What to watch for: 5 reasons not to miss 2021 eMLS Cup presented by Coca-Cola

emls - 2021 - eMLS Cup top 11 players

The best EA SPORTS FIFA player in North America will be crowned this weekend as the top 12 competitors on the circuit (virtually) gather for the 2021 eMLS Cup presented by Coca Cola on March 20-21 with a $40,000 prize pool on the line.

There are storylines abound as heavyweights from the qualifying campaign and League Series One and League Series Two tournaments look toward a run at championship glory. 

Here are five reasons you won't want to miss it when the opening rounds get underway at 3 pm ET.

A Didychrislito treble?

Anyone who's followed eMLS this year knows about the dominance of New York City FC's rep, who won both the League Series One and League Series Two tournaments in January and February. Now, Didychrislito can round off the treble with another victorious effort, which would solidify him as the most dominant competitor in eMLS, if he isn't already.

Whether Didychrislito can be dethroned is one of the biggest storylines to keep an eye on throughout the tournament. Nobody managed the feat in LS1 or LS2, but that doesn't mean challengers haven't come close. D.C. United's KingCJ0 gave him everything he could handle, advancing to extra time in the Grand Final of LS2.

A brotherly showdown

The competition could feature a sibling matchup between KingCJ0 and his brother cisseSZN, who's the eMLS rep for the Philadelphia Union. Should cisseSZN win his first match against the LA Galaxy's Godfather, it would create a brother vs. brother matchup, so it's well within the realm of possibility. KingCJ0 is among the favorites after his near-upset of Didychrislito in LS2 and blistering form during qualifying, but seeing him face his brother on the road to championship glory would make for must-watch viewing.

A repeat bid

The three prior eMLS Cup champions (2020, 2019, 2018) all made the 12-man bracket and will vie for the $20,000 first-place reward. That means RBNY's Amadou can repeat after bursting onto the scene in 2020 and climbing the FIFA Global Series rankings. Amadou took last year's eMLS Cup title with a victory over his crosstown rival Didychrislito, so it's possible we'll see a high-stakes rematch between the pair of Big Apple foes.

Otherwise, 2018 champion Kid M3mito (now Chicago Fire FC) and 2019 champion Doolsta (now Nashville SC) are also in the running. They meet in the opening round.

Expansion side glory

Austin FC await the start of their 2021 expansion season, but they could win a trophy before any of their real-life players take the field. Austin's eMLS representative xbLeU is a serious eMLS Cup contender, earning the No. 1 seed after impressing in qualifying and the previous two League Series events. He led the pack of qualifiers with a blistering 20W-4D-2L record and a gaudy +45 goal differential.

Cash money

This is the biggest prize yet for eMLS Cup, with $40,000 distributed among the top finishers. With that much cash on the line, rest assured that every competitor will leave everything on the virtual pitch to try and seize the top prize. The winner gets $20,000, while the second-place finisher gets $10,000 and those in third and fourth place each get $5,000.