Edwin Castro, better known as Castro_2021, is one of the FIFA community’s most popular content creators; with 3.3 million Twitch followers. He was streaming FIFA 22 live to thousands when an “Important Notice” screen popped up, informing him he had been permanently banned from the FUT transfer market for “FUT Coin distribution.” Castro was visibly and audibly as shocked, upset, and confused as his audience.
The aftermath included many players coming out about their own experiences, saying they too had been wrongfully banned for FUT Coin distribution. Castro’s theory is that him dropping a large amount of FIFA points on Black Friday, and purchasing FUT Red Player Picks cards possibly triggered an automated enforcement system. These kinds of card are earned through Weekend League matches, and players aren’t suppose to be able to trade them. However, there is no mechanism in place to keep them from being sold, nor did Castro abuse any meta-factors to do so. Castro’s FIFA play is broadcasted on a public platform, so any attempts to engage in FUT Coin distribution would be easily detected, and a manual review would have stopped this ban from ever happening.
This is clearly becoming a prevalent problem within the games community, with Castro’s high profile case drawing extra attention to it. One user on EA’s official answers forum, claimed to have a received a ban for FUT Coin distribution, despite never playing the FIFA Ultimate Team game mode. A community manager for EA responded, stating that the terms of service team had investigated the ban manually and upheld the decision. There’s still speculation that the initial ban system is automated, and cases of wrongful bans keep popping up everyday. Lucky for Castro, he’s a public figure and had his ban reviewed and overturned pretty swiftly; but the average FIFA player without that luxury is still waiting for a resolution to this problem.
In the latest FIFA 22 squad update, Manchester United’s young forward, Mason Greenwood, has received a boost to his in-game stats. Greenwood has surprised many with his strong form, having scored four goals in nine Premiere League appearances for United so far. The 20-year-old is proving to be a bright prospect, and his team isn’t the only one who’s taken notice to it! EA Sports has kept an eye on the Englishmen’s performance since the start of the season, and the plan is for his in-game player to accurately represent his elevated form.
Greenwood’s overall rating received a one point bump, going from 78 to 79. His potential rating saw the same increase, going from 89 to 90. This may not seem like a lot, but these numbers are a result of various increases in ability stats. Greenwood’s curve and volley saw a two point increase, and they now sit at 78 and 70 respectively. His positioning stat rose from 79 to 82, while his reactions stat went up by one from 77 to 78. The biggest stat bump went to his defensive awareness rating, which gained five points from 35 to 40.
The squad update also gave Greenwood a boost to his skill move rating, which means he now possesses four-star skill moves and a five-star weak foot. FIFA players will not only be more apt to playing with him, but this makes Manchester United that much more of a stacked roster. The team is already home to stars like Christiano Ronaldo, who is one of only four players on United who best Greenwood’s boost to four-star skill moves. Greenwood, however, remains the only player for his club with a five-star weak foot. Greenwood’s continued improvement spells great things for his United and FIFA players who will undoubtedly take advantage of the improved ratings.
EA Sports released a statement on their website detailing the future of football and the FIFA series. The developer is considering renaming the series and rebranding the games going forward. On a business level this make sense, but what does this mean for players?
FIFA is essentially synonymous with football games at this point, and fans of the series may have grown attached to the name. However, EA Sports has plans to expand the games in a way that can get pigeonholed by continually bearing the name of one particular association. In their statement, EA explains a bit about this vision, saying:
“We continually invest in the partnerships and licenses that are most meaningful to players… The breadth of our partnerships and our ecosystem of licensed content will enable us to continue to bring unrivaled authenticity in our EA SPORTS football games”
FIFA may be EA’s most high-profile partnership, but they license over 700 teams and more than 30 leagues from around the world. There’s also interest in expanding the inclusion of women’s and grassroots football. EA feels as if the FIFA name does not accurately represent the broader vision for the future of the series.
What this means is that players can look forward to an even larger scale game with new content. That includes more leagues, a deeper dive into women’s football, as well as the different depictions and licenses that come along with that. There may be a nostalgia aspect to the FIFA name, but it’ll be traded for the ability to play in new locations and with new players as the game expands. Business wise, this change has been a long time coming; with many who feel the games have done more for the actual association than licensing the name ever did for EA. From a players perspective the name doesn’t matter as much, but the direction in which this means the series is going definitely does.
