Major League Soccer's esports league is back in early 2021 with more teams and a new online format.
Known as the eMLS, this year a few new faces will be involved in the FIFA 21 tournament along with the familiar representatives as they battle it out for the top prize.
Ahead of the kick-off, Goal brings you everything you need to know about eMLS 2021, including when it starts, teams involved and what's at stake.
Which clubs are involved in eMLS 2021?
A total of 27 clubs will be taking part in the new eMLS season, with Inter Miami CF and Saint Louis City SC making their debuts.
When is eMLS 2021 on and what is the season structure?
The 2021 eMLS season will be comprised of three live-streamed tournaments that each take place over the course of two days.
The season will kick off on January 16 with eMLS League Series One and continue on February 13 with eMLS League Two and conclude with the eMLS Cup which kicks off on March 20.
Ahead of each League Series, all 27 Clubs will play in online qualifier games with the top eight Clubs in points making it to the respective League Series knockout tournament.
After the League Series conclude, the top 11 clubs in total points will automatically qualify for eMLS Cup. The remaining 16 Clubs will compete in a Last Chance Qualifier tournament to battle for the final 12th seed of eMLS Cup.eMLS
What is the eMLS 2021 prize?
The eMLS 2021 season features a $70,000 (£52,500) prize pool.
What system does eMLS 2021 take place on?
The eMLS season takes place on the PlayStation 4. All players will be using SCUF Gaming controllers, JLab Play headphones and Talk Microphones.
How does eMLS factor into the FIFA 21 Global Series?
eMLS is a Tier 1 League Qualifier for the North America region of the FIFA 21 Global Series, which enables the top three finishers at eMLS Cup to receive direct seats to the PS4 Global Series North America Regional Playoffs.
What is the FIFA 21 Global Series?
The FIFA 21 Global Series is a competitive FIFA ecosystem – whereby players can advance from the FIFA 21 Global Series Playoffs to the FIFA eWorld Cup. The Global Series shifted to a completely online format and will be region-based in 2021.
How can you watch eMLS 2021?
Fans can tune in to all three competitions on Twitch.tv/MLS, Twitter.com/MLS and MLSsoccer.com.
Who are the FIFA pros taking part in eMLS 2021?
All 27 teams will have their own FIFA pro representing them.
This season 13 players have either transferred to new clubs or are new singings. That includes Kid M3mito, the inaugural eMLS Cup champion in 2018, transferring from the Houston Dynamo to Chicago Fire FC, FC Dallas re-signing AlanAvi, their eMLS Player from 2018 and 2019, and the Vancouver Whitecaps re-signing Skill Shack, their eMLS Player from 2019.
The full roster of players is below.
|Austin||Xbleu - John Garcia|
|Chicago Fire||Kid M3Mito - Guillermo Trevino|
|Cincinnati||Fiddle - Gordon Thornsberry|
|Colorado Rapids||Gonzo - Brandan Gonzales|
|Columbus Crew||Crew96Skamzz - Graham Ellix|
|Dallas||Alanavi - Alan Avila|
|DC United||Kingcj0 - Mohamed Diop|
|Houston Dynamo||Jordyreyes - Jordy Reyes|
|LAFC||Remimartinn - Martin Oregel|
|LA Galaxy||Godfather - Giuseppe Guastella|
|Inter Miami||Im_Pabs - Pablo Georgakopoulos|
|Minnesota United||Tokyorift - Brandon Yamane|
|Montreal Impact||Mehdibob3 - Mehdi Benghalem|
|Nashville||Doolsta - Cormac Dooley|
|New England Revolution||Jko - John Oliveira|
|New York City||Didychrislito - Christopher Holly|
|New York Red Bulls||Adamou - George Adamou|
|Orlando City||Maloney - Douglas Bendeck|
|Philadelphia Union||Cisseszn - Macisse Diop|
|Portland Timbers||Rctid Thiago - Edgar Guerrero|
|San Jose Earthquakes||Benr - Ben Remez|
|Seattle Sounders||Gsgxs - Gunbir Gill|
|Sporting KC||Alekzandur - Alexander Betancourt|
|St Louis City||Stl City Hasib - Hasib Zulfic|
|Toronto||Philb94 - Phil Balke|
|Vancouver Whitecaps||Skill Shack - Erfan Hosseini|
Who are the eMLS 2021 favourites?
The New York Red Bulls' eMLS competitor, George Adamou, is the reigning eMLS Cup champion from 2020.
FC Cincinnati’s eMLS player, FCC Fiddle, and Atlanta United’s eMLS player, Paulo Neto, were champions of the North America and South America EA Sports FIFA 20 Summer Cups.
Chicago Fire's Guillermo Tervino was a 2018 eMLS Cup Champion.
FC Dallas' Alan Avila was the 2018 eMLS All-Star Challenge Champion.
Nashville's Cormac Dooley dominated in 2019, becoming the eMLS League Series 1 and Series 2 Champion and 2019 eMLS Cup Champion.