Major League Soccer (MLS) and Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) today revealed eMLS 2023 as the league continues to grow in popularity and captivate North American soccer and gaming fans. The eMLS 2023 season schedule will feature world-class EA SPORTS™ FIFA 23 competitors, compelling competition, and engaging MLS content enhancing the cultural esports and soccer connection. Highlighted first with two marquee League Series events in New York City in January and February, the season concludes at the eMLS Cup on March 12 in Austin during SXSW.
In 2023, players will compete for the largest total season prize pool in eMLS history – $100,000. Each League Series broadcast will showcase more than 10 players and feature a new competitive format that provides enhanced coverage for fans.
“eMLS is excited to see new faces and past champions returning for the 2023 season,” said Camilo Durana, MLS Executive Vice President. “Major League Soccer is committed to offering competitive gaming and premium esports content, expanding the way fans can support their favorite clubs. With eMLS content on more platforms and devices, we continue find ways to best serve our young, diverse, and digitally savvy fans, while highlight top global talent on the virtual pitch.”
The remote qualifiers and group stages of each League Series will be featured on each MLS club’s or player’s respective Twitch and YouTube channel, and fans can view the main bracket matchups on twitch.tv/mls. The season format will be as follows:
- eMLS League Series 1: The 2023 season kicks off on January 24-25 with remote qualifiers with the group stage on Jan. 28 and final series bracket games on Jan. 29.
- eMLS League Series 2: The season continues Feb. 7-8 with remote qualifiers, the group stage on Feb. 11 and final series bracket matches on Feb. 12.
- eMLS Cup: The season will conclude in Austin at SXSW, with the Last Chance Qualifier held on March 11 determining the final “Cinderella” participant spot for the eMLS Cup on March 12.
Kacey “Kacee” Anderson, the first woman content creator to be signed to an eMLS club and arguably the most watched EA SPORTS FIFA female streamer in North America in 2021, will be the official eMLS season correspondent this year. Joining her will be eMLS host Faizal Khamisa, play-by-play announcer Dan Gaskin, commentator Mike Labelle, and sideline reporter Susannah Collins.
“We are delighted to welcome back eMLS for the FGS23 season. The popularity of the eMLS has been exceptional as a remarkable community of EA SPORTS FIFA fans continue to connect with the MLS through esports,” said Sam Turkbas, EA SPORTS FIFA Esports Commissioner. “The natural synergy of football and esports, combined with the authenticity of the eMLS and all the participating clubs, positions this season well for strong competition.”
eMLS has fostered a winning culture both on and off the pitch since 2018, and the League continues to see annual increases in viewership and digital engagement. The 2023 season features a roster of notable partners, including Coca-Cola® Zero Sugar, PlayStation®, DoorDash, and JLab, along with Avant®.
The 2022 eMLS champion, Atlanta United’s Paulo Neto, is returning this year to defend the title. The top two players within eMLS Cup get direct bids to the EA SPORTS FIFA 23 Global Series Playoffs. Third and fourth place will get a chance to compete in the EA SPORTS FIFA 23 Global Series Playoffs ‘Play-ins’, effectively putting these four players in prime position to compete in the FIFAe World Cup.