Published: Tue, January 16, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Major League Soccer Launches FIFA 18 Esports League

Major League Soccer Launches FIFA 18 Esports League

Major League Soccer unveiled part of its esports blueprint Friday, with 19 clubs looking to face off to decide the best "FIFA 18" video gamer in North America.

At the start of eMLS, the 19 teams represented will be: Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew SC, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, Minnesota United FC, Montreal Impact, New England Revolution, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City, Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

EA's Federation Internationale de Football Association franchise has a huge following, and MLS is taking advantage of that by pairing Federation Internationale de Football Association players with their local clubs to create an eMLS and an inagural eMLS Cup.

MLS clubs will only be able to send one gamer to represent them in eMLS events and, as Polygon reports, it's not yet clear if they will receive the same benefits and salaries that National Basketball Association 2K League or Overwatch League players do.

The competition will take place at PAX East in April in Boston and will determine the U.S. and Canada's qualifiers to the EA Sports FIFA 18 Global Series Play-offs which could eventually lead to a FIFA eWorld Cup spot.

The EA Sports FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs draws players from a variety of competitions including league partners like the eMLS Cup. Such as what kind if, if any, salaries or benefits these players might have.

MLS setting up a competitive gaming league follows the lead of a number of soccer leagues that have already done the same.

The FIFA eWorld Cup is the conclusion of the FIFA 18 Global Series tournament, an expansion of the long-running annual esports competitions in EA's FIFA franchise.

The MLS is following in the footsteps of the National Basketball Association and NFL, who each have created their own esports leagues in their respective gaming titles.

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