TOURNAMENT FORMAT

eMLS League Series One & Two: QUALIFIERS

The twenty-seven (27) Club Competitors will no longer be placed into two conferences. For the “Qualifiers”, each Club Competitor will play against every other Club Competitor once playing a total of twenty-six (26) games. Fourteen (14) games of Qualifiers will be played in eMLS League Series One and twelve games of Qualifiers will be played in eMLS League Series Two. A win is worth three points, a draw is worth one point, and a loss is worth zero points. There will be no extra time in Qualifier games. The Qualifier schedule will take place across four days, Tuesday, January 11th, Wednesday, January 12th, Tuesday, January 25th, and Wednesday, January 26th. The top eleven (11) players from the overall Qualifier standings will qualify for the eMLS Cup Playoff Bracket on Sunday March 13th.

If there are point ties between Competitors after all Qualifier games have been played at each event, the following tie breakers will be applied to determine the final seeding (in this order):

  1. Total Number of Wins
  2. Goal Difference in Qualifier: Goals For (“GF”) minus Goals Against (“GA”) from the Qualifier games.
  3. Goals For: The tiebreaker goes to the Club that scored the most goals during the Qualifier.
  4. Goals Against: The tiebreaker goes to the Club that had the least goals scored against it during the Qualifier.
  5. Head to Head Record: When the tied Clubs played each other, the Competitor who scored the most goals wins to break the tie.
  6. Coin flip, etc.

eMLS League Series One and Two: FINALS

At the end of the Qualifier, the top eight (8) competitors from will qualify for the Finals based off the standing at each respective event; eMLS League Series One on Saturday, January 15th and Sunday, January 16th & eMLS League Series Two on Saturday, January 29th and Sunday, January 30th. The Finals will be a live streamed single elimination, Double legged bracket

eMLS Cup: PLAYOFF BRACKET

At the end of the Qualifiers the top eleven (11) players will be determined to move onto the eMLS Cup Playoff Bracket. The spot for Seed 12 will be filled by the winner of the eMLS Cup Last Chance Qualifier, which is composed of the sixteen (16) players that did not qualify for the eMLS Cup Playoff Bracket.

The eMLS Cup Playoff seeding for the top eleven (11) will be as follows:

  • Seed 1, Seed 2, See 3, & Seed 4 will be given a bye in the first round
  • Seed 5 plays against seed 12
  • Seed 6 plays against seed 11
  • Seed 7 plays against seed 10
  • Seed 8 plays against seed 9

The format for each game is a standard single elimination, single leg game. The final match in the bracket will be a two legged match between the winner of Semi-Final 1 and the winner of Semi-Final 2. If a game is tied in the second match in aggregate at the end of regular time, the game moves to standard extra time. If the game is still tied after extra time, a standard penalty shootout is used to determine the winner.

eMLS Cup: LAST CHANCE Qualifier

The remaining club competitors that did not place in the top eleven (11) for the eMLS Cup Playoff Bracket, those sixteen (16) players will be placed into a “Last Chance Qualifier” (“LCQ”) to compete for the 12th seed in the eMLS Cup Playoff Bracket, which will take place on Saturday, March 12th.

The format for the Last Chance Qualifier is as follows:

Phase 1 of the LCQ will consist of a Group stage with 4 players per group. Players will play round robin within their groups, each player will play their opponent twice. A win is worth three points, a draw is worth one point, and a loss is worth zero points. There will be no extra time in the group stage games.

Group Stage Seeding:

Group 1

  • eMLS Standings Rank 12
  • eMLS Standings Rank 19
  • eMLS Standings Rank 20
  • eMLS Standings Rank 27

Group 2

  • eMLS Standings Rank 15
  • eMLS Standings Rank 16
  • eMLS Standings Rank 23
  • eMLS Standings Rank 24

Group 3

  • eMLS Standings Rank 13
  • eMLS Standings Rank 18
  • eMLS Standings Rank 21
  • eMLS Standings Rank 26

Group 4

  • eMLS Standings Rank 14
  • eMLS Standings Rank 17
  • eMLS Standings Rank 22
  • eMLS Standings Rank 25

Phase 2 of the LCQ will consist of the top 2 players from each Group moving onto the LCQ single-elimination bracket. The winner of the LCQ single-elimination bracket will win the 12th spot in the eMLS Cup.

