When COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the 2020 eMLS Cup at SXSW, LAFC's RemiMartinn was devastated. The announcement came just a week before the event. Remi, in his first season as LAFC's eMLS player, had qualified as the No. 5 seed in the competition after strong performances in the two eMLS League Series events this season.
Finding out he'd get a second chance when eMLS revised and rescheduled the 2020 eMLS Cup via a remote broadcast to be held on June 28, Remi's focus hasn't faltered.
"Since then, it's been on my mind every single day," Remi said on Thursday as he prepared for Sunday's event.
A shot at a trophy and $20,000 is on the line. Twenty-five of the top professional FIFA players in North America will be involved in the championship set to stream on Twitch and MLSsoccer.com. Here's a look at the 2020 eMLS Cup presented by Coca-Cola and Playstation:
2020 eMLS Cup presented by Coca-Cola and Playstation | Jun 28 at 10 am PT
Where To Watch
Eleven players qualified automatically as a result of their performances in the League Series One and Two events in eMLS this season. Those 11 were seeded based on performance with the Top 4 receiving a bye in the first round.
The remaining 14 competitors will compete in the Last Chance Bracket for the 12th and final spot in the eMLS Cup tournament bracket. Matches in the Last Chance Bracket are single-elimination. Win or go home. The play-in tournament will take place on June 26.
As the No. 5 seed, RemiMartinn is set to face the winner of the Last Chance Bracket in the first round of eMLS Cup.
Some big changes coming to the way players build their teams in this competition.
Players must start each match with a minimum of eight MLS Team of the Season members. LAFC has the most of any MLS side with three players on the MLS TOTS - Carlos Vela, Eduard Atuesta, and Diego Rossi. The remaining players must be MLS players (Gold or lower) and all subs must also be MLS players. No legends, no players from outside leagues.
What RemiMartinn Is Saying Ahead Of The Tournament
Remi on the new roster rules: "It's a big change. In the events we were playing in, we would use the highest rated Legends and Icons. But I think it adds a different twist to competitive FIFA that viewers haven't seen before. FIFA event viewers are used to seeing icons like "Gullits" and "Vierias" but I think it adds a nice twist to it. It's a bit different. But it's also fun as well.
On LAFC having the most TOTS players: "I won't lie to you, it might feel a little weird if I get scored on by an LAFC player. But it's a good feeling knowing there are a lot of LAFC players to use on the Team of the Season."
What To Watch For
Goals, Goals, Goals: Remi is keeping his roster choices close to the vest. But he did hint at the playing style he'll build his team for. "I mean, goals. Goals galore. If anybody knows LAFC, that's what they're made of. So that's what I'm going for."
Rivalry Final?: The Galaxy's eMLS player Godfather is set to face RCTID Thiago's Portland Timbers in the first round of the competition. Remi and Godfather are on opposite sides of the bracket. If they're to face each other in this tournament, it can only happen in the final.
First-Round Matchup: Qualifying as the No. 5 seed means RemiMartinn narrowly missed out on a first-round bye. As a result, he'll face the winner of the Last Chance Bracket. I asked Remi if it's weird not knowing whole he'll face to start the tournament: "It might be better to not know who your opponent is. It adds a different element to it. You're thinking about it, but it's not on your mind every day. I think it's better I don't know who I am paying because I just have to be on my toes."