EMLS: Competitive gaming comes to MLS

Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel throws during the first inning of Game 5 of baseball's World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday Oct. 29 2017 in Houston

Today Major League Soccer (MLS) announced the creation of eMLS, a new competitive EA SPORTS FIFA 18 league for competitive play within EA SPORTS FIFA 18. eMLS will pit the best FIFA 18 players from the USA and Canada, representing MLS clubs, against each other to determine who will represent the League in the EA SPORTS FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs on the Road to the FIFA eWorld Cup 2018.

The Portland Timbers will be among 19 MLS teams competing in Major League Soccer's new eMLS competition. The victor will be given a spot in the Federation Internationale de Football Association 18 Global Series playoffs, which will lead into the Federation Internationale de Football Association eWorld Cup in August.

eMLS will feature 19 of the 23 MLS clubs and will have each real-world team pick a professional gamer to represent them in the competition.

Each club will field a player from its region to represent it in eMLS competitive play.

Each of the teams involved will draft gamers who survive the qualification process to compete as unique characters in 5-on-5 play against the other teams in a mix of regular-season games, tournaments and playoffs.

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Further details on the eMLS league's structure and player signings will be revealed in the coming weeks, but at least one MLS club has already gotten started.

There's no word on whether eMLS pros are being set up as full-time jobs, like spots in the National Basketball Association 2K League or Overwatch League.

The first games of the eMLS cup will debut at this year's PAX East in April. The owners of the squads in those esports organizations are often billionaires or corporations, and they provide their athletes with salaries, benefits and housing. Also little to no word on how prevalent eMLS will be going forward beyond the Global Series. The league, named eMLS, will be tied to the upcoming EA Sports FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs.

EA has already had great success with its competitive "Madden NFL" series, with its gaming circuit boasting a purse of US$1.153 million.


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