One aspect of delivering the full football experience that EA Sports’ FIFA series has lacked is the inclusion of the biggest competition in Europe, the UEFA Champions League. Since FIFA 18’s release, EA Sports has been able to procure the licence for the UEFA Champions League, which was formerly owned by competitor Konami and used in Pro Evolution Soccer.
But, EA Sports hasn’t simply replaced the European trophy with the title of Champions League and slapped the logo on; they’ve gone all-out to integrate the Champions League into all of its relevant game modes. FIFA 19 has quickly become the biggest selling game, and fans with heaps of praise for all of the Champions League features.
Simply having the licence to use the logo, name, and unmistakable sounds of the Champions League in Career Mode would be enough for many players, but to EA Sports, it’s so much more than a licence. The developers wanted to bring in every element of the Champions League to the players so that they can enjoy playing on the biggest domestic stage in many different ways.
Integration into FIFA’s most popular game mode
Source: GameSpot, via Twitter
The most popular game mode on FIFA 19 is FIFA Ultimate Team, and it has been for many years now. Players pile in to open packs, bid on cards, and build a team that compete against others online. So, of course, EA Sports had to integrate the Champions League into Ultimate Team.
As the season is still young, the cards available in Ultimate Team are mostly the base cards. But, the developers were keen to emphasise the quality needed to play in the Champions League by creating special, enhanced Champions League player cards.
Right now, players can pop packs to get their hands on Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at 95 overall, as well one of the best cards in the game, a 92-overall Champions League edition David De Gea. As players haven’t got control of the goalkeeper, it’s crucial for their team to have a very strong goalie. De Gea is the main reason behind Manchester United being at 11/5 to win Group H in the Champions League, so it makes sense that he’s the best non-legend goalie card in FIFA Ultimate Team.
Complete integration in FIFA 19
Source: Electronic Arts, via Twitter
As regular players of the FIFA games would expect, in Career Mode, players can now battle for a place in the Champions League and Europa League, subsequently going on to play in the UEFA Super Cup as well. If you start as a club like Real Madrid, you’ll compete on the big stage in the first season, or you could build your team into becoming the next Champions League sensation.
If players simply want to take on the finest teams in Europe, they can go into the brand new UEFA Champions League mode, or they can infuse themselves into the game day experience by selection the Champions League options in Kick Off mode. Also, to round off The Journey, players take the role of Alex Hunter one last time in pursuit of Champions League glory.
Getting the Champions League licence and using it to its full potential has certainly seen FIFA take yet another step towards complete market dominance.