Whitecaps FC striker Tosaint Ricketts becomes first former MLS Player to compete in eMLS, and will be joined by St. Louis City SC’s NR7 and Atlanta United’s Paulo Neto seeking to capture their second eMLS Cup among the 22 competing Clubs
The top-flight esports competition will feature two marquee League Series events with eMLS Cup returning to Austin
(NEW YORK.) Feb. 6, 2024 – Major League Soccer (MLS) and EA SPORTS FC Pro today revealed details for the upcoming eMLS 2024 season, which includes a new competitive platform and players for 22 clubs that represent the global growth of the league. The eMLS 2024 season marks the debut of EA SPORTS FC™ 24 as the exclusive platform for all eMLS matches and its inaugural season as part of a new era of esports with FC Pro. The competitive calendar will feature two marquee League Series events in February and March, concluding with the eMLS Cup on March 10 in Austin.
Former Canadian National Team and Vancouver Whitecaps FC striker Tosaint “eightysvn” Ricketts, who made over 250 professional appearances in his decade-long career and was recently announced as the club’s 2024 eMLS athlete, will make his debut as the first former MLS player to compete in eMLS. As eMLS continues to grow on a global scale, this year’s edition will feature international stars like 2023 eMLS Cup champion Niklas “NR7” Raseck (Germany) with St. Louis City SC looking to defend his title, 2022 eMLS Cup champion Paulo “Paulo Neto” Neto (Brazil) with Atlanta United, João Afonso “JAFONSO” Vasconcelos (Portugal) with New England Revolution, and Olle “Ollelito” Arbin (Sweden) with New York City FC.
“eMLS is excited to welcome new faces and have some of the world’s best return for the 2024 season,” said Jesse Perl, MLS VP of Brand Marketing. “Partnering with EA SPORTS FC Pro to bring the highest level of esports competition to North America is an important part of how MLS lives in culture and reaches our young, multicultural fans outside of the traditional gameday.”
The remote qualifiers and group stages of each League Series will be featured on each MLS club’s or player’s Twitch and YouTube channel, and fans can watch each event’s bracket on Twitch (https://www.twitch.tv/mls) and YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/mls). Each league broadcast will showcase the top 12 remaining players and enhanced coverage for fans. The top two players within the eMLS Cup get direct bids to the FC Pro World Championship.
The season format will be as follows:
- eMLS League Series 1: The 2024 season kicks off on Feb. 16 with remote qualifiers followed by the group stage on Feb. 17 and bracket final on Feb. 18.
- eMLS League Series 2: The season continues March 1 with remote qualifiers, the group stage on March 2 and bracket final on March 3.
- eMLS Cup: The season will conclude in Austin, with the group stage on March 9 and the fan-facing live bracket final on March 10.
eMLS is excited to bring back an all-star commentary crew, including host Faizal Khamisa, play-by-play announcer and reigning Esports Awards Caster of the Year Dan Gaskin, and commentator Mike Labelle.
“It’s exciting to welcome eMLS to EA SPORTS FC Pro,” said Sam Turkbas, Senior Director & Commissioner, Football Esports, Electronic Arts. “eMLS League Series and Cup format deliver exciting action to viewers throughout their season, expanding fandom and interaction with MLS clubs through EA SPORTS FC. We are looking forward to hosting the eMLS Champion and runner-up at our inaugural FC Pro World Championship this year.”
Since the start of eMLS in 2018, the esports league continues to see annual increases in viewership and digital engagement. The 2024 season features a roster of notable partners, including TikTok, DoorDash, EA SPORTS and Avant.
All participating clubs have signed top talent including those listed below.
Atlanta United: Paulo “Paulo Neto”
Nashville SC: Samuel “SaucySammy” Abraham
Austin FC: Diogo "Diogo" Mendes
New England Revolution: João Afonso “JAFONSO” Vasconcelos
CF Montréal: Alix “Loux” Largerie
New York City FC: Ollie “Ollelito” Arbin
Charlotte FC: Gustavo “Gustavo” Nascimento
New York Red Bulls: Cormac “doolsta” Dooley
Columbus Crew: Christian “Chris Lopez” Lopez
Orlando City SC: Youssef “yaboyoussef“ Aboyoussef
D.C. United: Mohamed “KingCJ0” Diop
Philadelphia Union: Thiago Martin “ThiagoCapo12” Vazquez
FC Dallas: Alan “AlanAvi” Avila
San Jose Earthquakes: Ben “BENR” Remez
Houston Dynamo FC: Jordy “JordyReyes” Reyes
Seattle Sounders FC: George “GADAMOU10” Adamou
Inter Miami CF: John “K1john” Kamel
St. Louis City SC: Niklas “NR7” Raseck
Los Angeles Football Club: Pablo “Pabs” Georgakopoulos
Toronto FC: Christopher “Didychrislito” Holly
Minnesota United: Ehsan “Lamps” Zakeri
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Tosaint “eightysvn” Ricketts
eMLS is the gaming and esports property of Major League Soccer. Built around the EA SPORTS™ FC franchise, its goal is to utilize gaming to reach global audiences, raise the profile of MLS, and grow its next generation of fans. eMLS has grown from 19 MLS clubs in 2018 to 22 clubs participating in the upcoming 2024 season. For more information, visit www.mlssoccer.com/eMLS.
About Major League Soccer
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer -- celebrating its 29th season in 2024 -- features 30 clubs throughout the United States and Canada, including a new expansion team in San Diego that will debut in 2025. All MLS, Leagues Cup, and select MLS NEXT Pro and MLS NEXT matches can be watched through MLS Season Pass, available on the Apple TV app on Apple devices, smart TVs, streaming devices, set-top boxes, and game consoles, and the web at tv.apple.com. MLS Season Pass features the most expansive and accessible lineup of programming ever for MLS fans. For more information about MLS, visit mlssoccer.com. For more information about the Apple TV app, visit apple.com/apple-tv-app.
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company develops and delivers games, content and online services for Internet-connected consoles, mobile devices and personal computers.
In fiscal year 2023, EA posted GAAP net revenue of approximately $7.4 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for a portfolio of critically acclaimed, high-quality brands such as EA SPORTS FC™, Battlefield™, Apex Legends™, The Sims™, Madden NFL, Need for Speed™, Titanfall™, Plants vs. Zombies™ and F1®. More information about EA is available at www.ea.com/news.
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