Playoffs! In the inaugural MLS Cup presented by PlayStation, the Quakes’ first-ever esports competitor CaliSCG (Alan Otega) has advance to the knockout round. eMLS Cup, the league’s first venture into the world of esports, has been a smashing success for MLS and hopefully now the Quakes. Taking place at PAX East in Boston, the first two days of competition were tight as Cali went 4-4-0 on Thursday & 1-6-2 on Friday.
“These first days were so intense, but I couldn’t be happier,” said Cali. “It wasn’t a pretty way to go in, but we got into the knockout round, so I’m really excited about that. A lot of tough players, all of them are really, really good, but I’m glad I’m able to go represent San Jose at the knockouts.”
Cali dropped in the standings with a rougher day on Friday, but snuck into the playoffs by edging out Colorado Rapids’s BuckArmy & Seattle Sounders FC’s Flickify. eMLS Cup now moves to PAX Arena. The big stage. Rather than being in their own private room, eMLS HQ, the show now moves to the convention’s main floor. A setup with hundreds of seats for audience members, a stage for gameplay and yes, giant screens. The pressure is now on.
“A little nerves shaking, coming into it, but we pulled through, got the results that we wanted & we can now focus on our next opponent.”
To top it off, Cali’s first round, single-elimination, single-game match will be against the undefeated KidM3Mito from Houston Dynamo. He has dominated all comers in the opening days of eMLS Cup, going a staggering 15-0-3.
This all may sound pretty daunting, but like in real-life MLS - get in the playoffs, and anything can happen. In fact, in a warmup game yesterday, Cali actually defeated KidM3Mito. It can be done.
“He went undefeated both days, he’s a phenomenal player, but I have played him in friendlies and I beat him 3-2, so it’s possible. I’m always optimistic and hopefully we can get out there and get the win tomorrow.
All in all, the experience has been extremely rewarding for CaliSCG, as he rarely has the opportunity to travel, and has never been to the East Coast before. He even knows many of the other competitors from online play, so finally getting to meet them in person has been particularly enjoyable.
“I really feel grateful to be in a position like this - going from playing in your bedroom to playing at events. When you walk into the venue you're just awed and amazed by the lights, the displays, just everything going on.”
The Quakes are extremely proud to be represented by CaliSCG and wish him the best in the eMLS Cup Playoffs Saturday with his first match scheduled for 2 PT. Should he advance to the final day of competition, it will take place at PAX Arena on Sunday.
You can watch all eMLS Cup matches going forward on MLS’ Twitch account, beginning at 10 a.m. PT today. Good luck, Cali!