2021 has gotten off to a fast start on the esports front for New York City Football Club. Both Chris “NYC Chris” Holly and Josh “NYC Squirrel” Banh finished in top positions at the weekend’s first North American FIFA Global Series Qualifier (NA FGS), and it’s leaving many at the Club and around the eMLS world wondering how high the duo can climb before it’s all said and done.
Chris Holly has been a fixture at the top of the rankings in eMLS for a few years now, and the 2019 eChampions League winner isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Chris put in an excellent showing in the PlayStation bracket of the NA FGS Qualifier before exiting in the penultimate round to the eventual winner, Joksan Redona of Complexity Gaming.
On the Xbox side, NYCFC’s newest esports signing Josh “NYC Squirrel '' Banh made it to the NA FGS Qualifier Grand Final, taking on Alex Exraa of the Vancouver Whitecaps. Banh would score early before ultimately succumbing to Exraa, but there is optimism that this is just the beginning for Squirrel at New York City Football Club.
Second place in the first NA cup of the year. Long year ahead and this placement is something to learn from and also be proud of.— Josh Banh (@SquirrelFIFA) January 10, 2021
Congrats to @AlexExraa he finally was able to showcase his true potential.
Thanks @NYCFC for the support, and we go again next time. 💯💯
No other club or esports organization had two players finish in the top 8, so to have two players finish within the top 3 is an enormous feat that should excite both NYCFC supporters, and the players themselves. Both players are placed favorably in the FIFA Global Rankings, and will need to stay sharp as the year progresses.
Up next is eMLS League Series One on January 16-17. League Series One will be the first of three live-streamed tournaments that each occur over two days and comprise the eMLS season, and will stream on eMLS’ Twitch and Twitter pages, MLSsoccer.com and the free MLS app. The season will continue in February with eMLS League Series Two and conclude in March with eMLS Cup. The three eMLS competitions are presented by Coca-Cola.
Since the competition is PlayStation only, Chris Holly competes in a slate of 14 single-leg qualifying matches, the first having taken place on January 5-6 and the second upcoming on January 12-13. Chris finished the first week of eMLS League Series One qualifying with a 7-0-1 record, topping the standings and accruing 27 goals (2nd highest). The top eight players advance to the two-leg League Series One Tournament on January 16-17. The prize pool for League Series One is $15,000.