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.
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.
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:
With changes to things like AI customisation and goal celebrations, let’s take a closer look at what Pro Clubs will have in store for us next year.
AI customisation in FIFA 21 Pro Clubs
As can be seen above, Club Managers will be able to customise the appearance of all AI players in their club. All club members will have access to the tile but can only view the players being customised by the manager.
Club Managers will be able to customise the following:
– Name (including kit and commentary)
– Kit number
– Birth date, nationality, region
– Preferred foot
– Face, skin tone, eyes, mouth etc.
– Hair, facial hair
– Kit fit, accessories
This makes a change from previous years where the same AI players would be on your team every time. The new feature adds a bit of creativity and personalisation to the game mode.
Managers can customise preset tactics
Another new tile under the “Manage” section is your club tactics. Club Managers can customise up to five preset tactics which can include all five game plans (ultra defensive, defensive, balanced, attacking, ultra attacking).
EA stated the following: “A Club Manager can select 1 of the 5 tactics from the tactics page to begin customization. Select and customize each game plan to fit your team’s custom or unique play style.
“The newly customized AI Players will also appear on the tactic menus. Club Managers can provide instructions to their AI Players to ensure they match your play style.”
After a Club Manager has customised their preset tactics, they can find their created presets in the Pro Clubs Match Lobby.
This allows players to vary their strategies against different clubs and cater towards different teammates.
The ability to just change your clubs formation is still there as normal, however, the tactics option could give you that little edge over your opponents.
FIFA 21 Pro Clubs celebrations
FIFA celebrations are always fun, creative and often mimic real life goal celebrations seen in professional football.
Here is a list of the first batch of celebrations that have been revealed which are set to be included in FIFA 21 Pro Clubs:
– One Eye
– Point to Sky
– Ice Skating
– Golf Swing
– Dance 2
– Dance 3
– Chest Thump
– The Salute
– Show Respect
– Big Man
– Baby Girl
More information is set to follow regarding Pro Clubs. However, so far so good as these two big changes have already been set in stone.
What do you think about these changes?
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