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PREVIEW: Austin FC to host eMLS Cup esports championship at SXSW

Austin FC esports player John (xVERDE) Garcia will compete at the eMLS Cup in Austin on Sunday. (Austin FC/Twitter)

Austin FC will take a break from the pitch and join in the SXSW festivities as the club hosts Major League Soccer's esports finals at ACL Live on Sunday.

The Moody Theater will welcome the best esports players of EA Sports FIFA 22, including Austin FC's 11th-seed competitor John Bitsoe Garcia (who goes by the gamer tag xVERDE,) for the final round of the virtual tournament.

The winner will take more than just bragging rights for themselves and their MLS team—they'll also have a grand prize of $35,000 at stake and have a chance at qualifying for the FIFAe World Cup title.

The free event is open to SXSW goers and the general public alike starting at 2 p.m., with the final beginning at 5:30 p.m.

While it won't have the same gameday atmosphere as Austin FC's Q2 Stadium, the action-packed event will be announced by the club's own Michael Lahoud and will include free drink tickets, an Adidas sneaker giveaway, customizable eMLS Cup jerseys and an afterparty with live music from KennyHoopla. Fans will also be able to test out their gaming skills themselves with plenty of open-play FIFA 22 stations.


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