Atlanta United’s Paulo Neto is the 2023 eMLS League Series 1 presented by Coca-Cola Zero Sugar champion after defeating Minnesota United FC’s Lamps in dominating fashion in the finals by a score of 9-1.
Paulo earned his position in the Final by emerging from the 12 club-single elimination bracket. This came after traveling to New York City to battle through the Online Qualifiers on Jan. 24-25 and then for the In-Person Group Stage, which was the first in-person League Series event in almost three years.
Last year, Paulo finished top eight in the world while representing eMLS at the 2022 FIFAe World Cup. He was crowned the 2022 eMLS Cup champion as well.
“I’m very happy to win League Series 1 and proud to claim another eMLS title,” said Paulo after the tournament. “I want to thank my family, the fans in Atlanta and Brazil, and the club for the support. I will now turn my focus to League Series 2 and the eMLS Cup to bring more trophies home.”
The top 12 players shared the League Series 1 $25,000 prize pool:
- $10,000 for the winner
- $5,000 for 2nd place
- $2,000 for 3rd/4th
- $1,000 for 5th-8th
- $500 for 9th-12th
Players from 26 clubs will reset for the eMLS League Series 2 on Feb. 7-12, presented by Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which in combination with LS1 Qualifiers will determine the first 11 seeds and participation for the coveted eMLS Cup on March 11-12 during SXSW and a piece of the largest prize pool in eMLS history ($100,000). The 12th seed will be determined via the Last Chance Qualifier on Saturday, March 11th in Austin, TX.
eMLS continues to grow in popularity and captivate global soccer and gaming fans. The 2023 eMLS season features world-class EA SPORTS™ FIFA 23 competitors, compelling competition, and engaging MLS content enhancing the cultural esports and soccer connection. The remote Online Qualifiers and Group Stages of each League Series can be viewed on each MLS club’s or player’s respective Twitch and YouTube channel, and fans can watch the Bracket on twitch.tv/mls.
eMLS has fostered a winning culture both on and off the pitch since 2018, and the League continues to see annual increases in viewership and digital engagement. The 2023 season features a roster of notable partners, including Coca-Cola® Zero Sugar, PlayStation®, DoorDash, and JLab, along with Avant®.