The second season of the eMLS kicks off later in January as LA Galaxy host the eMLS League Series One before FC Dallas host the League Series Two in February.
All 19 teams from the inaugural eMLS season have returned and the competition has expanded with Atlanta United, D.C. United and MLS newcomers FC Cincinnati taken the league up to 22 teams.
Ahead of the new season one of the original teams, Chicago Fire, has expanded its roster with the signing of Enrique 'BITW18 II' Espinoza as the club's second esports professional. Espinoza joins Edhem 'HekTic_JukeZ' Jukovic, who returns to represent Chicago Fire once more.
Espinoza is a relative rookie when it comes to professional tournaments but regularly places in the top 100 of the FUT Champions leaderboards in North and South America, with a personal best placement of 61 in November.
Both of the club's FIFA players are Chicago natives and new signing Espinoza already has close ties to the soccer club having spent the last four years coaching the Chicago Fire Juniors City U-10 Boys club soccer program.
Having esports pros with connections to the club is vital according to Chicago Fire COO John Urban.
"We’re thrilled to be represented in the eMLS by two Chicago natives with close personal ties to the club, both of whom are FIFA experts with the ability to compete at the highest levels," he said.
"They have our club’s full support as they pursue excellence within eMLS and the greater FIFA 19 Global Series. Competitive gaming at the league level continues to be an exciting area of growth for Major League Soccer and the Chicago Fire.”
The two eMLS League Series events will feature separate prize pools and will decide the seeding for the 2019 eMLS Cup later in the year.
The PlayStation exclusive eMLS Cup will then crown the second-ever eMLS champion with the winner receiving 850 Global Series Points towards qualification for the 2019 eWorld Cup.