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While we’re waiting for the Boys in Gold to kick off the 2023 season, Nashville SC’s eMLS competitor Joksan is ready to get started this week.

The 2023 eMLS season is upon us, and Joksan is back for his second season as Nashville’s representative in the competition. After a solid first campaign, he’s ready to go for silverware on the sticks this season. 

“I think last year was a tough year for me because I didn’t know what to expect in my first eMLS season,” Joksan said. “Now with more experience, I’m looking to add a trophy for Nashville.”

Here’s everything you need to know about eMLS and the first competition of the season, eMLS League Series One:

What is eMLS? 

eMLS is Major League Soccer’s eSports competition, in which professional EA Sports FIFA players compete using the latest iteration of the video game series. The season will feature 26 professional EA Sports FIFA players, each representing an MLS club on the virtual pitch as they compete for their share of the record-setting $100,000 season prize pool.

This eMLS season will feature EA Sports FIFA 23 and will be played on the PlayStation 5, marking eMLS’s second season played on the next-generation console.

Who is Nashville SC’s eMLS competitor? 

Nashville SC re-signed Joksan Redona, known in the FIFA community as Joksan, as its eMLS competitor for the second year in a row. Joksan is a three-time FIFA 21 Global Series North America Champion and FIFAe Club World Cup 2020 Champion. He also represents Complexity Gaming, one of America’s premier and longest standing Esports organizations. Follow him on Twitter, Twitch and Instagram.

Last season, Joksan finished in eighth place in the final eMLS standings, reaching the League Series One semifinals and falling in penalties in the first round of eMLS Cup. This season, Joksan starts the year ranked sixth in the eMLS Power Rankings.

What is the 2023 eMLS Schedule? 

League Series 1 presented by Coca-Cola Zero Sugar 

Remote Qualifiers: January 24-25 

Group Stage: January 28 

Final Series: January 29 

League Series 2 presented by Coca-Cola Zero Sugar 

Remote Qualifiers: Feb. 7-8 

Group Stage: Feb. 11 

Final Series: Feb. 12 

eMLS Cup presented by Coca-Cola Zero Sugar 

Last Change Qualifier: March 11 

eMLS Cup: March 12 

What is the prize for winning eMLS? 

In 2023, players will compete for the largest total season prize pool in eMLS history: $100,000. Additionally, The top two players within eMLS Cup get direct bids to the EA SPORTS FIFA 23 Global Series Playoffs. Third and fourth place will get a chance to compete in the EA SPORTS FIFA 23 Global Series Playoffs ‘Play-ins’, effectively putting these four players in prime position to compete in the FIFAe World Cup. 

How does League Series One work?  

League Series One begins with online qualifiers in the evening on Tuesday, Jan. 24 and Wednesday, Jan. 25. Matches will begin at 5 p.m. CT each night. Each competitor will play 13 matches against other eMLS competitors in a round-robin format. The top four finishers from the online qualifiers will receive an automatic bye into the League Series One knockout bracket.  

The online qualifiers for both League Series One and Two will also determine the top 11 players that are automatically placed into the eMLS Cup bracket in March.  

The remaining competitors will be placed into a group stage taking place on Saturday, Jan. 28 live in New York City. The top two players in each of the four groups will advance to the knockout bracket, played on Jan. 29 live in NYC.  

How can I watch?  

The remote qualifiers and group stage will be streamed live on Nashville SC’s Twitch channel. The knockout bracket will be streamed live on MLS’ Twitch and Twitter.  

What are the roster rules?  

Squads for eMLS competitions will be built using the FIFA 23 Ultimate Team mode. Competitors will be required to compete with a minimum of four current MLS players and one MLS hero/retired legend on the pitch at any given time.  

Additionally, players are allowed up to two Icons/Team of the Year players in the Starting XI, as well as up to two non-Icon/TOTY players with an overall rating of 90 or higher. All other current players must have an overall rating of 89 or below.  

Competitors’ benches must consist of up to seven non-Icon players with an overall rating of 89 or below. 

What’s Joksan thinking going into the tournament?  

Joksan says he’s mainly excited for each event to be in-person again, as he tends to perform better in those events over online-only matches. He’ll also be playing his online qualifier matches from Complexity headquarters in Dallas, Texas, allowing for a smooth connection and best gameplay experience.  

Overall, Joksan says he’s ready to start the year strong and build towards eMLS Cup qualification.  

“It’s always very important to start the season well,” Joksan said. “I will make sure to prepare well to put Nashville into the top places.”