Gaming YouTuber, Vizeh, was able to access the FIFA 22 closed beta and revealed a lot information for FIFA players. Two of the most important aspects he touched on was the noticeable difference in game physics, and a huge change to off-chemistry gameplay. He described the players as feeling “heavy” when controlled, while the ball felt extremely “light.” He also confirms that using players off-chemistry actually impacts the way they perform.
When playing the beta, Vizeh was able to experience controlling high level dribblers, like 98-rated Neymar, as well as lower level ball handlers. There seemed to be no difference in the “heavy” mechanics he experienced across different players. In contrast, the ball seemed to ricochet wildly, travel 30 yards, and bounce up to seven times a half. According to Vizeh, these mechanics make it more challenging to execute passes and hurts the overall game feel. This translates to difficult dribbling and inconsistent physics during gameplay.
He also play-tested using players off-chemistry, and the impact this has on the game in FIFA 22‘s beta is far ahead of where is was in previous editions. Plugging in players anywhere seemed to have little to no consequence in past FIFA‘s. This year, playing a right back or left back at center is not as affective as it once was; quite the opposite actually. Vizeh describes being able to feel the difference in how these players moved with the ball and the lack of comfortability in their new positions. These changes will not only impact gameplay, but could affect the FIFA esports scene as well.
If the mechanics Vizeh described exist in the final version of the game, it could lead to more fast-paced matches with frequent possession switches. It’s likely that the odd and sometimes random off-chemistry lineups players created in past years will start to disappear quickly as the games developers lean into a more realistic style of play. It will be interesting to see the communities reaction to these changes when FIFA 22 releases on October 1st.
International football has returned in the form of two tournaments taking place in parallel. In the eastern hemisphere we have the Euros 2020; in the west is the 2021 Copa America. Fifa has introduced a special event named Festival of FUTball to celebrate this occasion.
What is the Festival of FUTball?
The Festival of FUTball is an event based on the stars of international tournaments. This isn’t the first time this event has taken place, as a similar event was introduced on FIFA 18 for the 2018 World Cup. A squad was released after each “matchday”, followed by a Team of the Tournament combining all the best cards from the promo.
Path to Glory
One of the highlights of the latest Festival of FUTball is the Path to Glory Items. Essentially these are players have represented their national team at least once in their careers. This includes both the youth and the senior men’s national teams.
These Special Items upgrade based on the number of times their National Team wins from June 11, 2021, to July 16, 2021. The format for upgrade is as follows:
3 Wins = +2 OVR Upgrade
4 Wins = +1 OVR Upgrade
5 Wins = +1 OVR Upgrade
6 Wins = 5*/5* Weak Foot/Skill Moves Upgrades
For example, France won its first game against Germany last Wednesday, which gives the Antoine Griezmann Path to Glory player its first point. Although it tied with Hungary on Saturday, Antoine Griezmann will not receive a point since the entire event revolves around team wins, rather than individual performance.
Path of Glory Team 1:
The first set of Path to Glory players arrived at the start of the Festival of FUTball event. The 1st team features some great new cards, and the added potential of getting better would make them lethal in FUT matches. Here are all the players from the 1st set of Path of Glory Items:
Kai Havertz (OVR 95)
Antoine Griezmann (OVR 95)
Phil Foden (OVR 94)
Marcos Llorente (OVR 94)
Matthijs de Ligt (OVR 94)
Marco Verratti (OVR 94)
Marcos Acuna (OVR 94)
Davinson Sanchez (OVR 93)
Vinicius Jr (OVR 93)
Serge Gnabry (OVR 93)
Yusuf Yazici (OVR 92)
Denis Zakaria (OVR 91)
Thorgan Hazard (OVR 90)
Alexander Golovin (OVR 90)
Path of Glory Team 2:
The second set of items in the Path of Glory series have been released. EA has stated that the Team 2 cards will start tracking from the same date as Team 1, so you won’t have to worry if they are released after a couple of matches. Similar to the 1st team, Team 2 features some of the best names of International Football. Here is the full list of players in Path of Glory Team 2:
The second round of qualifying for the FIFAe Club World Cup has concluded while clear favourites begin to emerge.
There are six qualifying zones which are divided into conferences. These conferences are then split into divisions 1-3.
