FIFA 19 eSports – eMLS Cup Preview

THE FACTS

When? March 30th 2019

Where? The Castle at Park Plaza, Boston, USA

Are tickets available? https://www.eventbrite.com/e/emls-cup-presented-by-playstation-tickets-57554477993?aff=MLSWeb

Where can I stream the tournament? The latter stages of the tournament will be streamed on MLSsoccer.com, alongside the official Twitch and Twitter channels of the eMLS.

Can I follow the tournament on Twitter? Updates will be provided on the official eMLS Twitter page. Also be sure to search the hashtags #eMLS and #eMLSCup as well as looking up eMLS and eMLS Cup in the Twitter search bar. Don’t forget to follow your favourite players competing in the tournament, along with their respective clubs who are likely to provide real time updates on their progress.

THE LOWDOWN

Tournament Format and Schedule

The 2019 eMLS Cup will be contested by all 22 MLS clubs, with each club represented by one player. The 22 players have already been competing in league competition since the turn of the year at two eMLS League Series events. Following these two League Series events, the two eMLS League tables can been seen below.

The first part of the event will see all 22 players compete in a final regular eMLS season where they will face players from the opposite bracket to them for the first time. Following this season, the top five players from each conference will go through to the knockout stages of the tournament. The rest will compete in a “last chance qualifying tournament” with two players (the winner of each conference) also advancing through to the knockouts.

The original winners and runners-up of both the Eastern and Western Conference will be seeded 1st and 2nd respectively and given byes through the first stage of the knockout bracket. The remaining four players from each conference will be seeded in their respective league position and face off in single elimination knockout matches. The two winners from each conference will go on to the quarter-final stage, where the top two seeds from both conferences will be waiting. The schedule for the knockout stages of the eMLS Cup is as follows.

Saturday 30th March 1.30-3pm ET – First round knockout matches.

Saturday 30th March 7-11pm ET – Quarter-finals, semi-finals & grand final

Are there rules regarding what teams/players can be used for the tournament?

Each game will be played in the FIFA Ultimate Team mode, with each player free to use their own UT in the competition. Each squad must have a total of three active MLS players, with two of those players playing for the club of each respective player.

Who will be competing in the tournament?

You can find a complete list of players who will be competing in the eMLS Cup along with the MLS club each player will be representing in the two eMLS conference tables above, or alternatively by clicking here.

What prizes are up for grabs?

Up for grabs for the competing players at the 2019 eMLS Cup are those all-important FIFA Global Series Points. These points will see them rise up the FIFA Global Series rankings leaderboard for their respective console. At the end of the season, the top 16 ranked players from each console according to the Global Series rankings leaderboard will qualify for the 2019 FIFA eWorld Cup. The winner of this weekend’s eMLS Cup will win 850 Global Series Points.

Also available this weekend is not only a cash prize for the winner, but for 17 of the 22 competing players, the opportunity to represent the US at next month’s eNations Cup in London. The top two US-eligible finishers in Boston will have the honour of donning the Stars and Stripes and representing their country at the inaugural event.

THE PLAYERS

Only the second ever eMLS Cup is sure to bring excitement amongst fans of the MLS clubs and the FIFA eSports scene. This tournament provides a great opportunity to see some of the best the US has to offer in action and the line-up does not disappoint.

No doubt the overwhelming favourite going into the tournament will be Doolsta of the Philadelphia Union. The Irish native currently tops the Eastern Conference by a whopping 12-point margin. Doolsta was the winner of both eMLS League Series events that took place earlier this year and will want to cap off the hat-trick with the eMLS Cup.

However, he has just returned from a very tough weekend in London competing at the Gfinity FIFA Series March. Tipped by us as one of the dark horses for the event, Doolsta was among the first players to be eliminated after losing all three of his group games. Could that setback affect his mentality going into the biggest tournament of his season so far?

The second player we’re looking at is the reigning eMLS Cup champion and current Western Conference leader Kid M3mito who will once again be representing Houston Dynamo. Memo burst onto the scene in spectacular fashion last year when he not only lifted the inaugural eMLS Cup, but went through the whole tournament undefeated since. Since then he has competed in numerous Global Series events on both FIFA 18 and FIFA 19. The experience gained from these tournaments has put him in great condition for this year’s eMLS Cup, as he came through the Western Conference with only two defeats so far in League Series 1 and 2 to top the table. Can he go back-to-back and keep the eMLS Cup in the hands of the famous orange?

The final player we’re focusing on is New York City FC’s NYC_Chris. Competing in his second eMLS Cup, Chris arguably has the most FIFA 19 big-match experience of all the competing players, having featured in a number of LQE’s and FUT Champions Cup events already this season.

Currently ninth on the PS4 Global Series Rankings, Chris is looking increasingly likely to qualify for the Global Series Playoffs in June. But after finishing third in last season’s eMLS Cup, the 21-year-old New Yorker will be desperate to finally bag the first big trophy of his career. He’ll go into Boston ranked third in the Eastern Conference and with a big point to prove!

THE PREDICTION

Coming into this tournament, only one player is in the forefront of everyone’s mind to win it all. Doolsta has dominated all who has stood before him in the eMLS scene so far in 2019, but this weekend is where it all really matters and coming so soon after a chastening experience in London, one does wonder about the mentality of the Union player.

For that reason, we’re taking a bold leap of faith by sidestepping the obvious prediction. In a tournament like this, we feel it could come down to big-game experience. The psychological boost of winning this tournament in the past could prove a massive factor this weekend and we think it will. For that reason, just like at the second ever FIFA eClub World Cup almost a year ago, we’re predicting the inaugural champion to retain their title and Kid M3mito to bring home the 2019 eMLS Cup for the Houston Dynamo.

Click here for a full breakdown of the road to the FIFA eWorld Cup 2019

Click here for our latest FIFA eSports player rankings