FIFA 22 GLOBAL SERIES

eMLS is an Official League Partner of the EA SPORTS FIFA 22 GLOBAL SERIES (“FGS”) sponsored by Electronic Arts Inc. (“EA”), 209 Redwood Shores Parkway, Redwood City, CA 94065, USA. It is a Tier 1 North American Qualifier. The top three (3) finishers at eMLS Cup will receive direct seat placement into the EA SPORTS FIFA 22 Global Series Playoffs 

  • 1st place finisher will be eMLS Cup Champion
  • 2nd place finisher will be eMLS Cup Finalist Runner-Up
  • 3rd place finisher will be the semi-final runner-up with more total season qualifier points at conclusion of season

Should a Gamer whose permanent residence is outside of North America finish in the top three (3) at eMLS Cup, he/she will still receive direct seat placement into the EA SPORTS FIFA 22 Global Series PlayStation Playoffs

COVID RULES

Upon confirmation of Second Test Positive Result the following will happen to the player in regards to their competition status

  • The player's competition status will go to “Cannot compete”.
  • The player will receive a disqualification and will not be allowed to continue to play in the current eMLS event, see below for contingency plans for each event.

Placement and Standings Contingency

eMLS Last Chance Qualifier

  • If a player's competition status goes to “Cannot Compete”.
  • In the group stage the player will receive a 3-0 loss against any player that they would have played.
  • In the Bracket stage the player will receive a 3-0 loss against any player that they would have played, and his opponent will move onto the next round.

eMLS Cup

If a player's competition status goes to “Cannot Compete”.

The next available seed from the LCQ will replace that player.

Example: If the 12th seed’s status goes to “Cannot Compete”, then the player they beat in the LCQ bracket will take that player’s place.

In the event that there is a tie for this replacement the following tie breakers will be in effect:

  1. Goal Difference in the bracket: Goals For (“GF”) minus Goals Against (“GA”) from the bracket games.
  2. Goals For: The tiebreaker goes to the Club that scored the most goals during the during the bracket
  3. Goals Against: The tiebreaker goes to the Club that had the least goals scored against it during the bracket
  4. Head to Head Record: When the tied Clubs played each other, the Competitor who scored the most goals wins to break the tie.
  5. Coin flip, etc.

GAMEPLAY RULES

Unless otherwise stated, these rules are in direct agreement with EA’s rules for the Global Series Playoffs and the FIFA eWorld Cup.

All eMLS events are played using the FIFA ULTIMATE TEAM COMPETITIVE MODE on the retail version of FIFA 22 on PS5. Additional rules that apply to all eMLS events are listed below:

All games will be played on the Sony PlayStation 5 console

Onsite - Coaching

Competitors are allowed to designate a Coach who they can communicate with between pauses of gameplay but NOT during gameplay

  • Three pauses per half, and once during half time. 
  • Coaches are to be seated in their designated areas until called upon by a player
  • When a player requests an in-game pause, a coach can use this time to communicate with the player.
  • Coaches will be allowed to be seated near the player while on stage, if needed at the discretion of the Tournament Organizer.
  • Coaches are not to interfere with any decisions or actions made by the Tournament Organizer
  • All decisions made by the Tournament Organizer are final. 
  • eMLS Competitors are not allowed to coach another Competitor

Remote - Coaching

Competitors are allowed to designate a Coach who they can communicate with between pauses of gameplay but NOT during gameplay

