To all the EA Sports FIFA fans, the wait is over. The MLS is entering the competitive gaming arena, partnering with EA Sports.
Known as eMLS, the league will follow the same model as of the NBA2K league. were competitors will represent a real-life sports team. At the beginning there will be 19 clubs participating out of the 23 MLS clubs, these clubs are: 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.
The eMLS organizers are leaving it up to the MLS club how they would like to proceed with the hiring. One thing is uncertain if the teams will hire more than one athlete to represent them. Hiring more than one athlete would be a contingency plan in case one of the representatives is unable to compete for some reason. The clubs will decide wether ot not to have more than one player in their roster, although clubs are only allowed to send one player to the eMLS events.
One thing that they have not confirmed yet is how would pro players be set up, full time jobs? Would they have benefits? Hopefully they take the same approach that the NBA 2K League or Overwatch League have, by providing their players with salaries, benefits and housing.
This is a step forward into competitive video gaming for EA Sports and the MLS as well for the United States, also backing up esports as the fastest growing sport industry in the world.