Our eSports player finished second overall in eMLS League Series Two
Dallas, Texas. We aren’t here for a rodeo, not even a barbecue; actually, it’s already time for the second tournament of the eMLS season. There are a lot of questions swirling before the eMLS League Series Two gets underway, especially regarding the new FIFA 19 patch, which changes the way goals are scored; no more timed finesse shots off one-timers that almost always find the back of the net. More inventiveness will be needed to pierce the opposing defense and score a goal.
My strategy while preparing for this tournament was clear. I needed to score more goals if I hoped to finish among the top four in the Eastern Conference. I therefore opted for a 4-4-2 with Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Flashback card up top, a monstrous duo that helped me accomplish my mission: in the end, I scored one more goal than I did in Los Angeles, during eMLS League Series One.
Sunday morning, at 8:30am, we left our hotel and made our way to the National Soccer Hall of Fame, located inside of Toyota Stadium, the home of FC Dallas. We were surprised to learn upon arriving that every regular season game was going to be played inside the first team’s dressing room! It’s not every day you’re in that type of environment; if it impressed a few players, I quickly moved on to breakfast and focused on the task at hand.
My schedule was the same as for the first tournament, in Los Angeles, which means my day started with a game against Mike LaBelle from the New York Red Bulls, a 3-0 victory that could’ve been even more decisive. Next up was FIFA Abe from Orlando City SC. Once again, I scored three goals on route to a 3-1 win. An excellent start to this exciting day.
After these two matchups came two very difficult meetings. The Philadelphia Union’s player and champion of eMLS League Series One, doolsta, was ready to go. He took a 2-0 lead, and despite my best efforts, I ended up losing 2-1. After, it was Phil’s turn to face me, from Toronto FC. Phil is a very defensive player who enjoys having all his players in front of his 18-yard box when he isn’t in possession. So, even though I had 60% of possession, he opened the scoring. I continued to search for an equalizer and found it at the 94th minute...it’s starting to become a trend against him!
The next four games were complicated, but manageable. I tied Atlanta 1-1, I beat Chicago 2-1, tied again against Columbus 2-2, and beat D.C. United 4-1, the same result as in Los Angeles, ironically. At that point, I was ranked among the highest, but I needed to continue winning since only two points separated first and sixth place.
I lost again to Fiddle, FC Cincinnati’s player. He plays a very offensive game and takes a lot of risks, but it works for him. Final score 3-0, and suddenly ranking in the top four seemed like a much harder task, but I finished well by beating JKO1707 from the New England Revolution 1-0 with a late goal, and my rival, NYC_Chris from NYCFC, 2-1. This meant I finished the day second overall and qualified for the playoffs!
By finishing second, I faced the player who finished third in the regular season standings in the quarterfinal game. Destiny wanted it to be Phil from Toronto FC…I dominated the first half hour, without capitalizing on my chances. Phil opened the scoring in the first half. Then, in the 70th minute, Nacho Piatti allowed me to tie the game, but a lucky goal late in the contest knocked me out of the tournament.
After it was all said and done, I found myself fourth in the Eastern Conference, with 42 points in 22 games and only four points behind second place. If the ultimate goal is still to finish in the top five and qualify for the eMLS Cup, finishing second will give me a first round bye in the playoffs. Until then, I’ll continue training and preparing, which you can follow through my Twitch account.