TAMPA, Fla. – A three-way Texas showdown highlighted the draw for the USL eCup: Rocket League Edition unveiled on Wednesday evening, with Copa Tejas rivals El Paso Locomotive FC, Rio Grande Valley FC and San Antonio FC all landing in Group 4 of the 32-team tournament that will kick off next Tuesday night.
The Toros, Locomotive FC and SAFC will be joined by Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in the four-team group, with current Copa Tejas title-holder Austin Bold FC sitting in Group 2 of the World Cup-style event. El Paso will be hoping its eSports pedigree – Locomotive FC also features a eSports team led by Manager Edwin Moreno – can carry it through to the knockout stage.
Other regional rivalries are highlighted throughout the group stage, with Louisville City FC and North Carolina FC paired off in Group 1 alongside Reno 1868 FC and Tacoma Defiance. Group 2 includes the Charleston Battery and South Georgia Tormenta FC, who will take to the digital arena in 2020 after meeting previously on the field in exhibitions and the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
The rivalry between Birmingham Legion FC and Memphis 901 FC will also get the chance to play out in the digital arena as they sit in Group 8 with Forward Madison FC and FC Tulsa, while two of the league’s highest-profile clubs are matched up in Group 3 with Phoenix Rising FC and San Diego Loyal SC joined by Toronto FC II and the Philadelphia Union II.
The tournament’s group stage set to run between Tuesday, March 31 and Friday, April 10, with a complete schedule available on the USL eCup: Rocket League Edition’s official webpage.
Each group stage match will be a best-of-three between the two players. Each team will play once during Week 1 of the group stage, and then twice in Week 2. The winner of each best-of-three series will receive three points in the group standings while the loser departs empty-handed.
The top two teams from each group will then advance to the knockout stage of the tournament, which will be held between Monday, April 13 and Saturday, April 25. Knockout round matches will be staged in a best-of-five series through the Round of 16, Quarterfinals and Semifinals, with the Final to be staged over a best-of-seven series to crown the winner of the tournament’s inaugural edition on the final day.