Those teams will also be responsible for selecting local talent to represent the team in the eMLS.
Major League Soccer is partnering with EA Sports to create an esports organization for Federation Internationale de Football Association 18's worldwide gaming competition, the sports league announced today.
MLS will engage fans of participating MLS teams to follow along as players are recruited and compete for the eMLS Cup in April at gaming festival PAX East in Boston. The event will double as the US and Canada qualifying tournament for the EA Sports FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs, where the FIFA eWorld Cup participants will be decided. The three Canadians teams have yet to make an announcement about their pro gamers.
EA has already had great success with its competitive "Madden NFL" series, with its gaming circuit boasting a purse of US$1.153 million.
There's no word on whether eMLS pros are being set up as full-time jobs, like spots in the National Basketball Association 2K League or Overwatch League.
During the eMLS Cup, each club's pro will play for a chance in the EA Sports FIFA17 Global series play off and eventually to be crowned the undisputed FIFA 18 World Champion at the FIFA eWorld Cup 2018 taking place in August later this year.
More details on the eMLS are expected in the coming weeks.
"This step forward into competitive gaming is a key component in our partnership with EA Sports to promote deeper engagement and connections between MLS supporters and millions of Federation Internationale de Football Association players around the world", MLS Business Ventures President and Managing Director Gary Stevenson said in a statement. NYCFC has since signed a second player, Joey Calabro for Xbox One, and announced plans for its own "FIFA 18" tournament in February.
"We're honored to partner with MLS within the EA SPORTS FIFA 18 Global Series as we continue to help grow competitive gaming and soccer in North America".
This will all feed into the 2018 Federation Internationale de Football Association eWorld Cup which will take place in August and feature the best players from all around the world. The eMLS Cup victor will earn a guaranteed playoff spot in the Global Series.
The hit Federation Internationale de Football Association video game franchise is developed at EA's Vancouver-area studio.
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