The top two teams in each conference at the end of the qualifying rounds will qualify for the FIFAe Club World Cup on February 24-28. Additionally, the two best teams in the Consistency Rankings at that time will also qualify.
With a larger number of teams taking part, Zone 4 will be organising additional play-offs to decide FIFAe Club World Cup qualification.
Only two weeks of qualifying remain with Zone 1’s matches kicking off next Thursday.
FIFAe Club World Cup qualifying results after Week 2
Japanese squad, Blue United eFC secured first place in Zone 2 after losing just one game in the first qualifying week. They have a total of 300 consistency points.
Zone 3 saw Saudi Arabians, Tuwaiq eSports Club, lose to 25eSports in the final of week two but they took first place in the consistency rankings with 540 points.
With a total of 14 conferences, Zone 4 had a lot of action with some interesting storylines. Ellevens and VFL Bochum are joint top of the consistency rankings in Conference 1 with 500 points.
Fnatic are on top in Conference 2 with a dangerous roster of Tekkz and Harry whilst RBLZ Gaming come second in Conference 3 but top the consistency rankings.
Team Vitality top the rankings in Conference 4 and Team Gullit sit on the maximum of 600 points in Conference 5.
Another team on maximum consistency points is NEO who have been dominant throughout. Only two other teams, HexoN eSports and Burnley FC have the maximum number of consistency points.
The complete set of qualifying results so far are available on the fifa.gg website.
With only two weeks of qualifying left, we will soon find out who qualifies for this year’s FIFAe Club World Cup.
An update has been provided by EA SPORTS on the FIFA 21 Global Series viewership rewards program that allows viewers to earn FGS Player Tokens.
Last month, EA SPORTS announced that viewers who watch the Global Series for at least 60 minutes of an eligible event will earn a guaranteed FGS Player Token. These can be redeemed for Untradeable Pack Rewards in FUT 21.
However, viewers have now been given more flexibility to watch events and earn their tokens. EA announced on December 1 that on five weekends during the FGS Swaps 1 season, viewers will be able to tune in to multiple eligible events in order to earn one FGS Player Token.
EA have made it clear that viewers will only be able to earn one token per weekend but they can now have the opportunity to earn the reward by watching any of the eligible events on the designated weekends.
The first event where viewers can earn their tokens will kick-off on December 5 for the West Asia Regional Qualifier 1 or the South America Regional Qualifier 1. These can be watched on the EA SPORTS Twitch channel.
As well as the viewership rewards update, EA also revealed that all of their South America regional broadcasts will be available in Spanish on a Spanish EA Twitch channel and Brazilian Portuguese on a Brazilian EA Twitch channel. These broadcasts will also be eligible for the FGS Player Token reward for that weekend.
The ePremier league makes a return for its third season with registration opening in the beginning of December.
The EA SPORTS FIFA 21 tournament offers UK-based players the chance to represent their favourite Premier League club.
Registration for the ePremier League opens at 17:00 GMT on Thursday 3 December and can be completed by visiting e.premierleague.com. All participants must be aged 16 or over and play on either Xbox One or PlayStation 4.
Matches will then take place between all 20 clubs for four months. Online qualification will lead to club playoffs which will come to a climax at the ePL Finals in March/April 2021.
This season’s finals will again be broadcast live on Sky Sports, Premier League channels and the EA SPORTS FIFA Twitch channel.
The prize pot this year remains unchanged with a £40,000 overall prize being shared out between the top four.
Watford’s “Hashtag Tom” Leese won last year’s ePremier League title. He defeated Bournemouth’s Marc “MarcMarleyyy” Marley in the grand final and took home £20,000.
Last year’s champion said: “I would recommend the competition to FIFA players as ePL is a massive tournament with a lot of people watching.
“It also gives you the unique chance to try and represent your favourite Premier League team. And if you’re looking to break into professional FIFA then this is the perfect opportunity for UK gamers to showcase their talent.”
As well as taking home the trophy and a cash prize, the top ranking players will be offered seats at the EA SPORTS FIFA 21 Global Series European Playoffs.
The FIFA 20 season was unlike any other season in the history of the esport. After a giant shift to online gameplay, pro players competed for prizes from the comfort of their own home.
A below par total of $1,144,673.72 was awarded in prizes during FIFA 20 over 39 tournaments. This sum makes it the lowest prize money total since FIFA 17 three years ago.