  • Three pauses per half, and once during half time. 
  • Competitors must declare coaches by January 7th for League Series One Qualifiers
  • Competitors must declare coaches by January 21st for League Series Two
  • During the qualifiers Coaches will be given a dedicated discord voice channel in the eMLS Player & League Operations channel. Where they are to remain until the player calls upon them. 
  • During eMLS League Series Broadcast Coaches will be given a link that they will use to communicate with the players. 
  • When a player requests an in-game pause, a coach can use this time to communicate with the player.
  • Coaches are not to interfere with any decisions or actions made by the Tournament Organizer
  • All decisions made by the Tournament Organizer are final. 
  • eMLS Competitors are not allowed to coach another Competitor

Competitors cannot plug in non-controller devices

Competitors may provide their own wired standard PS5 controller so long as the controller does not provide an unfair competitive advantage to the competitor, does not interfere with the operations of the game or tournament, does not require any special configuration, cabling or adapters to function and is designed to work natively on the consoles being used in eMLS. MLS may, at its sole discretion, disallow any controller and require the competitor to use an approved controller provided by MLS.

No 3rd party controllers allowed - example: Nacon, Scuff, Geeklin, Astro, Razer, etc. 

Any action designed to disrupt the opposing Competitor's view of the field or ability to select controlled players is prohibited.

Each game will begin play at its designated start time and as designated by the Tournament Organizer during tournament hours.

Tournament Organizer will provide a grace period of 15 minutes after the official start time. Competitors not present at the end of the grace period for any game will be disqualified, and their opponent shall be deemed the winner, receiving 3 points for the win and granted a 3-0 score.

Any “Rage Quit” or forfeiture of a match will result in a 3-0 loss on top of the current score of the game. (Example: if a player quits after half time in a 6-0 match, the final score will be recorded as a 9-0 lose against the player who quit) 

Competitors are required to be ready to play 1 hour to designated start time.

Players should be in the eMLS discord server, so that they are easily be reachable by tournament admins

Each Competitor will have a maximum of 3 minutes to configure controls, adjust line-ups and settings in accordance with the “Game Play Settings”. 

In all situations possible, tournament organizers will monitor the game, so that it may be restored in the event of game interruptions.

  • Example: A Competitor disconnects at the 50th minute. The score of the game was 2-1. Tournament Organizer instructs the game to resume in the 2nd half at the 50th minute half with the score to be 2-1, using the pre-match settings. 

All Qualifier matches will be streamed from the competitor’s streaming computer, operated by the competitor.

Score Reporting

Competitors shall allow ample time for admins to record the match score after each match, as Tournament Admins will need to know the match facts after each match

Competitors are to upload a screen grab of match results at the end of the each match on discord #submit-score-results

Only scores reported to the Tournament Organizers are official

After each match competitors are to take a screenshot of the game facts and scores using the share button on the PS5.

GAME INTERRUPTIONS AND PAUSES

Each Competitor can pause the game up to three (3) times per half, no more than six (6) times per game. If a Competitor pauses the game, it must be to make a tactical change to their squad, which can include substitutions, formation changes, or tactic adjustments.

Pauses are limited to forty (40) seconds in duration.

Competitors are only allowed to pause the game when the ball is not in play, meaning it has left the field of play or a foul has been committed, and it is a dead ball situation.

If a game interruption is caused by outside circumstances such as a machine error or loss of power, the game shall be continued from a point determined by the Tournament Organizer.

Notwithstanding the above, a Competitor can pause the game to change strategy and/or formation if (i) a Competitor of his Club is sent off (ii) a Competitor of his Club is injured.

MAJOR OUTAGE MITIGATION

In the event of a major outage affecting any infrastructure required for game play in the designated mode, MLS reserves the right to change the format in which the tournament is played.

If the first party platform holder’s online platform is down and online games cannot be initiated, MLS reserves the right to change the console platform on which the eMLS tournament is played.

GAMEPLAY ISSUE RESOLUTION

Upon an issue in gameplay, as determined by the TO, TO will request players to stop playing. 

