MONTREAL -- Montreal Impact pro gamer Mehdi (Mehdibob) Benghalem was eliminated from the 2020 eMLS Cup on Friday, losing 2-0 to New England's John (JKO) Oliveira in the first round of the Last Chance Qualifier Bracket.

The US$20,000 tournament features 25 pro FIFA 20 players, each representing an MLS team. The champion will be crowned Sunday.

The top 11 competitors in total season points after the first two eMLS events of the year (League Series One and Two) qualified directly for the final stage of the tournament, with the top four earning a first-round bye.

The four are Vancouver Whitecaps gamer Alex (Exraa) Gonzalez, FC Cincinnati's Gordon (Fiddle) Thornsberry, Atlanta United's Paulo Neto and New York City FC's Chris (Didychrilito) Holly.

Thornberry is the No. 1 seed after winning both League Series events.

The remaining 14 competitors -- including Benghalem -- played in the single-elimination qualifier Friday to determine the 12th seed. The last player standing will advance to the main bracket to face LAFC's Martin (RemiMartinn) Oregel with the winner taking on Vancouver's Gonzalez in the quarterfinals.

Toronto FC's Philip (PhilB94) Balke will face 2019 winner Cormac (Doolsta) Dooley of Nashville SC with the winner moving into the final eight against Neto, a Brazilian teenager who beat Balke in May en route to winning the eMLS Tournament Special along with Atlanta defender Franco Escobar.

The eMLS Cup had originally been scheduled for March 15 at SXSW in Austin, Texas, before it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Competitors will be playing in a modified version of FIFA 20's most popular game mode, FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT), which allows gamers to build a team comprised of the best players from across world soccer and even past legends of the game.

The eMLS competitors will also be required to have MLS representation in their team.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 26, 2020.