Welcome to the KICK.TV Invitational - Esports Changing?? - LIVE from NYC
This past week (20th – 25th) I took part as a full time analysis professional at the KICK.TV Invitational where the largest FIFA YouTuber’s battled it out in order to claim a $10,000 1st place prize and the title as “Champion” in NYC. Last year, this event erupted with popularity across the community as the audience watched with anticipation as each match went LIVE on YouTube with the top FIFA content creators facing off on the big stage.
The players attending this event:
Notorious (VG Winner)
My position with the event because of my personal background in the competitive FIFA scene was to laydown player previews / analysis of gameplay among the players in attendance. All the videos can be found at http://www.youtube.com/user/KICKTVFIFA - I’m expecting uploads to start going live towards the beginning of this week and roll out continuously from that point forward….
I wanted to showcase how “Esports” is a changing concept (Very Dynamic) depending on the audience for those different titles. FIFA is one of the largest selling titles each year worldwide and the community has expanded substantial amounts with the additional sales. In many titles there is an incredible fan base for “competitive” players, however in FIFA the players / event coordinators did a poor job of building up personal branding for those same individuals. This allowed for the vast amount of FIFA fans to look elsewhere and the development of FIFA YouTube came shortly after.
This event included no competitive FIFA players outside of the “Subscriber Cup Winner” from Virgin Gaming. (Notorious) The YouTuber’s add a different approach to Esports where the focus is more on the individual as opposed to the individual’s gameplay. Watching these matches live at KICK.TV Studios made me think, “Is this the future of my genre??”
FIFA gameplay in the competitive scene is so mistake free that it often leads to defensive matches between players attempting to outthink their opponents. This usually leads to low scoring matchups, because of the heavy possession / time control in each game. I obviously cannot speak about the results from the tournament, but this approach from KICK.TV makes huge strides in terms of viewership per match in the FIFA community scene.
So what if KICK.TV ran a new type of Esports? The most popular game mode in FIFA 14 is actually known as FUT (FIFA Ultimate Team) where players construct squads based on team chemistry with the usage of an open market that updates with real life football (soccer). FUT has never been used on the competitive side because of the unlimited customization and more unrealistic quicker games speed.
I leave this for thought… What is your definition of Esports?? What makes an Esport… an Esport?
For Daily FIFA Tips YouTube – Regular Banter Twitter – Pictures Facebook
The Year of the Talent
What’s happening beautiful people?? I’m ready to return to blogging with a set schedule… Most of my previous entries describe experiences at different events around the world and my recollection of those trips. From this point forward I will be writing “Bi-Weekly” blogs talking about competitive FIFA, esports in general, and different life situations that correlate with gaming.
Starting out fresh with a new year, I’m expecting considerable changes with the vVv organization in terms of additional sponsorships, new focal points on bringing in identified professional players, and just overall growth of the organization. I’m also looking to get much more involved in contributing to vVv in more ways outside of just representing the team as a sponsored professional including the expansion of my personal brand development and transitioning into finding a role in our staff that I can effectively help the organization.
So what’s new for competitive FIFA in 2014? Virgin Gaming has teamed up with ESPN to host events, while also running a major qualifier that offers the opportunity for pros to get more involved through social media with “The Kick.TV Invitational Tournament.” ($10,000) The issue with these qualifiers is Virgin Gaming is using a leaderboard system which benefits the players that play the most but aren’t necessarily the best players, therefore a lot of the household names in terms of the FIFA esports scene refuse to take part. Playing 10 hours per day to compete with the Virgin Gaming crazies isn’t possible for most competitive players.
Promoting website numbers by increasing how many matches are played on the site through prizes based on leaderboards might be good for statistics, but in my opinion it hinders the competitive community in the long run. Tournaments lose credibility when the most respected players or new players who are rising in prestige are not taking place in the large tournaments because of structure.
As for vVv Gaming welcome to “The Year of the Talent”, which has me extremely excited as a fan of watching the best players compete across titles. We have really built up our community over the years and it’s time to invest in the best while developing more players going forward.
Drop a comment, with a topic for the next blog… I wanted to get back into this with a quick reintroduction to the year before diving in with the heavy debates.
For Daily FIFA Tips YouTube – Regular Banter Twitter – Pictures Facebook
WCG 2012 National Final – New York City
This year World Cyber Games held the National Final at Comic Con NYC, which was just a massive event that included new games, promotional opportunities, comics, celebrities and MUCH MUCH MORE! The convention center packed in more than 100,000 hyped fans which built up a nice atmosphere to hold a gaming event within all the madness.
