The LA Galaxy tandem of Godfather and Rosineivalor7 emerged victorious from the 2021 eMLS All-Star Challenge presented by McDonald’s, taking a resounding 8-1 victory over the Chicago Fire FC duo of Kid M3mito and AA9Skillz in the final of the Sunday event, which was hosted live on Twitch, Twitter, MLSsoccer.com and the MLS app.
The tournament featured eight pairs of teams, made up of some familiar faces from the pro eMLS circuit, as well as a star-studded cast of their teammates that included celebrities, influencers, other pro-gamers and even a couple of former professional soccer players. The entirety of the $5,000 grand prize was donated to charity by McDonald's on behalf of the winning team.
Rosineivalor7 was the star of the show, as the upstart competitor couldn't have made a stronger case to get signed as a professional eMLS player after qualifying to play in this tournament as a result of his standout play in the open fan invitational. Partnered with a long-time stalwart in Godfather, "Rosi" saved his best for last, topping AA9Skillz, the Portuguese YouTube star and the biggest FIFA content creator in the US. It was a clinical showing in the final that sprung the upset after he helped spearhead the duo's run to the championship match.
Other big names who played included Liga MX legend Luis Hernandez (the fourth-highest goal-scorer in the history of the Mexico national team), former Colombia women's national team star Melissa Ortiz, 2020-2021 eLiga MX champion Rapid Bunny, Pavel Pardo (the fourth-most capped Mexico international of all time) and Twitch streamer Castro_1021.
Here's your full recap of all the goals and action:
Godfather and Rosineivalor7 (LA Galaxy) 8, Kid M3mito and AA9Skillz (Chicago Fire FC) 1
The final got off to a cagey start, as neither Godfather nor Kid M3mito could find an all-important opening goal. While it was lacking in attacking fireworks, it also set up a high-stakes, do-or-die Leg 2 between Rosi and AA9Skillz, pitting a young up-and-comer against one of the best players in the game. That's when Rossi came through with one of the most comprehensive results in recent eMLS memory, exploding for an 8-1 blowout of his counterpart.
In the 18th minute of Leg 2, Rosi found the opener, putting the Galaxy in early position to pull off the upset. AA9Skillz struck right back though, pulling the contest back level just past the half-hour mark. That set off a ruthless stretch of seven unanswered goals from Rosi, starting with a penalty kick right on the stroke of halftime and that he converted with Jonathan dos Santos. That opened the floodgates, as Rossi added two more goals before the 60th minute to open up a commanding 4-1 lead.
The rout just snowballed from there, as Rossi continued to pour it on with four more goals to push it to a shocking 8-1 score line that would stand as the final and crown the Galaxy the winners of the eMLS All-Star Challenge.
Godfather and Rosineivalor7 (LA Galaxy) 4, Pabs and Melissa Ortiz (Inter Miami) 1
It was a dominant semifinals matchup for the Galaxy in their victory over Inter Miami, as Godfather and Pabs battled to a 1-1 stalemate in Leg 1, setting up a massive Leg 2 between Rosi and Ortiz. That gave Rosi his time to shine and he took full advantage of it.
Rosi got the LA Galaxy on top almost immediately after Leg 2 kickoff and never looked back, striking for a trio of goals to give his team a 4-1 aggregate lead and put the duo squarely in the driver's seat for a spot in the final. Ortiz managed to weather the storm in the second half and generated some good chances, but the barrage from Rosi proved to be enough to seal the Galaxy's place in the final.
Kid M3mito and AA9Skillz (Chicago Fire FC) 1, AlanAvi and Castro (FC Dallas) 0
This might have been the biggest heavyweight matchup of the day in terms of pedigree as two seasoned eMLS competitors faced off along with teammates that are each two of the best FIFA players out there.
