TORONTO, Canada—Toronto FC were back in action last weekend! Well, sort of.
Midfielder Marky Delgado and the club’s professional EA Sports FIFA player Phil “PhilB94_” Balke represented Toronto FC in the eMLS Tournament Special, a 16-team round-robin FIFA20 competition with each club being represented by one player and their pro gamer.
For context, two games would be played in matchup: club players would first go head-to-head before the pros face off with the aggregate score ultimately deciding the winner.
Up first for Toronto was Vancouver Whitecaps FC as Delgado would take on defender Erik Godoy.
And right out of the gate, the TFC midfielder—fresh off unofficially agreeing to a new long-term contract with the club—got things going for the Reds, putting his side up 1-0 on aggregate just 15 minutes into the match.
Just after halftime, Delgado would add to his team’s tally, this time scoring using his own avatar. Can’t we see more finishes like this in real life, Marky!?
Delgado would go on to add one more, giving PhilB94 a comfortable 3-0 leading heading into his second-leg match with Alex “Exraa” Gonzalez.
While the game was out of hand to begin with, for those who follow the eMLS scene, PhilB94 and Exraa are two of the top pro FIFA players in the country, making their head-to-head matchup an always entertaining bout.
After a back-and-forth affair, it would be the Toronto FC pro getting the better of his fellow countryman in the end, with a goal scored in the 83rd minute by none other than (yes, he exists #TFCLive) Pablo Piatti. The Reds would advance to the quarters, winning 4-0 on aggregate.
There, Toronto FC would face Atlanta United defender Franco Escobar and pro Paulo Neto—who is widely regarded as one of the best pro FIFA players in the world. Like TFC, the duo were confident heading into this one, having gotten the better of Orlando City SC’s Nani and his pro FIFA partner in their opening-round matchup.
However, the Reds proved they weren’t backing down without a challenge.
Delgado would finish his opening leg match vs. Escobar tied at 1, setting the scene for a PhilB94 x Paulo Neto thriller.
Unfortunately, it was the Toronto FC pro that would come out on the losing end of a late 2-1 comeback, and thus, propelling Atlanta into this Sunday’s semifinals.