The tournament will be held as an official event at SXSW on March 13, league officials said.
“It’s an honor to host eMLS Cup,” said Austin FC President Andy Loughnane. “Austin is a hub for both gaming and soccer culture, and the addition of eMLS Cup in Austin during SXSW creates an outstanding environment for a championship event.”
The 2022 eMLS Cup will be the fifth year after starting in 2018. The event will be open to both the general public and SXSW badge holders for free, and registration will open at a later date, Austin FC officials said in a press release.
Last season, Austin FC's eMLS representative, John “xVERDE” Garcia, finished first in the eMLS standings, but lost in the semifinal round of the 2021 eMLS Cup. Garcia lost to the eventual eMLS Champion, NYCFC's Didychrislito. He garnered 64 points in 26 matches played with a 20-2-4 record (win-loss-tie). Garcia's goal differential was also a league-best +45 in 2021.
Here is how the eMLS Cup will be set up:
- March 13: eMLS Cup - the top 12 eMLS players will compete to be crowned the 2022 season champion
- Recognized as a Tier 1 league by EA SPORTS, the top three eMLS Cup finishers will receive direct seats to the EA SPORTS Global Series Playoffs on the Road to the FIFAe World Cup.
- The first 11 competitors in the field will be determined by total season qualifier points from League Series events
- March 12: Last Change Qualifier - The 12th and final seed from a Last Chance Qualifier tournament on March 12.
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