With plenty of trash talk flying between AA9Skillz and Castro, it was Chicago that found a second-half breakthrough as Kid M3mito bagged a huge first-leg opener, setting up the matchup everyone wanted to see as AA9Skillz took on Castro with a spot in the final on the line.
It was a back-and-forth first half, but neither player managed break through in the second leg until Castro found a huge equalizer that wound up forcing extra time. After missing a couple of big chances in extra time, AA9Skillz found the Golden Goal winner that clinched Chicago's spot in the final against LA.
Godfather and Rosineivalor7 (LA Galaxy) 3, JKO and Beuses (New England Revolution) 1
The proceedings kicked off with a matchup between two known commodities and two fresh-faced upstarts, as Godfather took on JKO of the New England Revolution. Both eMLS stalwarts were joined by two of the top competitors from the open fan invitational, with Godfather joined by Rosineivalor7 and JKO joined by Beuses. The Galaxy would emerge victorious, with the first leg finishing in a 1-1 deadlock and a stellar performance in the second leg from Rosi, sending LA through by a 3-1 aggregate scoreline.
Rosi got Leg 2 off to a roaring start, giving the Galaxy the lead through another finish from Chicharito. He then showed his class with a ridiculous finish on the dagger, an 88th minute long chipped finish from Samuel Grandsir that put the contest to bed and sent the Galaxy through.
Pabs and Melissa Ortiz (Inter Miami) 5, Rapid Bunny and Luis Hernandez (Atlético San Luis) 2
The second quarterfinal match pitted Rapid Bunny against Inter Miami eMLS representative Pabs. Rapid Bunny was partnered with Liga MX legend Luis Hernandez while Pabs was partnered with Melissa Ortiz. It was Inter Miami that took an emphatic victory, riding a streak of five unanswered goals to a 5-2 aggregate triumph after Rapid Bunny struck for the first two.
Rapid Bunny found the opener with a 39th-minute finish from Damián Batallini and doubled it on 62 minutes, but Pabs managed to strike back for two huge goals that leveled the contest just before full time, setting up a compelling second leg between Hernandez and Ortiz.
Inter Miami would then punch its ticket to the next round through a dominant performance from Ortiz in Leg 2 that saw her strike three more times in an all-around comprehensive effort. The trio of goals sealed the 5-2 aggregate and punched Inter Miami's ticket to the semifinals.
Kid M3mito and AA9Skillz (Chicago Fire FC) 5, Didychrislito and Pavel Pardo (New York City FC) 0
The next matchup featured arguably the best in eMLS at the moment in NYCFC rep Didychrislito, who was partnered up with Pavel Pardo. The duo took on another seasoned pro in Kid M3mito, who was joined on his team by AA9Skillz.
It was a tough matchup for Kid M3mito going against the reigning eMLS Cup champion, but the Chicago man came through with a huge result in Leg 1, getting on the scoreboard and maintaining a clean sheet to take AA9Skillz to a 1-0 aggregate advantage headed into Leg 2.
AA9Skillz demonstrated his pedigree in the second leg, exploding for four goals, all of the highlight-reel variety to send the Fire through comfortably by a 5-0 aggregate score.
AlanAvi and Castro (FC Dallas) 2, RemiMartinn and Dalex (LAFC) 1
It was another star-studded matchup as the Quarterfinals churned onward, as LAFC eMLS rep RemiMartinn teamed up with Puerto Rican singer Dalex to take on FC Dallas' AlanAvi and Castro_1021, another one of the top FIFA streamers in the game.
FC Dallas jumped out to the lead in Leg 1, as AlanAvi got the opener, but then yielded the equalizer to RemiMartinn courtesy of a gorgeous finish set up by a spin move for the goal that left the series in a 1-1 deadlock headed into Leg 2.
In a tough matchup against a high-level opponent, Dalex hung with it, getting the second leg to halftime still tied 1-1. In the end, Castro's quality proved to be too much, as he finally found the go-ahead strike in the 74th minute to send FC Dallas through.