TO will immediately let Players know he will need to review the footage before making a decision

TO will review footage, looking at both player feeds

Upon agreement by TO and head Tournament Admin, the decision will be communicated to players

Players should immediately resume playing following the decision. If a player refuses to play. TO will ask the player “Do you wish to be disqualified?”. If they don’t continue, they will be disqualified, and opposing player is awarded the win. Any prize money will be null and void.

Players should not contact their team rep, coach, or vice versa during the review process, and Players should remain on the at their designated gameplay areas, throughout the review process. 

League reps and coaches should not reach out to Tournament Organizers during the process.

TOURNAMENT ORGANIZER

Tournament Organizer will be remote/onsite to monitor all game play. Tournament Organizer will begin play and will record scores for each game.

The decision of the Tournament Organizer is final and binding.

ACCOUNT USE AND SQUAD CREATION

Competitors will use accounts provided by MLS for their sole use at the tournament. The accounts are the sole property of MLS and are not to be used for personal use by any individual, including Competitors.

Competitors will have an opportunity to set their squad of eleven (11) starting players, seven (7) bench players, and five (5) reserve players. These squads will remain unchanged throughout the tournament and will be subject to any squad building restrictions announced.

Squad restrictions

(11) Starting XI:

  • Up to 1 ICON 
  • Up to 3 non-ICON players with an OVR rating of 90 or higher - non MLS
  • Up to 1 non-ICON players with an OVR rating up to 89 - non MLS
  • 5 current MLS players from Silver to Special items on the field at all times
  • Current is classified as a player on a 2021 team roster at the end of the MLS Season.
  • If a player loses an MLS player due to a red card, they are allowed to play with 4/5 MLS players
  • Your Goalkeeper has no restrictions and does not count towards these limits.

(7) Subs:

  • Up to 7 non-ICON players with and OVR rating of up to 89
  • 5 MLS players must be on the field at all times, please ensure your subs account for that. 

(5) Reserves:

  • You can have:
  • Up to 2 ICONS
  • Up to 3 non-ICON players

All Squads submitted must have twenty-three (23) players , starting eleven (11), seven (7) bench players, and five (5) reserves. 

Each competitor’s squad must feature their respective Club’s crest and kit when playing in all eMLS events.

With exception to Charlotte and St. Louis CITY SC kits

ROSTER SUBMISSION DEADLINE

Each player should visit FUTHEAD and build their squad for eMLS League Series One, Two & eMLS Cup. Squads should be submitted via a FUTHEAD link and screenshot (pdf preferred), no other form of submission will be accepted. When building squads players must submit their most true version of their squad as possible. Players must fully submit their squad of eleven (11) starting players, seven (7) bench players, and five (5) reserve players, being sure to adjust players to their appropriate positions and to reflect the best chemistry. Players cannot submit squads that are incomplete, these squads will not be accepted as appropriate submissions and the players will be asked to re-submit their squad. Before each event we will allow players to submit & swap out their cards to adjust to any new updates or cards that EA releases prior to eMLS events. Players are required to only use the cards submitted in their squads throughout each event's respective Qualifier matches and Finals, etc. 

Players must submit the following in order to be deemed an appropriate submission:

  • Starting XI
  • 7 Players in the Bench
  • 5 Players in the Reserves
  • Players in the starting XI must match their positions as close as possible, to provide the most accurate chemistry ratings. 

The dates for final submissions will be:

  • December 31st 11:59PM – eMLS League Series One
  • January 17th  5PM EST – eMLS League Series Two
  • TBD – eMLS Cup

CONSUMABLE RESTRICTIONS

Competitors will be limited in which consumables they can use for their squad.

Competitors will be allowed to use the following consumable types:

  • Contract Consumables
  • Position Change Consumables
  • Healing Consumables
  • Chemistry Style Consumables
  • Manager League Consumables

GAME PLAY SETTINGS

The below game rules apply to every game in eMLS League Series One, Two, & eMLS Cup. Some of these rules are defined by the game mode, FIFA ULTIMATE TEAM COMPETITIVE MODE, and some are user definable.