Matches were played under different circumstances than normal, but they were entertaining nonetheless. Despite the widespread issues caused by the pandemic, the season still went ahead and was arguably a big success.
With the help of Esports Earnings, we have broken down the top five highest earning players from a very turbulent year of competing. (Prize money only).
5. Msdossary – $42,000
Msdossary is considered one of the greatest FIFA players in the world. He won the FIFA eWorld Cup in 2018 and has a total of $568,865.00 earnt in his career.
Last season the Saudi Arabian placed second in the FUT Champions Cup Stage 4 and first place in the Middle East and Africa Summer Cup series. Although his performances weren’t up to his usual standard, the online format and his home location undoubtedly hindered his gameplay to some extent.
4. Zezinho – $57,500
Zezinho is a Brazilian born FIFA player who competes under DUX Gaming. He has earned a total of $115,500 in his career with last year being his highest income by far.
The 21-year-old won the FUT Champions Cup Stage 4 alongside average placings in other tournaments across the year. Now on a new team, it will be interesting to see if he can carry his form into next season.
3. Ollelito – $61,607.12
The Swedish star had an impressive season considering the change in format. He won the FUT Champions Cup Stage 3 and also won the European Summer Cup Series.
His talent truly shone last year and he proved that he can compete among the top dogs. Ollelito’s future in competitive FIFA looks very bright.
2. NRaseck – $62,000
NRaseck has been in the competitive FIFA scene for many years. His total earnings amount to an impressive $157,409.43.
The German won FUT Champions Cup Stage 3 on November 24, 2019. He also placed third in the eChampions League 2020 invitational under his new team, Guild Esports.
1. TekKz – $79,802.47
TekKz is one of the most talented young esports competitors in the world. At the age of 18, his total career earnings of $377,927.47 is almost hard to believe.
The youngster looked strong early on in last year’s campaign. He won FUT Champions Cup Stage 1, however, his next title didn’t arrive until August 2020 where he took the eChampions League crown.
EA Sports have revealed all details for the upcoming FIFA 21 competitive season set to begin in late November.
The official pitch notes were released on September 29 and it details the changes coming to competitive FIFA this year.
One of the main changes of course being a shift to online gameplay due to the global pandemic.
League Operations Manager, Rushan Shekar said: “While this year may look a little different, the focus is still to allow for top level competition between the best FIFA players from around the globe.”
Let’s take a closer look at what we can expect from this year’s Global Series:
Regional play from home
EA Sports stated: ” To support our online ecosystem, we’ve sorted players into regions of play based on their country of residence.
“Players may only play in the region that corresponds to their country/territory of residence and cannot change regions once the season begins.”
There will be six regions of play with multiple countries in each. The list of regions and countries is as follows:
Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech, Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom
North America: Canada (including Quebec), Mexico, United States of America
South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Netherlands Antilles, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Venezuela
Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
East Asia: China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
West Asia & South Africa: India, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates
South Africa will have its own qualifiers but will join West Asia for regional playoffs. Egypt, Israel and Turkey will join the Europe region.
Each region will have its own Xbox and PlayStation rankings. The regional leaderboards will decide which teams qualify for each Regional Playoffs.
As the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will not be released until the season has started, it will remain on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for the FIFA 21 season.
Oceania, East Asia, West Asia and South Africa will play exclusively on PlayStation 4. This is due to the PlayStation 4 historically having more FUT Champions Verified Players.
FIFA 21 Global Series tournament formats
All Qualifiers will be double elimination tournaments. Players will then be seeded based on their Global Series Points. For the first tournament of the season, cumulative Weekend League wins will be used to determine seeding.
The traditional Swiss format is being ditched this year despite its popularity. EA Sports said: ” Firstmost, this year’s Global Series is about earning Points based on your finishes across a number of tournaments.
“The Qualifiers are not singular events searching for the undisputed best players to move onto an important in-person event. Instead, this year the Global Series is in search of consistent performance across multiple events to qualify players to the Regional Playoffs.”
EA are focusing on this new format to help determine consistency throughout the season. It will also eradicate extensive waiting time between matches for players.
A total of $3 million will be awarded this season, a rise of one million from last year.
Here is a full list of the scheduled tournaments across the year: