Fifth eMLS Cup set for March in Austin

Major League Soccer announced Tuesday that Austin, Texas, will host the fifth edition of the eMLS Cup, which will be an official event at SXSW on March 13, 2022.

Additionally, MLS and Electronic Arts (EA) unveiled the competitive schedule and details for the 2022 eMLS season, which will include League Series stops in Cincinnati and Chicago. The competition will feature 27 professional EA SPORTS FIFA players, each representing an MLS club, on the virtual pitch as they compete for a share of the season’s $75,000 prize pool.

Charlotte FC is the newest club to join eMLS and will compete in the 2022 season.

“It’s an honor to host eMLS Cup,” said Austin FC president Andy Loughnane. “Austin is a hub for both gaming and soccer culture, and the addition of eMLS Cup in Austin during SXSW creates an outstanding environment for a championship event.”

The eMLS League Series 1 will be hosted by FC Cincinnati, with qualifiers on Jan. 15 that include all 27 eMLS players in competition to make the final bracket, and finals on Jan. 16. The eMLS League Series 2 will be hosted by Chicago Fire FC, with qualifiers Jan. 29 and finals on Jan. 30.

John Garcia, who finished first last year in the overall eMLS standings and reached the semifinals of 2021 eMLS Cup, will return to represent Austin FC and will play as “xVERDE” for the 2022 season. Garcia defeated Sporting Kansas City eMLS player Alexander “Alekzandur” Betancourt in the eMLS Cup quarterfinals. On the season, he amassed 64 points over 26 games, recording 20 wins, four draws and two losses. His goal differential of +45 bested any eMLS player in 2021.

–Field Level Media

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