The event included the top 8 players in the nation, who all qualified via online weeks prior to the event. In my group I had Juanqui, Brian, & Aman (All very tough opponents who each was very capable of winning the event, in all honesty each of the 8 qualified players had the ability to come out on top depending on luck and different matchups)
Unfortunately I failed to make it out of group play at the event, with a record of 1-2 (Losing to Brian / Aman) - FIFA is all about decision making, composure in front of goal, and defense + luck factor. My games were all extremely tight and included extra time matches and even PK battles where I was unsuccessful. It’s really frustrating losing out on 50/50 balls that you need to win, or hitting the post in matches where opportunities are few and far between but “Welcome to FIFA”. Positive Note: All the games ran smoothly without any delay or lag at the event – Which is something organizers have struggled with in the past.
Side Note: Brian (3rd) & Aman (2nd) at the event
I’ve been to NYC multiple times and there are one of the kind elements to the city, however my performance overshadowed my stay for the weekend. I’m ready to up the training in FIFA 13 in order to prepare even more thorough to make sure I can get my revenge over the competition. I would like to thank vVv, the community, and all the sponsors for making events like this possible.
For Pictures from events make sure to check my FB page HERE
Make sure to Follow me on Twitter & Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for updates!
Career Mode: Back to Business
So check this out I've been playing a lot of career mode in FIFA 13, because it’s actually enjoyable thanks to EA Sports making some significant changes from the past few years. I've really never been able to spend much time with any offline game mode in FIFA mainly because it’s just so repetitive, and lacks depth however things are changing this year.
What Impactful changes have been made?
1. The AI (Artificial Intelligence) is finally educated, they make the right reads and play with sense opposed to the boring monotonous style we've been punished with throughout the past few years. The AI makes adjustments to how you play and they attempt to attack in every manner. (Long shots, quick passing, crossing, free kicks, deep balls)
Side note: The AI plays similar to how the team there using would play in real life, tactics & everything which makes for quite an experience when playing offline.
2. Added Depth (especially as a manager) – You can now manage national teams, make all the call ups, while also working with your club squad. Competing in International competition is something that’s definitely been highly desired in FIFA titles and it's going to be a staple in future installments for sure. Great NEW FEATURE!
3. Player Development – I really have enjoyed how it takes time and isn't as easy to increase statistics with your player right away. In order to really grow and gain that captaincy you’re going to need to do work on the pitch consistently while leading your squad to victory.
Remember to Subscribe to my channel on YouTUBE - Follow on Twitter
Newest Career Mode Vid w/ Dirty Mike
FIFA 13 Demo
New features: What I’ve noticed from the demo – Deadly Seven
1. Impact Engine
This might be the first year in quite some time where pace isn’t everything in terms of defense, throughout experimenting with the demo it’s finally possible to use the larger center backs without having trouble defending through balls or keeping up with the speedsters…. What’s changed???
In this FIFA installment it’s quite easy to put your body between the ball and attacker therefore creating a separation. What this means is a strong player can slow the attacker down or just simply get in the way similar to “real football” which makes up for his lack of pace. I’m excited for the launch of the full title coming September 25th.
2. Through Ball System / Player intelligence
This big change has me yoked for the new installment, players now really curve there runs and if your opponent is playing a high pressure tactic your able to deliver pin point ground through balls in behind the defense to punish them for overplaying . It’s quite interesting also to see the computer AI move so well and fill space when moving forward with the ball naturally. In FIFA 12 I don’t know how many times I’ve faced the frustration of not being able to get my attackers into the right positions on the counters.
3. Offline AI
Well nearly every year the computer (AI) when you play offline is so boring and terrible that it ruins FIFA’s offline modes because they attack slow and never have any direction. As the difficulty would increase they would just finish better but still the speed of attack would sometimes include 30 passes just to get a shot on goal. Well finally this year it appears to revamped, they see the pitch great like an actual opponent. They adjust to your movement, which is much better than any FIFA AI I can remember, so I’m looking forward to actually playing a few seasons of career mode this go around.
4. Mini Games
The added mini games are pretty sweet, and basically just provide you some practice that includes different techniques used in the actual games such as crossing, free kicks, pks, passing etc… They have a point system and it’s much more enjoyable than shooting on the goalie while waiting for the game to load.
