Competing at eMLS League Series Two presented by PlayStation, Chicago Fire gamer Enrique Espinoza (gamer tag: BITW18 II) collected five wins over his fellow Eastern Conference competitors on the road to eMLS Cup in March.
Of 22 eMLS competitors taking part in Sunday's live event, only three recorded more wins on the day than Espinoza's five. The Chicago native picked up three wins over opponents against whom he lost last month, including a 3-2 victory Sunday over League Series One third-place finisher FCC Fiddle of FC Cincinnati, turning around a 6-2 defeat to Fiddle in January.
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That win over FC Cincinnati kickstarted a three-game winning streak for Espinoza, who topped Columbus' CrewSC Nenad (3-2) before notching an 89th-minute winner to defeat D.C. United's Renatogz05, 2-1.
After the tournament's intermission, Espinoza turned a 1-1 halftime score against New England's JKO1701 into a 4-1 victory and, after a narrow 2-1 loss to NYCFC's NYC_Chris, picked up his fifth win by a 3-1 margin against Mike LaBelle of the New York Red Bulls.
Standing in a qualifying position for the tournament quarterfinals and one point back of the conference leader with two games remaining, Espinoza dropped a 5-1 decision against Orlando City's FIFA Abe, but still was within reach of the knockout rounds entering his final match. That game brought him up against League Series One champion doolsta of the Philadelphia Union, who carried a 2-0 lead into halftime. But Espinoza found net in the 53rd and 73rd minute to level things at 2-2, before doolsta found a game-winner in the 93rd minute to deny Espinoza a result.
With a 5-6-0 record on the day, Espinoza stands at 7-13-2 through two competitions, good for eighth in the 11-team Eastern Conference (click to view full standings). Next on the horizon is a trip to eMLS Cup presented by PlayStation in March, a multi-day event that will see a full round of cross-conference competition followed by a knockout-round format with seedings based off cumulative results to date.
Visit MLSsoccer.com/eMLS for complete coverage of League Series Two and eMLS Cup presented by PlayStation.
Extremely frustrated with the way the tournament ended for me. Played better, overturned some of my losses in League Series 1, & while I got more wins/points, only climbed 2 places higher than LS1. Tournament was once again organized extremely well by @eMLS🙏🏼 onto the eMLS Cup💪🏼 pic.twitter.com/Mtj87yE57x— Enrique Espinoza (@TheBITW7) February 17, 2019