Revolution's JAFONSO captures eMLS Cup against Inter Miami’s K1john in bracket final showdown

3_10_24 JAFONSO eMLS Cup champion

AUSTIN, TX (Monday, March 11, 2024) - Major League Soccer (MLS) and EA SPORTS FC Pro concluded the eMLS Cup presented by TikTok tonight with New England Revolution’s João Afonso “JAFONSO” Vasconcelos hoisting the coveted trophy at the iconic ACL Live at the Moody Theater as part of this year’s SXSW. JAFONSO defeated Inter Miami CF’s John “K1john” Kamel by the score of 6-0. While this marks the end of the 2024 eMLS competitive season, JAFONSO and K1john will represent the eMLS with automatic qualification to the EA SPORTS FC Pro World Championship to be held later this Summer.

“I worked all season to achieve this goal of winning the eMLS Cup, and now I am eager to showcase my talents at the FC Pro World Championship,” said JAFONSO who took home $14,000 USD as part of the season’s $75,000 USD prize pool by dominating his three matches today by an aggregate score of 18-3. “My biggest advice for players who want to get to the pro level is to be yourself first. Be confident. Believe in your talents and keep driving to achieve your dreams.”

“It’s tough to get so close to the title, but I am happy with what I accomplished this eMLS season,” said K1john who is from Egypt and worked his way to the pro level through local and amateur tournaments. “Playing in front of the fans definitely gave me a boost of energy, especially with my match against NR7 in the semifinals. I will enjoy the result tonight, but most importantly, I am thrilled that the performance in eMLS Cup qualified me for the FC Pro World Championship, which is the biggest stage we all aspire to play on.”

The 2024 eMLS season featured 22 players from MLS Clubs who navigated two League Series competitions and battled through qualifiers, group play, and finals. In total, 403 matches were played throughout the season. The top six seeds automatically advanced to the eMLS Cup, which included League Series 1 Champion Atlanta United’s Paulo “Paulo Neto” Neto who defeated Austin FC’s Diogo “Diogo” Mendes (5-1) to become the first ever eMLS player to win four eMLS trophies, League Series 2 Champion New England Revolution’s João Afonso “JAFONSO” Vasconcelos who outpaced the 2023 eMLS Cup champion St. Louis CITY SC’s Niklas “NR7 ” Raseck (5-2), along with New York City FC’s Olle “Ollelito” Arbin, Austin’s Diogo "Diogo" Mendes, Charlotte FC’s Gustavo “Gustavo ” Nascimento, and Minnesota United’s Ehsan “Lamps” Zakeri.

The remaining 16 Clubs competed during eMLS Cup Group Stage on March 8 at Austin FC’s Q2 Stadium for the final six slots, which set up the 12 team eMLS Cup bracket final. The six teams to advance were FC Dallas’ Alan “AlanAvi” Avila, Inter Miami CF’s John “K1john ” Kamel,  Philadelphia Union’s Thiago Martin “ThiagoCapo12” Vazquez, New York Red Bulls’ Cormac “doolsta” Dooley, D.C. United’s Mohamed “KingCJ0 ” Diop, and St. Louis CITY SC’s  Niklas “NR7” Raseck.

The 22 eMLS stars also interacted with the fans on gaming stations prior to the start of the Austin FC vs. St. Louis CITY SC match at Q2 Stadium on March 9.  Hundreds of fans had the opportunity to compete with some of the best esports players in the world with the perfect crossover of the real and digital pitch.

“This was the culmination of an incredible season, representing the global growth of our league with a great mix of international players alongside former eMLS champions, who showed us why they’re among the best in the world,” said Jesse Perl, MLS VP of Brand Marketing. “The excitement and buzz from the fans in attendance tonight was electric as they came out to support their Clubs competing at the highest level of esports competition.”

“It’s been a memorable inaugural season of eMLS competing in EA SPORTS FC Pro,” said Sam Turkbas, FC Pro Commissioner. “We can’t wait to see JAFONSO and K1john compete on the global stage in the first EA SPORTS FC Pro World Championship and continue to showcase their skills and tenacity to try and win it all.”

The three eMLS bracket finals were streamed across MLS’ Twitch and YouTube channels, led by its all-star commentary crew in host Faizal Khamisa, play-by-play announcer and reigning Esports Awards Caster of the Year Dan Gaskin, and commentator Mike Labelle.

Fans in attendance enjoyed limited edition eMLS giveaways, a custom photo booth that digitally placed fans’ photos in front of a special eMLS backdrop, EA SPORTS FC 24 open-play stations to play against each other, and an MLS Jersey Tunnel.

The 2024 season features a roster of notable partners, including TikTok, DoorDash, EA SPORTS, and Avant.

eMLS Cup results at a glance:

Knockout Round
(7) AlanAvi def. (10) Doolsta - 5-3 (ET)
(6) Lamps def. (11) KingCJ0 - 4-3
(8) K1john def. (9) ThiagoCapo12 - 4-3
(12) NR7 def. (5) Gustavo - 7-1

Quarterfinal Round
(8) K1john def. (1) Paulo Neto - 8-4
(12) NR7 def. (4) Diogo - 5-4 (ET)
(2) JAFONSO def. (7) AlanAvi - 7-1
(3) Ollelito def. (6) Lamps - 7-3

Semifinal Round
(2) JAFONSO def. (3) Ollelito - 5-2
(8) K1john def. (12) NR7 - 9-3