TORONTO, Canada—After falling just short at eMLS League Series One last month, Toronto FC’s professional EA Sports FIFA 21 player Phil “PhilB94” Balke will have the chance to earn some redemption as League Series Two—the second of three events this season—begins Tuesday night.
During the league’s first event of the year, PhilB94 performed well, navigating his way through the 27-team round-robin stage to qualify for the final four. Unfortunately, he’d fall short to the red-hot New York Red Bulls’ Adamou in the semifinals, who had gone undefeated up to that point.
For his effort, PhilB94 received a huge boost in the eMLS power rankings, jumping up eight spots to No. 4.
The TFC pro gamer’s quest for redemption begins Tuesday as like in League Series One, he’ll have to qualify for the final eight through a series of 12 qualification matches. Following the qualifiers, the top eight teams will enter the tournament rounds which will take place on Feb. 13 and 14, where they will have the chance to compete for the eMLS LS2 title.
Here is Toronto FC PhilB94’s full schedule:
PhilB94 will take on a series of eMLS LS2 qualifier matches on Feb. 2, 3, and 9.
Feb. 2 — Day 1
- 8:30 p.m. EST vs. San Jose Earthquakes
- 9:00 p.m. EST vs. Seattle Sounders FC
- 10:00 p.m. EST vs. FC Cincinnati
Feb. 3 — Day 2
- 8:30 p.m. EST vs. Orlando City SC
- 9:00 p.m. EST vs. CF Montreal
- 9:30 p.m. EST vs. St. Louis City SC
- 10:00 p.m. EST vs. Philadelphia Union
Feb. 9 — Day 3
- 8:30 p.m. EST vs. Chicago Fire
- 9:00 p.m. EST vs. Nashville SC
- 9:30 p.m. EST vs. Colorado Rapids
- 10:00 p.m. EST vs. Inter Miami CF
- 10:30 p.m. EST vs. D.C. United
You can follow PhilB94 on twitter for updates on these games. While qualifier matches are private, the knockout rounds on Feb. 13 and 14 will be livestreamed on the MLS Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter channels.
The season will feature a $70,000 prize pool and will be headlined by eMLS Cup presented by Coca-Cola on March 20-21. All points earned at eMLS Series One and Two will count towards eMLS Cup standings, with only eight teams qualifying for the third and final event of the year. If you’re wondering, competition will be played exclusively on PlayStation 4.
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.”
You can learn more about Phil’s journey below.