  • Difficulty Level: World Class
  • Half Length: 6 minutes
  • Specific Controller Setting Exceptions: Legacy Defense prohibited
  • Commentary Volume: 0
  • Stadium Ambience: 8
  • Music Volume: 0
  • Time/Score display: On
  • Camera: The following Single Player Camera Settings are NOT allowed in eMLS:
  • Pro; End to End; Dynamic
  • Radar: 2D
  • HUD: Indicator
  • Custom tactics are allowed
  • Custom formations are disallowed
  • Extra Time: Two (2) minute halves will be played in the event of a draw after regulation time (Playoffs & Last Chance Bracket). Penalties will decide the winner if after extra time the scores are level.
  • Custom tactics and set pieces are available. However, MLS can decide to turn them off at any point in its absolute discretion.
  • Match Day settings:
  • Ball: Adidas MLS Nativo 21
  • Stadium Settings
  • Stadium: FUT Stadium
  • Season: Fall/Autumn
  • Time of Day: Night
  • Pitch Wear: None

GLITCHES

Any attempt to glitch the game to gain an advantage is prohibited.

GAME SETUP INSTRUCTIONS

Each game will be played using the FIFA ULTIMATE TEAM COMPETITIVE MODE of FIFA 22 with the competitive mode game settings.

POST-GLITCH PROCEDURE

Procedure After a Glitch Penalty: If MLS determines that an action, goal, move, penalty, or any other in-game action was caused by an unauthorized glitch, MLS will decide in its sole discretion to return the game to a fair state depending on the result of the play.

EVENT PRIZES

The winners of eMLS League Series One will be awarded a prize pool of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000). The winners of eMLS League Series Two will be awarded a prize pool of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000). The winners of eMLS Cup will be awarded a prize pool of thirty-five thousand dollars ($35,000). See breakdown below.

eMLS League Series One

  • 1st Place - $8,000
  • 2nd Place - $4,000
  • 3rd – 4th Place - $2,000
  • 5th – 8th Place - $1,000

eMLS League Series Two

  • 1st Place - $8,000
  • 2nd Place - $4,000
  • 3rd – 4th Place - $2,000
  • 5th – 8th Place - $1,000

eMLS Cup

  • 1st Place - $14,000
  • 2nd Place - $7,000
  • 3rd – 4th Place - $3,500
  • 5th – 8th Place - $1,250
  • 9th – 12th Place - $500

APPENDIX: CODE OF CONDUCT

The below Code of Conduct applies to all Competitors in eMLS at all levels of the competition unless otherwise specified. MLS reserves the right to levy penalties, sanction, or disqualify any Competitor at its discretion.

Competitor Behavior

  • Competitors, eMLS Representatives, and Coaches must conduct themselves in a reasonable manner, maintaining a friendly and polite demeanor to Tournament Organizers, spectators, members of the press, MLS officials, and to other Competitors. All Competitors are expected to adhere to the standards of good sportsmanship.
  • Competitors will refrain from Breaking Quarantine, this will lead to a disqualification from any eMLS event. 
  • Competitors must agree to take a covid test, refusal will lead to disqualification from the competition
  • Competitors are to refrain from purposely coughing/spreading germs on other competitors, spectators, and officials with malicious intent
  • Competitors are to follow all rules and guidelines in the eMLS Playbook 
  • Competitors will refrain from using vulgar or offensive language.
  • Abusive behavior, including harassment and threats is prohibited.
  • Physical abuse, fighting or any threatening action or threatening language, directed at any Competitor, spectator, official or any other person is prohibited.
  • Damage and/or abuse to game consoles, controllers, or any tournament equipment is prohibited.
  • Any action that interferes with play of a game, including but not limited to purposely breaking a game station, interfering with power, and abuse of in-game pausing, is prohibited and can result in game forfeiture and/or disqualification from the competition.
  • Gambling, including betting on the outcome of games, is prohibited.
  • All Competitors must not disclose any confidential information provided by MLS or any of its affiliates to any other people or groups of people, including via social media.
  • No Competitors may accept any gifts, rewards, or compensation for services that are promised to be rendered relating to competing in eMLS. The only exception to this rule is for Competitors whose Clubs and/or Club Sponsors who are paying them based on their performance.
  • All Competitors must be available for any post-tournament awards ceremonies, interviews, and the entirety of the live/remote event and any promotional activities reasonably requested by MLS. A Competitor who, if having been invited by MLS fails to attend such ceremonies shall forfeit the right to any award that may be granted, or the benefit that may accompany such award.
  • Any “Rage Quit” or forfeiture of a match will result in a 3-0 lost on top of the current score of the game. (Example: if a player quits after half time in a 6-0 match, the final score will be recorded as a 9-0 lose against the player who quit) 

