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MLS expects more teams, venue changes in 2020 eMLS Cup

Major League Soccer is expecting more of its teams to take part in its esports competition, the eMLS Cup, in 2020.

This year 22 of the league’s 24 teams took part in the tournament, which is run in partnership with EA Sports, while MLS expanding to 26 teams in 2020 with the arrival of expansion teams Nashville SC and Inter Miami.

“We’re really bullish on us having really strong participation next year. I think we’re going to be looking much better than we were this year and we don’t have that many more teams to go,” James Ruth, MLS senior director, properties, told SportBusiness at the Hashtag Sports conference in New York.

In 2019, the league debuted the inaugural eMLS League Series, comprised of two events which determine the seeding for the eMLS Cup. The eMLS League Series events were held in Los Angeles and Dallas, in partnership with the LA Galaxy and FC Dallas respectively. Venue changes are expected next year.

“We’re in the process right now of looking where are going to take events,” Ruth said. “The League Series, that whole platform, is built on taking different events to different markets and partnering with the clubs. So you’ll definitely see events different than LA and Dallas which is where we were [this year]. We’re in the process of working through that with the clubs and we have a shortlist of clubs that we’re looking at.”

EMLS is an Official League Partner of the EA Sports Fifa Global Series.