eMLS Cup will crown the best FIFA 22 player in North America this year in Austin, Texas, bringing an end to two years of remote play for the event.
Major League Soccer and Electronic Arts confirmed the plans for the competition on March 8, with the fifth edition of eMLS Cup being played in front of a live audience and in collaboration with Austin FC.
Last season, it was New York City FC’s Didychrislito who took the trophy home after beating George Adamou 6-4 in the Grand Final, scooping a $20,000 prize for his efforts. The accomplishment also meant that he completed a grand slam in the region, after winning League Series 1 and League Series 2 in the same campaign.
He will not be defending that title in Austin this Spring, though, as he’s not competing – blowing the competition wide open.
Bion West, Director of Properties (eMLS), MLS said: “The fifth edition of eMLS Cup will bring together the worlds of interactive entertainment, soccer, music, and pop culture in true and unique MLS fashion.
“After two years of being remote, our competitors will once again have the thrill of competing in front of an audience, and our fans – whether attending in-person or watching remotely – will experience an energy unique to eMLS live events,” he continued.
eMLS Cup 2022: Start date & venue
As confirmed by MLS and EA, eMLS Cup starts on March 13, 2022.
It will take place in Austin, Texas, and at the Austin City Limits Live venue.
How to watch eMLS Cup 2022: Stream
The eMLS Cup event will be streamed live across Major League Soccer’s platforms at 12PM PST / 3PM EST / 8PM GMT / 9PM CEST, including the following:
eMLS Cup 2022: What to expect
Format & prize pool
North America’s top 12 competitors in FIFA 22 – each representing an MLS club – will lock horns at ACL Live, part of a bracket elimination format. Each game is played over two legs, similar to the Champions League’s knockout stages.
“eMLS Cup provides an opportunity for the EA SPORTS FIFA community at-large to come together to celebrate their shared love of esports and football,” said Sam Turkbas, EA SPORTS FIFA Competitive Gaming Commissioner. “The longevity of EA and MLS’s partnership will continue to accelerate EA SPORTS FIFA growth and strengthen the love for sport in North America.”
The winner takes home most of the $35,000 prize pool and the golden eMLS Cup trophy, with the top three finishers also landing direct invites to the EA SPORTS FIFA 22 Global Series Playoffs.
It’s here where they can compete to be named the best FIFA player on the planet.
Live activities & giveaways
There are a number of in-person activities to get involved with during the event, with some giveaways in the works – similar to last year.
Activations on the ground in Austin, Texas, include stations to customize limited-edition eMLS kits, printing EA SPORTS FIFA Ultimate Team-style cards, testing your FIFA skills in gaming pods, and there will be a special musical performance taking the stage as well. Plenty to sink your teeth into.
There will also be an artist, Geoff Gouveia, on-site completing a mural painting to celebrate eMLS Cup 2022, and he will be designing custom eMLS-themed Adidas Stan Smith shoes to be given away to fans.
Hosting partner Austin FC will host a post-party at ACL Live following the championship ceremony, featuring a live musical performance.
“SXSW is an iconic Austin event,” said Andy Loughnane, Austin FC President. “eMLS Cup will deliver a new layer of competitive gaming within SXSW, offering the opportunity for soccer and gaming fans to converge at one of the city’s most legendary venues.”
Not everybody will be able to visit Austin, but there are also some prizes to be won for those watching along at home.
A press release stated: “For those not able to attend in person, this year’s eMLS Cup will introduce a number of viewership incentives and innovations for fans tuning in from home. By linking their Twitch and EA accounts, viewers will have the opportunity to earn exclusive digital and physical rewards.
“Prizes will be rewarded incrementally through viewership milestones and include items such as an eMLS crest (30 minutes), FGS Player Swap Token (60 minutes), and an eMLS TIFO (90 minutes). Viewers can also earn prizes like MLS jerseys and EA SPORTS FIFA Points by engaging with polls and trivia questions run on the Sport Buff extension. Additionally, viewers can watch eMLS Cup alongside some of their favorite EA SPORTS FIFA content creators, including CHI_Kacee, Leah Revelle, and more who will host watch parties on their Twitch channels.”