports’ FIFA 18 Global Series Play-offs. If all goes well, successful eMLS teams could make it to the FIFA eWorld Cup and be in with a chance of securing a $200,000 prize pool.
So far, 19 of Major League Soccer’s 23 teams have signed up to take part in the esports tournament.
Details are still somewhat slim. However, MLS has promised to reveal more in the coming weeks.
While unconfirmed, it seems likely that eMLS will play out in a similar fashion to the French top flight’s e-League 1 and the Dutch Eredivisie’s eDivisie esports competitions. These leagues see professional gamers compete against each other each week. Like traditional football leagues, teams win points depending on results which effects their place on the league table.