As part of MLS Unites, a league-wide platform designed to educate communities, entertain fans and elevate heroic efforts taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic, Minnesota United, Major League Soccer and FOX Sports have announced an eMLS Tournament Special presented by Coca-Cola and PlayStation will debut on Sunday, April 19 on FS1 and FOX Deportes at 6 p.m. CT. The series will be hosted by FOX Sports Stu Holden, Rachel Bonnetta and Rodolfo Landeros, with color commentary from Mike LaBelle.
“The eMLS Tournament Special represents the spirit of MLS Unites by entertaining fans and giving back to our communities,” said Camilo Durana, MLS SVP of Properties and Events. “We’re thrilled many of the league’s top players are joining our eMLS participants to compete and also provide benefit for those on the front lines. We are also thankful to FOX Sports and all of our partners for their collaboration on the innovative series that will be both fun to watch and make a difference.”
Each Sunday at 6 p.m. the five-episode series will team up MLS players and eMLS players from the same MLS clubs in single-elimination EA SPORTS FIFA 20 tournaments. Minnesota United enters the tournament on Sunday, April 26 with Goalkeeper Tyler Miller and eMNUFC Pro Jay Adams matching up against Sporting Kansas City's Wan Kuzain and Alexander Betancourt.
“We are thrilled to partner with MLS on this innovative project, which will entertain viewers during this difficult time while also helping to support COVID 19 relief efforts,” said Joe Franzetta, FOX Sports VP, Rights & Business Relationships. “With the perfect combination of the talented team hosting the event and the fan-favorite MLS and eMLS players, it will be exciting to watch this series come to life.”
After each episode, MLS WORKS, the league’s social responsibility platform, and FOX Sports will make a donation on behalf of the winning club to Feeding America, with MLS also supporting Food Banks Canada.
Each episode will take place on an entirely remote basis with MLS and eMLS players competing from their home and will feature four different clubs competing to win. Matches will be two legs, with the MLS players playing the first leg and the eMLS professional FIFA players competing against each other in the second leg. The best aggregate score will move on. The four winning teams from the first four episodes will qualify to participate in the fifth and final eMLS Tournament Special on Sunday, May 17 and a champion will be crowned.
Through eMLS Tournament Special and other programs, Major League Soccer is proud to support EA’s “Stay Home. Play Together.” Initiatives, helping the gaming community find more ways to connect through play during a time where people need to be physically apart. EA SPORTS, Coca-Cola, PlayStation, Cheez-It, Pringles, and Scuf Gaming are all official partners of the 2020 eMLS season and the eMLS Tournament Special. “PlayStation” is a registered trademark or trademark of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.