Collusion Policy

Collusion is defined as any agreement among two or more Competitors to disadvantage other Competitors in the Competition. Collusion between Competitors is strictly prohibited. Any Competitors determined by MLS at any phase to be engaging in Collusion will be removed from the competition, and be forced to return any compensation and prizes they’ve received from Live/remote Events.

Examples of collusion include, but are not limited to:

  • Intentionally losing a game for any reason.
  • Playing on behalf of another competitor, including using a secondary account, to aid them.
  • Any form of game-fixing.
  • Soft play, defined as a Competitor not trying their hardest to allow an opponent to run up the score and gain a Goal Differential advantage.
  • Agreeing to split prize money.
  • Allowing an opponent to score more or less goals than they normally would to impact the Goal Differential tiebreaker.

Live/Remote Event Drug & Alcohol Policy

  • Competitor use of alcohol or drugs is prohibited on the premises of, or during the attendance of, Live/Remote Events for the duration of the event.
  • Competitors must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while participating.
  • Smoking, including the use of eCigarettes and vaporizers, is prohibited at all Live/Remote Events except in designated areas.

Event Dress Code

  • Competitors are required to wear MLS kits and associated adidas apparel when competing in eMLS competitions provided by their respective Club
  • The kit will feature the player’s gamertag on the back. Kits will be provided.
  • Competitors may not feature sponsor branding not included in their respective Club’s kits.
  • On-field apparel branding rules apply to the kits featured in eMLS competitions (e.g., no sleeve branding).
  • No Club or Competitor Tournament Organizers may be featured on apparel, other than Tournament Organizers featured on the MLS Club kit.
  • Competitors must wear attire appropriate to the circumstances and location at which an event is taking place.
  • Competitors shall not wear, carry, or bear any items of a political nature, or which in MLS's opinion reflect unfavorably upon MLS, its partners, or the competition.

Penalties

Violation of any part of these Official Rules will, at MLS's election, result in (a) sanction(s) and/or (b) loss of winner status. All decisions and rulings of MLS are final and binding. MLS reserves the right to sanction any Competitor at any level, at any time for any reason. Sanctions may include, in no particular order, the following:

  • Warning
  • Reprimand
  • Forfeiture of single game
  • Forfeiture of all games
  • Loss of awards (including prize money and paid travel expenses);
  • Disqualification from the eMLS Events. 

A player disqualified before, or during an event will receive a score of 0, while their opponent will receive their current score or a score of 3, whichever is higher.

MLS also has the right to publicly announce penalties that have been levied on Competitors. Competitors who have been penalized by MLS hereby waive any right of legal action against MLS and/or any of its affiliates.

Gamertag/PSN ID

Competitors will be asked to select a unique name to identify themselves for eMLS events and competitions. This name can be the same as their PlayStation Network ID, but is not required to be the same. The name must be unique from other competitor names and must not be deemed vulgar by Tournament Organizer and its affiliates.