After months of preparation, the first eMLS event of the 2019 season is here. On Tuesday, Orlando City eSports competitor Abe Valbuena will square off against 21 others from MLS in League Series One in Los Angeles.
The first of two League Series events will help determine the seeding for eMLS Cup presented by PlayStation in March. In turn, eMLS Cup participants will earn points for the EA SPORTS Global Series Playoffs, which give gamers a chance to qualify for the 2019 FIFA eWorld Cup.
We caught up with Abe before he headed to Los Angles and also got a sneak peek at his roster.
Q: Moving into your second year of eMLS, how have you improved?
A: After examining my game-play from year 1 of eMLS, I noticed a lot of flaws in my game in which I've improved this year. I've improved by focusing more on having more possession on the ball than launching it forward as well as being less predictable on offense.
Q: How was the transition to FIFA 19 and do you feel it benefited your style of play?
A: In comparison to FIFA 18, the game has slowed down. It really forced to change the way I play but it really benefited me in the long run.
Q: What are your thoughts on the new eMLS format?
A: I think the new format will really give everyone a good shot at adjusting to the way that other teams play. It will make things much more interesting for League Series 2 and the eMLS CUP.
Q: How have you prepared for the upcoming season?
A: My main focus this year was to study other eMLS Rivals' gameplay/tactics and determine what is the best game-plan to counter them. I believe it is very important to analyze your opponent before every match just like in real-world soccer.
Q: Break down your roster for us.
A: For my roster, I chose mostly the newly released TOTY cards(Ronaldo, Modric, Messi etc.) As for my 3 MLS players, I chose Piatti to be my "playmaker", Higuita as one of two "box-to-box" midfielders, and the rapid Chris "Cash" Mueller on the Right Wing. Surrounded with some this year's Team of the Year, I believe I have one of the strongest teams in the conference.
Editors Note: Abe adjusts his formation at the start of each match, so the actual positions aren’t reflected in this graphic.
Fans will be able to attend the event, which will take place at the Esports Arena in Santa Ana, California, with doors opening at 5:30 pm PT, and can register to attend here.
Fans outside unable to attend will be able to watch the event via live stream. Be sure follow @eMLS for the latest details for this event, as well as eMLS League Series Two (set to take place in Dallas in February), eMLS Cup and more.