American gamer heads to FIFA eWorld Cup

In August, 32 of the best FIFA 18 Xbox and PlayStation players will battle it to become global champion. Yet unlike the actual World Cup, the e-sport version has an American representative from the MLS's e-league.

James Ruth is in charge of all things e-sports for Major League Soccer, which jumped into the professional gaming world in January. Ruth says it was a natural fit for the league.

The engagement through the world of e-sports has helped grow the game in the United States. Ruth said that creating eMLS was an opportunity to connect with existing MLS fans as well as find new ones.

In early April, the league held the first eMLS Cup, where six of their gamers qualified for FIFA's Global Series Playoffs. More than 20 million people worldwide have competed for a chance to get there. The Global Series, which took place in Amsterdam just a few weeks ago, featured 128 of the world's best FIFA 18 players.

Of those, 32 moved on to the Grand Final, including one of the MLS's own—Alekzandur of Sporting Kansas City. He is the sole American competing in the FIFA eWorld Cup Final, August 2–4 in London.