Major League Soccer’s North American FIFA-based esports league, the eMLS, held in partnership with EA Sports, has announced its return for 2021 with a new partner and two new teams in tow.
JLab will be the official audio and microphone partner of the league, joining returning sponsors Coca-Cola, PlayStation, Cheez-It, Pringles, and SCUF Gaming.
Camilo Durana, Senior Vice President of Properties and Events, Major League Soccer, commented in a release: “With an expanded roster of clubs and the return of many of our top competitors, we’re excited to announce our 2021 eMLS season. eMLS has become a successful and important part of our annual calendar, enabling our League and clubs to connect with fans across North America and all over the world, while highlighting our most exciting players.
“With the continued and enhancing support of our partners and increasingly competitive field, this eMLS season promises to be our best season yet.”
Inter Miami CF and Saint Louis City SC are the two new teams joining for the 2021 season, bringing the total number of clubs to 27. The season will feature a $70,000 (£51,850) prize pool and be held entirely online, with the first League Series beginning on January 16th. The season will culminate with the eMLS Cup, presented by Coca-Cola, on March 20th-21st.
The 2021 eMLS season will be played in FIFA 21 exclusively on PlayStation 4, with EA Sports and Major League Soccer planning to double the number of content hours compared to previous seasons.
Coca-Cola will remain the league’s carbonated beverages and bottled water partner, as well as presenting partner for the league and eMLS Cup. Cheez-It and Pringles, meanwhile, return as the official snack partner and presenting partner for the eMLS Player Lounges and eMLS Player Profiles content series. PlayStation returns as the league’s official console partner, while SCUF Gaming is the official controller partner.
Brent Koning, EA Sports Group Director & FIFA Competitive Gaming Commissioner, added: “The popularity of the eMLS continues to grow as this marquee tournament is another example of FIFA’s elevation into a tier-one esport. Our partnership with MLS and the 27 MLS clubs provides another engaging avenue for attracting new fans and partners to the sport through compelling competition.”
Esports Insider says: Given pandemic restrictions, eMLS is a great way for the league to maintain engagement with fans through digital competition. eMLS has several marquee sponsors and more teams than ever for 2021, which is only good news for the continued growth of the league.