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2020 eMLS season begins this week in Philadelphia for RCTID_Thiago

2020 is here and with it comes the start of the 2020 eMLS season. Portland Timbers competitor Edgar "RCTID_Thiago" Guerrero returns for his third season with the club and is set to join some of the top EA Sports FIFA players in North America this week in Philadelphia for eMLS League Series One, presented by Coca-Cola and PlayStation.

Coming off a strong 2019 season that saw Guerrero make it to the semifinals of the eMLS Cup, here's everything you need to know as the season gets underway.

What is League Series One and how does it work?

League Series One is the first of three eMLS tournaments that will take place in 2020, followed by League Series Two in February – hosted in Portland – and eMLS Cup in March – held at SXSW. Players from 25 MLS teams (including 2021 expansion side Austin FC) will compete to be crowned League Series One champion as well as for points in the 2020 eMLS standings. The League Series One winner will also receive a $7,500 cash prize.

All 25 players will play 12 games during the regular-season portion of the event, which will take place throughout the day on Thursday, Jan. 9 (7 am–2:30 pm PT) and will not be streamed. The top eight overall players (regardless of conference) will qualify for the live-stream portion of the event on Friday, Jan. 10 (3 pm–7:30 pm PT), with the host club (in this case the Philadelphia Union) guaranteed a place on the live stream no matter their player's result.

Can I attend?

Yes! If you happen to be in Philly, you can still sign up to attend the event on Friday evening, which will take place at Union Transfer:

Doors open at 6 pm ET, and the event will run until approximately 10:30 pm ET.

In addition to being able to catch some elite FIFA esports and cheer on your team of choice, those in attendance will also be able to mingle with special guests from the Philadelphia Union, receive exclusive eMLS x Philadelphia Union merchandise, design customized eMLS apparel and play FIFA 20 at open-play stations.

How to watch and follow?

If you can't make it to Union Transfer, fear not. The entirety of Friday's event will be live streamed on Timbers.com, TwitchTwitter and the MLS mobile app.

In addition to the live stream, fans can follow the results of their team's player and get up-to-date standings for both Thursday's non-streamed games (7 am–2 pm PT) and Friday's main event. Be sure to bookmark these pages if you want the latest on how your preferred player is doing:

How are the rosters constructed?

There's a few changes to this year's edition. While all eMLS competitors can construct their FIFA Ultimate Team using any player in the world, the requirement to have more MLS players on the field has increased. Icons, such as historic greats like Patrick Viera or Brazilian great Ronaldo – both of whom are cores to Guerrero's 2020 roster – are an option this season, too. Here's a breakdown:

  • Squads have five MLS players on the field at all times. (Based off of final 2019 MLS rosters)
  • Squads are allowed to have Squad Building Challenge players, Player of the Week, Team of the YEar, and a maximum of two icons.
  • The overall squad rating must be 86 or lower as calculated and shown in-game
  • All players on squad, including subs, must have overall rating of at least 75 each. No player on subs can be higher than 86.

Note: Roster rules can change from tournament to tournament so keep an eye on this as the season progresses.

Tell me more about RCTID_Thiago

A finalist at the 2019 eMLS League Series Two in Dallas, Edgar "RCTID_Thiago" Guerrero was also a Western Conference playoff semifinalist at the 2019 eMLS Cup and a third-place finisher after overall regular-season play. In FIFA 19 FUT Champions PS4 Pro Points standings, The McMinnville, Ore., resident finished the year ranked 21st in the United States in FIFA 19 FUT Champions PS4 Pro Points standings. 

Prior to joining the Timbers, Guerrero played with Club América as an esports FIFA pro teams competitor. Across numerous esports seasons with them, Guerrero won various titles, including four first-division titles, two Copa Pro titles, two SuperCopa Pro titles as well as a Mexican Cup championship title and two Continental Cup titles.

Plus here's a look at Guerrero's competition for the season. LAFC and expansion side Austin FC are both new to the league this year bringing the total amount up to 25 players.

What's that format again?

As eMLS is an Official League Partner of the EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series, the eMLS Cup winner will receive 850 Global Series points, supporting their qualification for the Global Series Playoffs and ultimately the FIFA eWorld Cup, where the winner will be crowned the undisputed FIFA 20 World Champion.

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