Toronto FC gamer Philip (PhilB94) Balke faces tough road at eMLS Cup - InfoNews

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Toronto FC gamer Philip (PhilB94) Balke faces tough road at eMLS Cup

Toronto FC esports gamer Philip (PhilB94) Balke faces a tough road at the rescheduled 2020 eMLS Cup. Phil Balke, a professional esports gamer signed by MLSE, poses in Toronto on Wednesday, January 31, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
June 17, 2020 - 11:55 AM

Toronto FC esports gamer Philip (PhilB94) Balke faces a tough road at the rescheduled 2020 eMLS Cup.

First up for Balke is 2019 winner Cormac (Doolsta) Dooley of Nashville SC. A win would move Balke on against Atlanta United's Paulo Neto, a Brazilian teenager who beat him en route to winning last month's eMLS Tournament Special along with Atlanta defender Franco Escobar.

The eMLS Cup had originally been scheduled for March 15 at SXSW in Austin, Texas, before it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The US$20,000 tournament features 25 pro FIFA 20 players, each representing an MLS team. The champion will be crowned June 28.

The top 11 competitors in total season points after the first two eMLS events of the year (League Series One and Two) have already qualified for the final stage of the tournament, with the top four earning a first-round bye.

The four are Vancouver Whitecaps gamer Alex (Exraa) Gonzalez as well as FC Cincinnati's Gordon (Fiddle) Thornsberry and New York City FC's Chris (Didychrilito) Holly.

Thornberry is the No. 1 seed after winning both League Series events.

The remaining 14 competitors — including Montreal's Mehdi (Mehdibob) Benghalem — will compete in a Last-Chance Bracket for the 12th seed. That single-elimination qualifier is slated for June 26.

Competitors will be playing in a modified version of FIFA 20's most popular game mode, FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT), which allows gamers to build a team comprised of the best players from across world soccer and even past legends of the game.

The eMLS competitors will also be required to have MLS representation in their team.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 17, 2020.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2020
The Canadian Press

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