TORONTO, Ont.—After a strong showing at the second tournament of the season, Toronto FC’s professional EA Sports FIFA 20 player Phil “PhilB94” Balke has qualified for the 2020 eMLS Cup.
The Toronto-native propelled himself into the seventh overall in the eMLS table (out of 25 teams) after getting through to the knockout stages at League Series Two in Portland on Feb. 15. After a strong start to the competition, Balke eventually lost in the quarter-final to the 11th-ranked FIFA player in the world, Atlanta United FC’s Paulo Neto 2-1 in extra time—a match which PhilB94 arguably controlled the majority of.
Earlier in the season, Balke finished eighth in League Series One after the opening day of games; however, he failed to advance to the Final-8 due to new league regulations that granted automatic qualification to the host team: Philadelphia Union’s Jay Ajayi, despite the former NFLer going 0-12 in round-robin action.
TFC’s PhilB94 will have his hands full if he wants to capture the third and final eMLS event of the season—a knockout tournament which is set to take place on Mar. 21 in Austin, Texas.
In addition to Cincinnati FC’s FCC Fiddle, who has won both events so far this season, he’ll be competing against fellow Canadian exraa—the Vancouver Whitecaps FC pro FIFA player who finished fourth overall in the 2020 league standings, earning a bye into the quarter-final.
Up first, however, PhilB94 will have to get past the ever-dangerous Doolsta, Nashville SC’s professional FIFA player who won the treble last season and title in Season 1. In their only official head-to-head matchup this season, the TFC pro actually got the better of his good friend—a 4-2 win to close out first-day action at Series One.
In addition to capturing the third-ever eMLS Cup title and a small chunk of pocket change (the winner took home $15,000 USD last year), players are competing for crucial Global Series points.
“As eMLS is an Official League Partner of the EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series, the eMLS Cup winner will received 850 Global Series points, supporting their qualification for the Global Series Playoffs and ultimately the FIFA eWorld Cup, where the winner will be crowned the undisputed FIFA 20 World Champion,” according to the league website.
Global Series points will also be used to help determine the roster of Canada Soccer’s first-ever eNational Team, set to compete in the 2020 eNations Cup in May.
Will PhilB94 be able to bring home Canada’s first-ever eMLS title? Stay tuned... WTR will have all of your coverage leading up to next month’s event.