Esports Business Summit

FOX Sports Lines Up eMLS Tournament Special

Major League Soccer and FOX Sports announced that eMLS Tournament Special presented by Coca-Cola and PlayStation will debut on Sunday on FS1 and FOX Deportes at 7p, hosted by FOX Sports Stu Holden, Rachel Bonnetta and Rodolfo Landeros, with color commentary from Mike LaBelle.

Each subsequent Sunday at 7p, the five-episode series will team up MLS players and eMLS players from the same MLS clubs in single-elimination EA SPORTS FIFA 20 tournaments. The Week One Tournament pits the Chicago Fire against FC Cincinnati before the digital version of ‘El Trafico’ between LA Galaxy and LAFC takes the stage.

“The eMLS Tournament Special represents the spirit of MLS Unites by entertaining fans and giving back to our communities,” said Camilo Durana, MLS SVP of Properties and Events. “We’re thrilled many of the league’s top players are joining our eMLS participants to compete and also provide benefit for those on the front lines. We are also thankful to FOX Sports and all of our partners for their collaboration on the innovative series that will be both fun to watch and make a difference.”

The opening match this Sunday, April 19 will showcase two Costa Rican National Team defenders on opposite ends of the digital pitch as Chicago Fire’s Francisco Calvo faces off against FC Cincinnati’s Kendall Waston in the first leg. The second leg sees FC Cincinnati’s eMLS competitor Gordon Thornsberry, currently ranked 30th in the world on PS4 in the EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series against Chicago Fire’s Enrique Espinoza.

“We are thrilled to partner with MLS on this innovative project, which will entertain viewers during this difficult time while also helping to support COVID 19 relief efforts,” said Joe Franzetta, FOX Sports VP, Rights & Business Relationships. “With the perfect combination of the talented team hosting the event and the fan-favorite MLS and eMLS players, it will be exciting to watch this series come to life.”

After each episode, MLS WORKS, the league’s social responsibility platform, and FOX Sports will make a donation on behalf of the winning club to Feeding America®, with MLS also supporting Food Banks Canada.

Each episode will take place on an entirely remote basis with MLS and eMLS players competing from their home and will feature four different clubs competing to win. Matches will be two legs, with the MLS players playing the first leg and the eMLS professional FIFA players competing against each other in the second leg. The best aggregate score will move on.