Major League Soccer (MLS) and Electronic Arts (EA) today announced the competitive schedule and details for the 2022 season of eMLS, the official esports league of Major League Soccer. Whitecaps FC will be represented in eMLS by returning star Alex "Exraa" Gonzalez.
The season will feature 27 professional EA SPORTS FIFA players, each representing an MLS club, on the virtual pitch as they compete for their share of the record-setting $75,000 season prize pool.
Competition will take place on EA SPORTS FIFA 22 and will be played exclusively on PlayStation®5 (PS5™), marking eMLS’s debut season played on the next-generation console.
eMLS League Series 1 presented by Coca-Cola
- Hosted by FC Cincinnati
- January 15: Qualifiers at TQL Stadium - all 27 eMLS players will compete to make the final bracket
- January 16: Finals at PromoWest Pavilion at Ovation - Fans will be able to attend in-person to see who is crowned League Series 1 champion in addition to partaking in various fan activities, including FIFA 22 gaming stations and giveaways.
eMLS League Series 2 presented by Coca-Cola
- Hosted by Chicago Fire FC
- January 29: Qualifiers at Soldier Field - all 27 eMLS players will compete to make the final bracket
- January 30: Finals at House of Blues - Fans will be able to attend in-person to see who is crowned League Series 2 champion in addition to partaking in various fan activities, including FIFA 22 gaming stations and giveaways.
eMLS Cup presented by Coca-Cola
- An official event of SXSW 2022
- March 13: eMLS Cup - the top 12 eMLS players will compete to be crowned the 2022 season champion
- Recognized as a Tier 1 league by EA SPORTS, the top three eMLS Cup finishers will receive direct seats to the EA SPORTS Global Series Playoffs on the Road to the FIFAe World Cup.
- The first 11 competitors in the field will be determined by total season qualifier points from League Series events
- March 12: Last Chance Qualifier - The 12th and final seed from a Last Chance Qualifier tournament on March 12.
- Location: eMLS Cup will take place at ACL Live in downtown Austin in conjunction with Austin FC and will be a FIFA celebration at the intersection of soccer, gaming, and pop culture with numerous activities for fans to enjoy. The event will be open to SXSW badge holders as well as the general public for free. Registration will open at a later date.
Charlotte FC joins eMLS
Charlotte FC will join eMLS in 2022, bringing the total eMLS participation count to 27 clubs.
350 hours of live coverage
For the first time, all participating clubs will stream each of their season qualifying matches on their respective official social channels, providing clubs with new competitive content representing up to a record-setting 350 hours of live coverage and offering fans more opportunities to watch their favorite eMLS players compete at every tournament stage.
Fans can tune in to all eMLS competitions beginning on
Return to live events
If ongoing pandemic conditions allow, this year’s eMLS will see a return to in-person competition hosted at MLS Club stadiums and local concert venues in Cincinnati, Chicago, and Austin.
"Coming off our most successful season yet with record-breaking viewership, the 2022 eMLS season will see the return of some of the top EA SPORTS FIFA players in the world, with live competitions taking place in the heart of our MLS communities," said Camilo Durana, Senior Vice President of Properties and Events, Major League Soccer. "eMLS continues to enhance and build our relationships with fans through accessible, exciting, and intense competition, which is why we’re thrilled to expand our coverage and return to live events this upcoming season."
eMLS prioritizes the health and safety of its competitors, staff, and fans. All in-person events will follow local and state guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety measures. Competitions are subject to transition to online-only dependent on ongoing COVID-19 conditions.