MLS players take part in FIFA 20 tournament to support COVID-19 relief efforts

KATHRYN RILEY

With self-isolation during COVID-19 affecting each and every one of us, broadcasters have to get creative with presenting their entertainment. Saturday Night Live put on a train wreck of a show last weekend, but they gave it their all and you can’t fault them for giving it the old’ college try. (Although you’d think that a show as big as SNL could’ve provided something of better quality than something a Twitch celebrity could create.)

That’s why esports can grab an audience and make it fun to watch. You don’t need a big crowd to bring up the energy; you can still enjoy the action from the comfort of your own home without feeling weird about what you’re watching.

MLS is using its player roster to join in on the esports fun with a five-episode competition featuring 16 teams, including players from the Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto FC. The FIFA 20 showdown starts on April 19, and four weekly winners will then square off in a championship match on May 17. The MLS players will be taking on their eMLS counterparts, and all of this will be happening from each player’s home.

Vancouver and Toronto fans will have to wait until May 10 to see their favourite players on the digital pitch. That’s when Toronto FC midfielder Marky Delgado takes on Vancouver defender Erik Godoy, and TFC’s Phil (PhilB94) Balke plays Whitecaps esports gamer counterpart Alex (Exraa) Gonzalez-Aldana. The winner of the all-Canadian series will meet either Atlanta United or Orlando City SC to see who moves on to the final week.

Other players that will be taking part in the tournament are: Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Francisco Calvo (Chicago Fire), Adama Diomande (Los Angeles FC), Franco Escobar (Atlanta United), Diego Fagundez (New England Revolution), Javier (Chicharito) Hernandez (LAFC), Sean Johnson (NYCFC), Wan Kuzain (Sporting Kansas City), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Tyler Miller (Minnesota United), Nani (Orlando City), Fafa Picault (FC Dallas), Memo Rodriguez (Houston Dynamo) and former Whitecap defender Kendall Waston (FC Cincinnati).

Donations on behalf of the event will be directed to Feeding America and Food Banks Canada. Watch all footy action every Sunday on Fox Sports and FS1. Find full details here.

I received my first Nintendo at 8 years old in 1984 and I haven’t stopped playing games since. My love of gaming hasn’t slowed and I’m always looking out for the latest trends in gaming and eSports.

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