Paulo "Paulo Neto" Neto of Atlanta United won his second consecutive eMLS League Series 1 title, defeating Ehsan "Lamps" Zakeri of Minnesota United 9-1 in aggregate scoring in New York on Sunday. Paulo Neto won the first leg 3-0, and dominated the second as well, 6-1.
The sixth-seeded Paulo Neto made the finals with a 5-3 semifinal win over seventh-seeded Nashville SC's Joksan "Joksan" Redona 5-3 in the aggregate. They tied 3-3 in the first leg, but Neto blanked Redona 2-0 in the second leg.
The top-seeded Lamps qualified for the final by edging No. 5 Alan "AlanAvi" Avila of FC Dallas 5-4 in the other semifinal. They also tied 3-3 in the first leg, but Zakeri eked out the second leg 2-1.
The series bracket of games followed group stage qualifying on Saturday, with remote qualifying taking place earlier in the week.
Paulo Neto was more dominant in the quarterfinals, demolishing third-seeded Mohamed "KingCJ0" Alioune Diop of DC United 9-3, winning the legs 6-2 and 3-1. Lamps also won big in the quarters, dumping No. 8 Nawid "Goal Machine" Noorzai of Toronto FC 8-2, winning both legs 3-1 and 5-1.
AlanAvi had to hang on to win his quarterfinal match 8-6 over the fourth seed, Bruno "CPTBRUNO" Albino of the Portland Timbers. AlanAvi took the first leg 5-2, giving him enough of a cushion to withstand CPTBRUNO's 4-3 edge in the second leg.
Joksan won each leg by one goal in edging No. 2 George "Adamou10" Adamou 5-3 in the other quarterfinal. He took the first leg 1-0 and the second leg 4-3.
In the day's first round, which included players seeded fifth through 12th, Goal Machine defeated ninth-seeded Alix "LOUX11" Largerie of CF Montreal 4-1.
AlanAvi edged 12th-seeded Macisse "CisseSZN" Diop of FC Cincinnati 3-2; Joksan defeated 10th-seeded Niklas "NR7" Raseck of St. Louis City SC 6-3; and Paulo Neto smothered 11th-seeded Thiago "ThiagoCapo12" Capo 3-1.
League Series 2 play, also in New York, begins with remote qualifying Feb. 7-8, continues with group stage action on Feb. 11 and concludes with the final on Feb. 12.
--Field Level Media