EA SPORTS Pro Club Championship : There are 11 Regional Leagues to join, with each having its own Leaderboard and each month is defined as a Season.
EA SPORTS Pro Club Championship
Unlocking Accomplishments in the Arena - EA SPORTS Pro Club Championship
Online Clubs was a big success in FIFA 09, but also highlighted a lot of things we wanted to improve this year. Aside from addressing the issues raised by the community, one of the things we really wanted to do was give Clubs more 'goals' so that those that joined in at a later date, and those that do not play the game as frequently as others, still felt there was something to achieve as a team. To do this we created a new League system. On top of the Leaderboard we had last year, which tracks every Club's record over time and places them in Divisions, we've added 'Regional Leagues' and 'Seasons'. There are 11 Regional Leagues to join, with each having its own Leaderboard and each month is defined as a Season. So at the start of each month the Leaderboard is reset, and the new season and the battle for the title begins again, while at the end of a season the top clubs in each League are awarded trophies. Regional Leagues and Seasons means that whether you're a newly created Club, or playing your 10th Season, there is always a goal for your Club over the next month. Of course, to prove yourself as the best Club around, getting to No 1 in Division 1 in what is now called the World Standings, is still the ultimate goal.
Another of the big things we wanted to do this year was to make creating and joining a Club easier. When it comes to joining a Club you'll now get a list of the Clubs your friends are in and can search for 'Public Clubs' - Clubs who are open to new players immediately joining without needing the Manager's approval. As well as making it easier to find a Club, we wanted to improve Club Managers' ability to find players. This year, managers can view players' previous match ratings, recruit free agents (people who are not a member of a Club) via the Pro Leaderboard as well as play Pro Ranked Matches. Pro Ranked Matches are quick ranked Online Team Play games where 20 Pros are put together for a 'friendly', although with all your stats tracked and Accomplishments up for grabs friendly is maybe not the right word. Managers can use the Pro Ranked Matches to recruit new players, while others can take the opportunity to build up their stats in the hope a top Club will come calling.
I can't talk about all the changes to Clubs, as I'd be writing for too long, but I did also wanted to mention how we've gone to town when it comes to Club and Player stats. This year the top players in each Club will be called out on the Club home screen - the top Goalscorer, the player with the most assists and the highest rated defender, midfielder and forward. All your teams' match stats can be viewed in the Squad Stats screen, which along with the expected games, goals and assists stats, also has info such as Pass, Shot and Tackle success for each player. Lastly, along with being able to view your own team's stats, you can also view the Pro Leaderboard and compare yourself against the top Pros from around the globe.
Entering the Pro Club Championship - My Virtual Pro
As one of the Producers responsible for the feature of course I play with my Virtual Pro a lot, and for me it adds another dimension to my offline game modes as well as making me take my online play a lot more seriously - now I'm playing with Mike Takla I have a reputation to keep up! As a United fan (yes I'm a glory hunter...) I normally assign myself to their squad, taking my hero Eric Cantona's number 7 shirt (sorry Michael Owen but you haven't earned it just yet). I also go and make myself Captain using the Edit Teams feature, and normally assign myself to corners, free kicks and penalties, which is a bit greedy but seeing as that spot is open now Ronaldo's gone I thought I'd try to impress Fergie. Time to unlock some Accomplishments and get my Pro ready for the weekly Clubs match we have here in the studio...
I start off by trying to unlock some Accomplishments in the Arena, juggling the ball, a Free-Kick, a Penalty and scoring with both feet is a good way to get started. Juggling the ball unlocks some new Skill Moves so I practice those to get myself some more tricks - as I play the game a fair bit I can normally get myself to 5 Star Skill Moves pretty quick nowadays, but there's a check list and instructions if you're not sure what you've done or if you don't know the controls for the new moves you've unlocked.
Next up, some Be-A-Pro Seasons. Let's see if I can get myself in the United 1st team and maybe earn some England caps. I unlock a few Accomplishments and increase my rep in the mode but decided to play some of the new Manager Mode, as it's just too tempting. I start in the Championship with my second favourite team, Coventry City, as there's an Accomplishment for helping get a team promoted. My Pro's not bad for the Championship as I've still got the attribute improvements I unlocked in the Arena and in Be-A-Pro. After a long hard season, and a lot of unlocked Accomplishments (still haven't scored a bicycle kick!), I've got a Pro who's going to surprise a few of the guys in the office in the weekly Clubs match, and I'm sure they're going to be jealous of my yellow boots!
The day of the big Clubs Match arrives, it's the Game Modes guys versus the Gameplay team. They normally beat us pretty bad, but I've got my improved Pro this time, they are in for a surprise! My boots get a few comments, some not as nice as others, and having Skilled Dribbling gives me an edge, but they've got a pretty good defence, despite playing with brand new Pro's. Finally we win a throw in and I can launch a giant throw! I launch one into the box but there isn't an attacker in sight, what a waste of my talent! We end up losing, and my Pro's superior skills didn't quite make the difference I'd hoped, but only because of the opposition (the Gameplay guys are good!). A bit more training and I'm sure I'll get my 10th league goal of the season, it's been a three-game drought! Oh well, maybe next time - it's too early to give up on getting to the top of the Pro Leaderboard just yet!