5. First Touch Control
In this FIFA they have revitalized the first touch, it adds a definite random factor at times but when you execute a properly timed first touch it leads you right past a defender on to the goal. I’m still frustrated with certain aspects of the first touch control mainly because players with high skill sets will still struggle to bring down driven switches or long balls regularly.
The keepers in the demo do some serious work; they have the ability to get to most shots which means you’re going to need to be extremely clinical in terms of finishing. I was quite impressed with how they defended balls in the air, and got down really well on breakaways… I am playing on World Class versus the computer so it could be different on a lower difficulty.
Tactics! Tactics! Tactics! In FIFA 13 the game is a lot more complex than FIFA 12 in terms of tactics. EA has nearly doubled the amount of formations and in order to really get your players to move forward / defend to correlate how you wish to play your definitely going to need to examine different tactics. I’m excited the game looks a lot more complete than FIFA 12, which is EA’s most prestigious title to date.
Follow me on Twitter: @michs09usa & visit my site www.profifablog.com
Check out my FIFA 13 Demo Vid (Subscribe -- Need the vVv support! )
WCG Pan American 2012 (Santiago, Chile)
This past weekend I was selected from WCG to represent the USA in the Pan American games taking place in Santiago, Chile! Having attended the past two WCG Pan American Championships & placing well in both I had high expectations going into the event.
So the venue was actually at a stadium in Santiago, Chile that was filled up with a devoted fan base. Outside of just having the WCG Pan American Championship the event also was similar to a mini E3 that included game titles prior to release dates and multiple promotional opportunities for spectators.
WCG clearly put marketing and money into the event location but unfortunately the competition was run unprofessionally in terms of FIFA. Prior to our matches they changed the rules from two players advancing from groups to now only one player would advance. So basically the “Quarter- Finals” were eliminated from the tournament.
I went 2-1-1 in group stage and finished in second place not advancing into bracket play. The match that I lost my opponent chose to timeplay for half the match which is against the rules in FIFA tournaments. Timeplay is when your opponent doesn't attempt to score but rather holds the ball in the backfield or passes side to side opposed to going forward. It’s really too bad because with a win I would have advanced past the groups. None of the four referees spoke any English which made it very difficult to appeal or explain what was going on to the admins. They also had us playing on laptops with online connection rather than LAN which created delay & lag throughout my four matches. Positive! -- I did make the newspaper in Chile after beating the Chilean FIFA player on stage at the event.
Santiago, Chile has undeniably deep landscapes across the city which makes for some incredible sights especially with the mountainside. Since we were at the event the majority of the time I didn’t have the opportunity to go sight-seeing during the day however we did go to the night clubs and experienced Chilean restaurants. I’d heard prior to the trip that Chile was well cultivated regarding fish dishes which makes sense because the country is right off the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The food was excellent, and the portions were definitely American sized.
I want to say thanks to WCG & vVv Gaming for making this all possible, Next stop = Qualifying for the National Final in FIFA 12 PC <--- Follow me @michs09usa & check out my site www.profifablog.com -- Check some of the Pictures out from the EVENT!
8/11/12 -- Quick Blog Today!
No matter the version of FIFA, each year players love to debate what is considered “cheap” compared to what is considered “skillful”. This has dated back since I started playing FIFA in 2004, -- Go to Forums, Watch YouTube Videos & this debate continually arises in the community. When I’m playing, especially in a competitive match I’d much rather win ugly than lose pretty.
What the hell is a Sweaty Goal?
In the past couple installments of FIFA, players have coined the term “Sweaty Goal” as another way of saying “that was cheap” or an “ugly goal”. The most common Sweaty is when your player breaks through your opponent’s defensive line creating a 1v1 opportunity with the keeper, however rather than challenging the goalie with a shot players will pass around the keeper creating an easy finish for another player who’s accompanying the breakaway.
If you score a couple of these goals in a match, expect some hate-mail in your inbox on XBL or PSN after the 90min have concluded. There are multiple different variations of these types of goals, such as a chip cross for the tap in or even a low driven cross.
All will make your opponent RAGE at their TV
The real point is people love to complain, in particularly when they just copped a lost. How to prevent Sweaty Goals? – Play defense!! In order for your opponent to get these opportunities they must slip behind your defensive line with time in order to pick out the right pass for the tap in. If you’re giving up too many sweaty goals, it really means you need to focus on holding a solid back line on defense.
