The Philadelphia Union have announced former Frisco Liberty and Philadelphia Eagles running back, Jay Ajayi, as their entrant in the eMLS series this season.
Irishman Cormac “Doolsta” Dooley won all three eMLS competitions last year while representing the Union, but has since been ‘traded’ to Nashville SC. With eMLS Series One taking place in Philly this Friday, the Union landed a hometown attraction in the NFL free agent.
The Arsenal fan, originally from London, moved to Frisco where he would attend Liberty and excel in the Redhawks’ football program with 2,240 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns in his senior year.
FC Dallas has its own Collin County eMLS gamer in Ihab “i9ibbs” Abualneel, who was announced last month as the team’s replacement for Alan “AlanAvi” Avila in the 2020 eMLS season. i9ibbs will not face Ajayi in the initial 13-game schedule as he looks to earn a spot as one of the eight players to make it through to Friday’s live-stream tournament. The event can be seen on MLS’ Twitter and Twitch channels from 5:00 PM (CT) onward.
Series One takes place on January 10 in Philadelphia, then takes in the Rose City on February 15 for Series Two. The top 11 players and a last chance qualifier will take part in eMLS Cup beginning March 21 at SXSW. That will also serve as a qualifier for the FIFA Global Series.
Love this idea as eMLS is still in its fledgling stages and the crossover appeal could bring new attention. This is similar to having Ochocinco at the Dallas eMLS event last year.
I’m not sure what the viability of eMLS is long term, but it’s still going strong it seems.
Also, think they’ll ever just switch the rules to where each team has to use their full MLS roster? I don’t love watching teams with 9-10 of the same players play against each other.
I don’t think they’ll switch the rules because the 2 from your team + 1 other MLSer makes it easier to switch between eMLS and external events with players maintaining a single team. I’d love to see some more events that maybe don’t count towards the FIFA Global Series that are purely MLS players. If they could factor in Volta it would be cool.
When you look at the popularity between FIFA’s competitive scene against something like Fortnite, Overwatch or DOTA2, they’re miles apart. The DOTA2 tournament raised a $30m prize pool while the last FIFA eWorld Cup was $500k. I guess the viability comes down to what MLS’ return on investment is on those events.