MLB to Launch Virtual Esports Season Featuring Star Players

The Players League will include 30 athletes, former All-Stars and World Series champions among them, who will compete in an inaugural online event raising money for Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Canada.

Major League Baseball (MLB) and Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) revealed Friday a new iteration of video game series MLB The Show that will solely feature Major League players. 

The MLB The Show Players League will feature 30 athletes, including former All-Stars and World Series champions, who will compete in an inaugural online event raising money for Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Canada. Donations of $5,000 from MLB, MLBPA and the SIE will be made on behalf of each participating player.

"Their contributions will help support our efforts in communities around the country to provide critical meals, support for first responders’ children and virtual learning to kids, families and communities," said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, in a statement. "For more than 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs have navigated times of tragedy and crisis to provide safe places for kids and teens. Today, amid the current crisis, we are committed more than ever to ensure Club staff, members, families, and communities have the resources and support they need."

Participants will play each team once throughout April, for a total of 29 three-inning games. Onward, the top eight teams will advance to the postseason, culminating in a World Series. 

League players will include Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays; Ian Happ of the Chicago Cubs; Gavin Lux of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Amir Garrett of the Cincinnati Reds; and Jeff McNeil of the New York Mets. 

During the season, sports journalist and MLB Network host Robert Flores will be on hand to provide commentary, recaps and analysis, as well as interview players before and after games. 

The event kicks off April 10 with the Tampa Bay Rays playing the Cincinnati Reds. It can be streamed on Twitch and YouTube, among other digital platforms, at 9 p.m. ET.

The Twitter account for MLB The Show will have all the latest updates on streaming times of future games.