The latest release in the enduringly popular FIFA series will hit shelves on September 2019 and gamers are eager to get their hands on it. EA Sports’ football simulator has come a long way since the first title was released all the way back in 1993, when England captain David Platt gracing the cover.
FIFA 19 enjoyed favourable reviews among critics, it won a clutch of awards and it enjoyed considerable commercial success, while the thriving competitive scene also drove the game to new heights. As FIFA 19 enters the tail end of its lifespan, we look back at the highlights of the past year and delve into what gamers can expect from the next game in the series.
Germany Conquers the World
German pro MoAubameyang pulled off a stunning victory over defending champion MSdossary7 in the Grand Final of the FIFA eWorld Cup 2019 Grand Final. Saudi superstar MSdossary7 swept aside all his rivals in 2018 and he was the favourite in the FIFA esports odds to surge to another famous victory. But MoAubameyang was simply on fire at the 2019 tournament in London.
He vanquished the legendary TekKz during the group stage and went on to beat Nicolas99FC in the PlayStation final. That teed up an exciting cross-console Grand Final showdown with MSdossary7, who won the Xbox tournament for the second year in a row. MoAubameyang did really well to hold MSdossary7 to a 1-1 draw on the Xbox and then he picked up a 3-2 win on the PlayStation to be crowned world champion.
It saw him take home the top prize of $250,000 and MoAubameyang can look forward to an exciting few months ahead. After winning last year’s eWorld Cup, MSdossary7 bagged an invite to the FIFA Best Awards, where he hobnobbed with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric. It was a symbolic moment, showing the potential of esports to thrive alongside traditional sports, and MoAubameyang can expect similar treatment this year. He might even meet the Arsenal striker he shares a name with.
Top Trio Maintain Dominance
TekKz, Nicolas99FC and MSdossary7 have firmly established themselves as the greatest FIFA players in the world over the past year. Mo-aubameyang may have overwhelmed all three of them at the eWorld Cup in London, but they have all been strong and consistent throughout the year. They are second, third and fourth respectively in prize money FIFA 2019, and that is a sign of their ongoing strength at this popular esport.
TekKz has racked up $271,125 in prize money by playing FIFA 19 and that is a remarkable achievement when you consider how much he struggled at the eWorld Cup, the most lucrative tournament of the year. He won the FUT Champions Cup 2018 Bucharest, FUT Champions Cup 2019 ELEAGUE Atlanta and FUT Champions Cup 2019 Singapore, earning $50,000 each time. Then he was second at the FIFA Global Series 2019 in Hamburg, while he also took first place in the FIFA eClub World Cup, the PGL Cup and the PGL Masters.
Nicolas99FC was a beaten quarter-finalist at last year’s eWorld Cup, and he has significantly upped his game since then. He surged to victories at FIFA Global Series 2019 Berlin, Gfinity FIFA Series 2019 and FIFA Global Series 2018 Amsterdam, while he took a bunch of silver medals too and only narrowly lost to MoAubameyang at the big tournament in London this summer.
For MSdossary7 to reach two consecutive eWorld Cup Grand Finals is an immense achievement and a reflection of his bold, thrilling play. He also won the FUT Champions Cup 2019 to cement his status as the biggest name in the FIFA esports scene.
Chris Claims eChampions League Glory
The eChampions League aimed to link FIFA 19 with the real-life Champions League. The top 64 PS4 players gathered in Manchester for a live qualifying event and the top eight went through to the finals, held in Madrid to coincide with Liverpool’s clash with Tottenham in the Champions League final. To further connect the eChampions League Final to the real-world competition, the eight competitors drafted and used footballers involved in the UEFA Champions League Group Stage.
When all was said and done, NYCFC’s Chris Holly went on to win the $100,000 first prize. He needed a penalty shoot-out in a thrilling semi-final clash against marcuzo45 of Denmark, sending him into a match against Nightwatch. He took the first leg 2-1 and then romped to a 4-2 victory in the second leg. “I’m still in shock,” said The Beast. “This is my first ever trophy. I’ve been close before but what a trophy to win.”
PES Aims to Muscle In
Pro Evolution Soccer has been firmly in FIFA’s shade for many years now, but Konami is bidding to redress the balance. First it decided to rebrand the game as eFootball PES 2020. That is a clear move designed to muscle into the burgeoning world of esports, which is worth more than $1.1 billion in 2019. Then it signed an exclusivity partnership with Juventus, meaning EA Sports will not be able to use the name on FIFA 20.
Now Konami has signed up with Euro 2020 to be the official partner of the tournament, bringing more than 50 national teams eFootball PES 2020, including kits, crests, and players. A newly ambitious rival should benefit FIFA, its fans and its competitive scene, as it puts the impetus on EA Sports to work even harder to maintain its market leading position.
FIFA 20 Promises Improvements
The developers have promised to fix a number of gamers’ bugbears when they release FIFA 20 next month. Timed finishing will be overhauled, AI defending will be revamped to encourage more manual defending, dribbling promises to be more stable and the pace will be slower to offer a more authentic feel. EA Sports is bidding to improve the competitive balance of the game and turn it into an even more realistic football simulator.
Critics have argued that each new FIFA is too similar to the previous one, with only a basic graphics uplift and the database modernised to reflect recent transfers, but EA Sports promises that the gameplay will be significantly improved this time around. Fans of FIFA Street should love the new Volta mode, a better career mode beckons and fans will hope to see server issues and optimisation improved. If EA delivers on its promises, FIFA 20 will be a marvel.