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TFC’s PhilB94 to take on NYRB in semifinals of first eMLS event of the season

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Toronto FC’s professional FIFA player will take on New York Red Bulls’ pro in a two-legged win-or-go-home on Saturday.

(Ryan Griffin/MLSE Esports)

TORONTO, Canada—It’s down to the Final Four!

On Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. EST, Toronto FC’s professional FIFA player Philip ‘PhilB94’ Balke will take on New York Red Bulls’ G_Adamou in the semifinals of eMLS League Series One—the first event of the 2021 season.

You can stream the match here on Twitch.

The competition began last week with 27 competitors, each representing an MLS team. Each player competed in a slate of 14 single-leg qualifying matches, earning three points for a win, one point for a draw, and zero points for a loss, with the top eight players advancing to the two-leg League Series One Tournament this weekend.

Going 5-1-1 to close out the qualifying stage after a slow start to the tournament, TFC’s PhilB94 (8-3-3) made an impressive run to secure his spot in the final eight as the No. 6 seed. He then followed that up with a thrilling 7-6 quarter-final victory Saturday afternoon over D.C. United’s KingCJ0 (10-0-4), the No. 3 seed in the tournament, to advance to the final day of the tournament.

It doesn’t get any easier for the TFC pro, however, as he’ll have to take down NYRB’s G_Adamou (10-4-0), one of the hottest players on the FIFA esports scene. The Red Bulls’ pro has gone undefeated through 16 games, including an impressive 11-2 win on aggregate over Vancouver Whitecaps’ Skill Shack in the quarter-finals.

After three years of representing Toronto FC, PhilB94 has yet to make it to an eMLS event final despite performing well in other global events. He’s consistently been able to qualify for the knockout stages, but hasn’t quite been able to get over that hump. Could this weekend finally be his breakthrough?

“That’s something Shane (Talbot) and I always talk about,” PhilB94 told Waking the Red. “We’re always top-8, finishing semifinals in the eMLS Cup, coming up short of winning the actual thing. And I’ve honestly dedicated a lot the last couple of years to playing, and I just want to win something.”

The $15,000 USD Final is set to take place later Sunday afternoon.

League Series One is the first of three eMLS tournaments taking place in 2021. The season will feature a $70,000 USD prize pool and will be headlined by eMLS Cup presented by Coca-Cola on Mar. 20-21.

Matches are played on EA SPORTS FIFA 21, exclusively on PlayStation 4.

If you want to learn more about Toronto FC’s professional FIFA player and his journey, I’d recommend checking out our 20-minute sit down with him from this past week that Toronto FC posted on their website and social channels.