Check me out on Twitter: @michs09usa #FIFAfollowback
So easily one of the most popular and frequently asked questions in each FIFA installment is “How do I win headers?” Each year when I go through forums there is almost always a couple trending topics circling the frustration players are having when it comes to winning 50/50 headers or defending against crosses. The forum topics tend to include sob story after sob story of how the player has very little luck and just can’t rectify with why they are unable to win headers at a consistent rate. KEEP READING!!
In FIFA 12 controlling the air is based on FOUR DETERMINING FACTORS
In FIFA jostling for position is extremely important in multiple different aspects of the game, especially when challenging your opponent in the air for headers that directly affect the outcome of the match. The key to jostling is waiting until your player has the correct position before pushing either the pass / shoot button in the air. If you’ve jostled properly your almost guaranteed to win each and every header regardless of other factors.
This is the most common mistake made in FIFA each year regarding headers and sometimes even finishing. When a cross goes into the box players love to beat down the sticks in hopes of finishing with a powerful header. However this technique is reckless and causes players to miss easy headers that they would normally finish if they showed some composure in the box. It’s not how many times you beat down the shoot button, but rather WHEN Quality over Quantity.
This is a little bit of a random factor in FIFA but basically if your player is timing his run correctly his odds of winning the header increases especially if the player has good size. Just like in real soccer momentum allows your player to catch your opponents defense flat footed and explode to the ball.
Size Matters!! In FIFA 12 a player with low header stats but good height can still dominate in the air and cause havoc all game for opposing teams. This is just a fact, lots of times your notice in the middle of the pitch taller players winning each and every header just because of their height.
“Heading Capabilities” – Sure having a player with great heading stats is never a bad thing, and will allow the player to finish plays better than others but often with the shorter players it doesn’t really matter because they can’t win the headers when challenged in the air. So unless the player is 6’1 or taller the majority of the time heading statistics just aren’t relevant.
Follow @michs09usa (New Blogs Comin’ Daily) via profifablog.com
Today’s blog will cover some factors that shouldn’t be overlooked when putting players on the pitch and choosing formations. People always check individual player’s statistics but often miss some of the most paramount data. Ever wonder why players sometimes move amazing on the pitch or vice versa? Check below for a step by step on a few characteristics to look for in players when you’re putting together that all-star lineup.
Each player on the pitch has a dominant foot, which makes a monumental difference in FIFA12. For example, I always prefer that my RS (Right Striker) have a left footed dominance or have at least 4 stars for off foot ability because in order to utilize that position it’s important to be able to cut inside to rip shots on goal. I use the finesse shot regularly in each FIFA game I play, so in order for that technique to reach its full potential it’s essential that your player can execute it with consistency.
A great example would be “Robben” from Bayern Munich. He’s easily one of the most talented wingers in FIFA 12, but he has a weak foot ability of a 2 stars, therefore it doesn’t matter that he has amazing shooting capabilities because they only apply when using his strong foot. A lot of players don’t fully understand this concept, and don’t understand why there shots aren’t coming near the target.
Ever wonder why your crosses aren’t accurate? If you’re playing a right mid / left mid whose primary foot is opposite of his position then often crosses aren’t nearly as precise. A lot of outside midfielders don’t cross nearly as much in the real world these days, but rather are used almost as attacking mids who are constantly cutting inside to put pressure on opposing defenses. This is just fine, but translates poorly to FIFA if you need your wingers to swing driven crosses into the box all match.
Everyone knows that trick moves are really important in FIFA titles, and that a player with a high level of skill moves can operate more proficiently on the pitch. For example, players that aren’t amazing in terms of overall rating such as “Ben Arfa” (79) from Newcastle but still carry solid ball control characteristics almost glide across the pitch. Ben Arfa isn’t that fast, low 80’s in sprint speed yet when he gets the ball and performs trick moves he just explodes by opposing players with ease. Another decent example would be a player like Malouda, who is pretty balanced statistically but doesn’t have the pace to burst past your opponent’s defense. However with properly timed trick moves, or just quick turns Malouda creates space instantaneously allowing openings for simple through balls or shots from distance.
