eCup Dates & Challenge Cup Announced

by Joe Meyer

The Lower League eCup is excited to announce its first annual “Challenge Cup” and further details regarding the dates and format of the 2022 Lower League eCup. The 2022 tournament will commence on Tuesday, January 11th, and will be contested over six weeks, culminating in Championship Week from February 21st-24th.

Tournament festivities will get underway with the group stage draw on Friday, December 31st. This year's draw will not be live-streamed due to logistical challenges but will be released live on social media. The schedule will be released shortly thereafter on Sunday, January 2nd. Pre-tournament festivities conclude an optional, single-elimination preseason tournament scheduled for the night of Friday, January 7th.

This year’s tournament will mark the first edition of the Lower League eCup’s “Challenge Cup”, a one-week play-in tournament between the Group Stage & Knockout Stage. The Challenge Cup will feature every participant that fails to qualify for the Knockout Stage during group play. Participating clubs will be divided into single-elimination brackets of approximately four-to-six clubs. The winners of each bracket will advance to the knockout stage where they will join participants that qualified directly through Group Stage results.

The Knockout Stage berths allotted to Challenge Cup Winners will take the place of “Wild Card” berths in previous eCups. In 2020 and 2021, organizations finishing outside the top two of their group were selected for “Wild Card” berths based solely on their records during the group stage, and there were no "play-in" matches.

“We’re excited to reveal the Challenge Cup as an innovative, merit-based system of allotting Wild Card berths”, said eCup President Joe Meyer. “The Challenge Cup also guarantees that all participants will have an opportunity to compete in competitive and meaningful matches beyond the group stage for the first time in eCup history.”

Listed below is an overview of dates for the 2022 Lower League eCup.

Optional Preseason Tournament: Friday, January 7th (One Night)

Group Stage: Tuesday, January 11th - Sunday, January 30th

Challenge Cup: Wednesday, February 2nd - Sunday, February 6th

Round of 16: Wednesday, February 8th - Sunday, February 13th

Quarterfinals: Sunday, February 13th - Friday, February 18th

Final Four: Monday, February 21st - Thursday, February 24th