CHICAGO (April 13, 2020) – Chicago Fire FC announced today that defender Francisco Calvo and eMLS competitor Enrique Espinoza (gamertag: TheBITW7) will represent the Club in the eMLS Tournament Special presented by Coca-Cola® and PlayStation® to support COVID-19 relief efforts.
As part of MLS Unites, a league-wide platform designed to educate communities, entertain fans and elevate heroic efforts taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic, the eMLS Tournament Special will debut on Sunday, April 19 on FS1 and FOX Deportes at 6 p.m. CT. The series will be hosted by FOX Sports’ Stu Holden, Rachel Bonnetta and Rodolfo Landeros, with color commentary from Mike LaBelle.
Each Sunday at 6 p.m. CT, the five-episode series will team up MLS players and eMLS players from the same MLS clubs in single-elimination EA SPORTS™ FIFA 20 tournaments. Calvo will be featured in the first match of the tournament on Sunday, April 19, facing fellow Costa Rican international and FC Cincinnati defender Kendall Waston in the first leg. The second leg sees Espinoza – the Fire’s eMLS competitor and Chicago Fire Juniors youth coach – take on FC Cincinnati’s eMLS competitor Gordon Thornsberry.
Following the Fire’s matches against FC Cincinnati, strikers Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Adama Diomande will represent the LA Galaxy and LAFC in the digital version of ‘El Trafico’ in the second and final matchup of the opening week.
Each episode will take place on an entirely remote basis with MLS and eMLS players competing from their home and will feature four different clubs competing to win. Matches will be two legs, with the MLS players playing the first leg and the eMLS professional FIFA players competing against each other in the second leg. The best aggregate score will move on. The four winning teams from the first four episodes will qualify to participate in the fifth and final eMLS Tournament Special on Sunday, May 17 and a champion will be crowned.
After each episode, MLS WORKS, the league’s social responsibility platform, and FOX Sports will make a donation on behalf of the winning club to Feeding America®, with MLS also supporting Food Banks Canada.
In the coming weeks, D.C. United’s Paul Arriola, New England Revolution’s Diego Fagundez, Minnesota United’s Tyler Miller, Sporting Kansas City’s Wan Kuzain, New York Red Bulls Aaron Long, NYCFC’s Sean Johnson, FC Dallas’ Fafa Picault, Houston Dynamo’s Memo Rodriguez, Vancouver Whitecaps Erik Godoy, Toronto FC’s Marky Delgado, Atlanta United’s Franco Escobar and Orlando City’s Nani will compete in the tournament.
Through eMLS Tournament Special and other programs, Major League Soccer is proud to support EA’s “Stay Home. Play Together.” Initiatives, helping the gaming community find more ways to connect through play during a time where people need to be physically apart. To learn more, you can follow #stayandplay on Twitter and Instagram or check out https://www.ea.com/en-ca/stay-and-play for upcoming activities and livestreams.
Be sure to follow @eMLS on Twitter for the latest updates on the eMLS Tournament Special, produced in partnership with Engine Shop.