The “NBA Dynamic” which states that a player who is physically superior who shares similar characteristics to a smaller counterpart will hold a competitive advantage or more potential on the pitch. So basically a 6’5 forward with a 90 sprint speed is more valuable than a 6’0 forward with that same sprint speed. If you’ve ever competed in FIWC (FIFA Interactive World Cup) online qualifiers then the most popular teams are always squads like Sweden, Germany, and Chelsea because stats are even across the board with the only factor varying being size. Losing skill while gaining size can be an efficient tradeoff in FIFA 12 if you change your attacking movements. Especially in terms of crossing, height is easily the biggest game changer when winning headers.
Remember to check my site www.profifablog.com for more info, blogs, news!! Follow on twitter @michs09usa
Have you played FIFA Ultimate Team Mode!!
Welcome back guys for another edition of FIFA Fridays. If you’re active in gaming networks on twitter your notice multiple trending topics that include things like #FUT… The amount of my friends who ask me what the hell #FUT is an acronym for is pretty amusing. So let me breakdown what #FUT (FIFA Ultimate Team) is all about. This mode I believe started in FIFA 2010, but it’s grown over the past couple FIFA installments. I’ve put in a lot of time playing FUT in FIFA 12, and this mode rocks…
What is FUT?
So FIFA Ultimate Team is a game mode where you start with a team full of Bronze level players (ranging from overall (50-64)… In other words the worst players in the game, but as you play matches either vs. the computer AI or other online players you gain a certain amount of funds per match depending on results. (win/loss, goals, shots, etc…) Then you’re able to put these funds towards all sorts of upgrades that include new players through auction, various packs (bronze, silver, gold), and even uniforms / stadiums. This game mode gives you total control over what brand of football you’re trying to recreate.
FUT has the most depth of any FIFA mode, and is updated daily with new players… For example, after each Euro Championship match EA takes the player of the match and then puts an improved version of that player in FUT mode where you can then buy packs in hopes of getting lucky and acquiring the enhanced version. What makes this game mode so amazing is that creating an elite team isn’t based on FIFA skill because there is an auction market that allows you opportunities to buy for cheap and then sell for a profit. Obviously if you’re good at FIFA it has plenty of perks, EA puts out new tournaments in FUT mode each week with gold packs or coins up for grabs. Most tournaments have different types of restrictions which forces players to work hard on developing multiple squads in order to take part in different events. Ex: Some tourneys are as simple as just having an all bronze team, while others can be as complicated as having 11 different nationalities on your roster.
Keys to Success!
1. Making Money!
2. TEAM CHEMISTRY
- If your squad doesn’t have high team chemistry, they won’t move properly without the ball or make runs… Even on
defense your players will often be out of position
3. Finding Hidden Gems
- Players that are affordable yet provide impactful performances
4. Gaining Top Flight Players
5. Getting’ Lucky
- If you get a Ronaldo or Messi in a pack… You’d be able to sell either player for so much money that it would set you
up to build a squad of elite players or I mean just add either them to your roster… Team overall rating = GOING UP
Interesting Fact: EA has profited 39 million off FIFA Ultimate Team Mode in FIFA 12 (As of March)
This blog just barely touches on the capabilities of FUT mode. If FUT mode interests you guys I’d be more than willing to detail paths to making funds, creating the best teams, and dominating matches…. Remember to check out my site www.profifablog.com for FIFA news, additional blogs, event information etc…
Follow me on twitter to see what’s on my mind @michs09usa
6/8 -- Major League Gaming & FIFA
Let’s look into what FIFA 12 has achieved this year…
FIFA may be the largest growing title in the world, especially in the competitive gaming circuit. FIFA 12 obtained the title as the fastest selling sports title of all time, surpassing all others. (Including Madden) Multiple reputable game review sites placed FIFA 12 on a podium all its own with the majority spreading the word that this title was only heading in one direction. I personally believe that IGN is a very credible source for reviews and FIFA 12 received the Holy Grail with 9.5/10 on the site. Official Review
The gameplay slowed down a lot in FIFA 12, which enabled a huge growth in competitive tournaments because it allowed for more players to compete at the highest level. The gap between pros and solid players was getting closer because making chances became more difficult and new defensive features made it easier to keep games tight.
FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) claims to be the largest gaming tournament in the world & it may be true.This past year they registered over 1,000,000 competitors worldwide. FIWC > 1 Million!
