FIFA pros and commentators react to FIFA 19 FUT Champions changes and new tournaments

EA Sports
The world of competitive virtual gaming is changing, with EA's latest football release receiving an overhaul

EA Sports is pouring resources into FIFA 19’s esports scene with more tournaments than ever before. Recently, the developers announced a revamped qualification process which looks like the change the community needed. The changes appear to have gone down well, so Goal reached out to some FIFA personalities to get their thoughts on the new developments. 

Firstly, pros will finally no be longer lumbered with the tedious requirement of playing 40 games every weekend. Instead, players now only have to achieve at least 27 wins in the Weekend League to become ‘FUT Champs Verified’, which will allow them to be invited to events.

EA have always been careful to find a balance between competitive and casual gamers and FUTWIZ’s Nathan 'Zelonius' Horton believes the video game giants have managed to do just that: "I think the change to 30 games is good for everybody, it makes the mode more accessible to casuals and no monthly qualifying means one bad weekend doesn’t mess everything up for a pro.” 

That extra security will definitely be an added bonus for players who have already turned professional full-time. As for aspiring pros, this year will provide them with a wealth of opportunities. 

Once verified, players will be invited to online qualifiers and the best performers from those will go on to compete at live tournaments. There will be more FIFA events than ever before next year, with six FUT Champions Cups alongside the Club eWorld Cup, a new eNations Cup and a bunch of other licensed qualifiers and extra leagues including the ePremier League. 

All of these tournaments and events will reward players with points, which will help them move up a global leaderboard that will decide who makes it to the eWorld Cup Playoffs.

FIFA eWorld Cup

Extra events mean a lot of extra work for commentators Richard Buckley and Brandon Smith. Although they still have to study for their university degrees, the pair are extremely excited about the upcoming year. 

Buckley thinks the new leaderboard will especially improve the viewing experience for FIFA tournaments: “The schedule for FIFA 19 is a lot better than last year already. The points system means that you are definitely going to get the very best players at the grand finals where that wasn’t entirely necessarily the case before," he said.

“Now with this global leaderboard, you can look any time after any tournament to see how that's affected the rankings, how players are progressing, how they're moving up and down... it's going to make following the esport much more exciting.” 

Smith agreed, adding: “I think the whole leaderboard system is really exiting too because you can get some really good stories from it. We could go to the playoffs and the person ranked 60th could go and have an amazing tournament, finish in the top 16 on the leaderboard then make the grand final. Those are the stories I'm really looking forward to seeing.” 

Article continues below

He also thinks that this year will be much better for the welfare or players old and new: “The FUT Champs verified system is much better because I think EA have come out and said is they didn't want to put that pressure on players to be playing 40 games every weekend. And in some months, your yearly career was dependant on whether you were 39-1 or 40-0.  

“Now, with this points system it's more about the tournaments and, as we've now seen, EA have announced there's going to be six major events all before the playoffs and the grand final. Plus, minor events and leagues are in there. The opportunities for players are endless now - there's no excuses for saying you didn't get a chance.” 

The new format EA have introduced looks extremely promising and for now, FIFA 19’s gameplay seems to be popular with the majority of the playerbase. The esports industry is booming and EA are slowly catching up, with this year crucial in the development of FIFA esports.