It’s that time of the year when FIFA’s Ultimate Team game mode gears itself up for Team of the Season. Which City players could make the team? Read on for more.
Ultimate Team is the backbone and internal organs of the FIFA video game series. EA, the game’s publisher, releases early access to the game mode so acquiring and trading players can begin a week before the full game’s launch. It is why FIFA is so popular and is where the bulk of the revenue is made – as in-game currency can be bought and spent on packs of players to use in their squads. The season culminates in Team of the Season. Gamers wait anxiously for the release to see who’ll receive heavily upgraded cards, so they can add them to their teams. Manchester City fans will be especially excited, with many players in the team having an exceptional season. How many could make the team?
Team of the Season and the Meta
There is a Team of the Season for each of the top-five European leagues, as well as a community and an ultimate one. Many players will be represented, with cards which will be rated in the high-90s, with attributes maxed-out. They’ll be incredibly effective, as is their design. It can appear that there will be negligible differences between them, especially if they all have the same high-level attributes. However, there are metagame factors which determine how well their attributes translate.
There is a “meta” in most games, which means there’s an advantageous way of playing a game because its programming favours certain styles. Opponents build their tactics and squads to make the most of that meta so a gamer is at a disadvantage if they don’t do so too. Esports has contributed to this, as has streaming – solutions and knowledge are discovered quickly and it is spread as fast. It’s all about victory. The same is true of many competitive scenes from conventional video games to digital adaptations of traditional games like poker at GGPoker or chess. It is the pursuit of the most optimal way to play, if not the most perfect. It’s about learning how to win and then actually winning. Every professional and amateur, devoted and casual gamer can internalise the knowledge and then become good quickly, if they dedicate themselves.
For FIFA 21’s meta, players need to be lean, agile, and quick. The game has been built in such a way which favours these attributes. The majority of the game is spent in transition and making the most of the small spaces made via dribbles, as opposed to neat passing and the off-the-ball runs.
Manchester City fans could see a couple of their favourites make the team. Some will be more successful than others, but who do we think could make it?
The German midfielder is having a wonderful season. His role as a midfielder hasn’t been too different to other years. He’s been tidy. He’s been progressive. He’s been disruptive. It’s his exploits as a box-threat which has seen him receive new plaudits. In the 23 games he’s played this season, he has 12 goals, with some of those being from the penalty spot. A huge return, and a good portion being from open play – both poachers finishes and distance shots. It’s likely his goalscoring will cool off next year but it’ll likely do enough for him to be considered for TOTS.
Dias came in from Benfica in the summer. He was somewhat of an unknown quantity despite his label as a good prospect, but Pep’s reputation for coaching players beyond their potential put in everyone’s mind that he’ll be a good defender – it’s just whether he made costly mistakes in pressured moments, which Pep can’t always remove from everyone’s game. He has not made such errors. He has been imperious at the heart of City’s defence. Forming a great partnership with Stones and keeping Laporte out of the team. A TOTS card could make him a viable defender on FIFA, though he has tough competition as the likes of Maldini, Joe Gomez, and Virgil Van Djik are heavily favoured.
In his second season at the Etihad, we’re seeing a Cancelo that no one really expected. He has played in that pseudo-centre-midfielder role Pep likes his full backs to do, showing superb passing ability, which not only progresses the ball into favourable final third territory but also creates chances, as well as restricting opposition counter attacks. He will likely perform well in Ultimate Team because the upgraded cards he’s already had this year are likeable and usable, and he is very, very quick.