USL announced Monday they have concluded the USL eCup FIFA20 Edition tournament. Rio Grande Valley FC took the overall prize, beating out New York Red Bulls II for the top crown.
Sacramento Republic didn’t make the podium, but they finished the competition in a tie for 10th place, a good showing considering there were 32 teams in the competition altogether. Club fan Justin Sterk teamed up with Republic FC players Rafael Diaz and Juan Barahona, and playing as Mexico in the FIFA20 game, put together a fine showing including two promotions over the four weeks of play.
The reason the competition ended a bit earlier than originally planned (which was supposed to be for six weeks) was for two reasons. One, it was because current events and protests around the country left the league wanting to amplify black voices around the league in lieu of the diversion of playing video games, USL SVP of Digital, Emerging Technology and Strategy Lizzie Seedhouse told Indomitable City Soccer as part of an interview on Monday.
The other reason was to allow clubs and pro players the ability to focus on the USL Championship’s tentative restart of July 11, with USL League One set to start their 2020 regular season a week later.
“We are extremely grateful to the participating clubs for their drive and commitment to making the tournament a success,” said Seedhouse in a statement on the end of the USL eCup. “Both versions of the eCup were new ventures for us and our teams and now we are collectively looking forward to shifting our excitement and focus back on the 2020 seasons in the Championship and League One.”
So the twin reasons of letting real life take over and preparing for real-world soccer to restart certainly make sense. USL tried some stuff during the three-plus month layoff due to the coronavirus, and I’m surprised, for not being someone into watching eSports before this, I found the tournament to be fairly entertaining.
Congrats to Sac Republic for a solid showing, and best of luck in the ramp up to soccer coming back (fingers crossed, etc).
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