Then take a look at Virgin Gaming who formed a partnership with EA sports and held the largest payout tournament ever in NYC more than a month ago where all the top players were in attendance. FIFA brought a full bracket at 256 qualified players all who traveled from their own pockets. (Expenses & Accommodations were not provided by VG)
Everyone wants to be the best and all the players need is a venue, the FIFA community in past years has always been separated but its grown closer in recent times and everyone’s chasing the title of “BEST PLAYER ALIVE! I've seen all the hype E3 as brought for FIFA 13, so best believe EA is going to have another title that sells off the charts and has the community looking for somewhere to compete.
Major League Gaming
Major League Gaming is always looking for rising titles, so why not take one that’s proven to have a committed community with players who are willing to travel anywhere for the chance to be crowned a champion. Sports titles are terrific for spectators; anyone who watches sports in real life will have no problem keeping up with the action. Speaking of action, in a 12 minute match of FIFA you’re almost guaranteed to see multiple goals that are accompanied by exciting trick moves throughout the match. FIFA 13 focuses highly on Complete Dribbling, and for anyone who played FIFA 12 then you know exactly how valuable properly timed trick moves can be.
Side Note: FIFA 11 & 12 are both in the top 10 for most played titles in the year 2011. HERE
FIFA has every component to move up from just a competitive title, to “THE Competitive title” … So MLG look at the statistics, make the announcement, and sign players up!
Thanks for the read, I also write Tuesday blogs via my website --> Check out my site www.ProFIFABlog.com where I provide FIFA tournament information, news, additional blogs, and share my insight on everything FIFA. Follow my moves as they happen on twitter @michs09usa
The website is new, so any feedback is “GOOD” feedback… Remember to watch the vVv Gaming Podcasts where I will be doing features over the next month to talk about FIFA 13, the Euros, and much much more!
Why does everyone use Real Madrid?
In this week’s FIFA Friday ‘s blog I’m taking a closer look into what makes Real Madrid so dominant in FIFA 12. Without a doubt Madrid has the most complete squad and has multiple balanced players that are interchangeable at each position which provides “Depth”. Why is depth important? Mainly because FIFA players have separate styles and different players cater to different tactics. For instance, a smaller undersized team will excel in pressing and quick passing but may lack the ability to win headers or strength to knock players off the ball with consistency. Below is my “Real Madrid” position Breakdown.
Regardless if you run a two or three forward set Madrid has amazing Wing / Strikers in FIFA 12. Obviously you have Ronaldo, the best player in the game in my opinion by a large margin. There isn’t a more complete scorer in the FIFA over the past few years… The combination of strength, size, technique, power, and finishing just makes Ronaldo simply a BEAST. His striking partner Benzema adds a second weapon that your opponent has to respect. He shares many of the Ronaldo characteristics just in smaller doses but is an elite striker and deserves his overall 84 rating.
Game Changer: Both Benzema & Ronaldo are big (6’0 & 6’1) so crossing or fast build up on the ground suits both players which your find is a rare characteristic between strikers. Speed & Size doesn’t come around all too often in FIFA 12.
In the Madrid midfield you have tons of options, so your final lineup comes down to what formation / tactics you plan on using in the match. I commonly use a 3-5-2 with Real Madrid so that’s going to be our example formation for this blog. The first major change I make is I play Diarra (CDM) instead of playing Alonso because while I sacrifice some offensive shooting and long passing I gain a stronger defender who is much quicker enabling better pressure opportunities. I also play Kaka as a CDM even though that’s far from his natural position. I’m a huge fan of using players out of position if I think it gives me a competitive advantage. Kaka has strong composure on the ball and looks to get forward whereas Diarra sits almost just on top of the defense.
RM = Jose Callejon
LM = Di Maria
Both these players have what seems like unlimited pace that compliments with incredible fitness which allows them to run the wings all match and provide crosses for the strikers.
Last key player: Ozil should be your CAM… He can maneuver extremely well and then drop off easy passes to the strikers for the finish.
This is Madrid’s weakest point on the squad; they lack true speed and outside of Ramos don’t provide much power on the defensive line.
Considering I’m only using 3 defenders in my example formation, I’m choosing to use quicker backs rather than larger more powerful ones. If you play with 4 in the back, use Pepe to accompany Ramos in the middle. (CB)
Marcelo and Coentrao are both natural outside backs and have decent speed but are terrible in the air. You can count on them to catch up to fast strikers, but not Elite speedsters or tackle larger Strikers such as an Ibra or Drogba with overwhelming success.
However you do get one stellar defender on your team in Ramos (85)… He’s easily one of the best combo defenders in the game winning headers, making strong tackles, and catching up to fast forwards. Make sure to have him always as your last man back if a through ball down the middle approaches.
Casillas is a top tier keeper in FIFA 12. (89) However for goalies in FIFA size means more than skill sometimes so players like Cech or Hart are much better to have even at lower ratings .
Game Changer: Casillas is a fast keeper, this allows for him to be taken way off the line in order to cut off through balls and improve angles.
As always, thank you for taking time to read my blog & if you guys have any suggestions or questions fire them over to twitter @michs09usa
Next Week’s Blogs = “Why MLG Should Pick Up FIFA13 for the Circuit”
So I’m going to be putting out a new blog each week on FIFA Fridays where I break down teams, tactics, and formations in FIFA 12. Also if you’re into Ultimate Team mode, I can gladly go into detail about making money, getting top players, hidden gems, and differences in gameplay.
In my first entry, I’m going to breakdown one of the most commonly used formations over the past few years of FIFA. The 4-1-2-1-2
If you’ve ever played FIFA online then running into the 4-1-2-1-2 is inevitable. So what makes this formation so popular??
The Answer!! - It allows for so many different FIFA styles to coexist within a formation -- Keep Reading
The 4-1-2-1-2 provides a defensive stonewall with 4 defenders in the back and then a DM who can roam and win headers freely. Plus if you play defensive or ultra-defensive on tactics your outside mids will always come back and defend the wings. If your style has always been of a defensive mastermind, then your options on offense are usually a quick counter attack, or a slower build up depending on where you steal the ball from your opponent.
Wings / Possession
This type of player has blossomed more and more as FIFA gameplay continues to get slower with each new title. Slower gameplay = more time on the ball, tricks become more important, and fewer goals can win you matches…. Personally I hate playing “smart possession” players because they won’t get rattled by pressure and you need to be focused for the entire match. If their good at moving the ball around don’t expect too many error passes, which means less possessions for you to score. A great way to break anyone’s tactics is an early goal, because then you’re able to control the pace of the match.
Wing players are a little different because a solid wing player doesn’t have to overload on possession if they have perfected their craft. You see a lot of wing players in formations like 4-3-3, but expect to see plenty in the 4-1-2-1-2 because it offers two easy triangles that allow for outlet passing down the lines. The 4-1-2-1-2 can also sucker your opponent into the middle so a nicely timed through ball out to the wings can provide open crosses all game long. If your opponent chooses a larger team, or at least a team with forwards who sacrifice speed for size expect to be defending crosses a lot throughout the match. (Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Germany, AC Milan)
Pressing / Attacking
A pressing or attacking player in a 4-1-2-1-2 is going to “Gamble”, this type of opponent is not looking for a close game but rather to exert his dominance in each matchup. Being able to press opponents is key for forcing turnovers but there is an art to the technique. One of the largest mistakes I see online is players “blind pressing”, what this means is people over press and forget the basics leaving themselves exposed for big plays. The easiest way to beat blind pressing, is simply pass the ball back and then go forward… A lot of players don’t handle pressure that well and forget you can always go backwards, not each pass has to go towards your opponent’s goal. So lay it off and then hit your opponent with an over the top lobbed through ball…
I’ve never chosen to use the 4-1-2-1-2 in tournaments, because after using the formation plenty and experimenting I really dislike when I play against other top players in a mirrored formation. When playing against another opponent using the same formation especially in the 4-1-2-1-2 it often cancels each other out and leads to a frustrating nail biter type of game where it’s difficult to progress the ball.
To any new FIFA players, I recommend trying out the 4-1-2-1-2 and for even experienced players this formation provides extreme balance and in my opinion is one of the best default formations in terms of defense.
If you have any questions, or want to see a blog over specific FIFA related content... Feel free to ask me via twitter: @michs09usa
As of right now, next week’s blog is going to focus on “Why does everyone use Real Madrid?”
Below is a sample of a 4-1-2-1-2 designed for crossing
Virgin Gaming Challenge Series World Final
Manhattan (Terminal 5), NYC
If you have been following Esports news, then over the past few months Virgin Gaming has been running qualifiers for their huge event that took place this weekend. The Challenge Series!! FIFA included a field of 256 players, with more than half flying in from outside the United States. This doubles the largest FIFA LAN I’ve participated in regarding participants.
Let me get into the Pros & Cons about the event before I give you guy’s information about my personal performance.
- The venue was large (3 stories) & had a DJ perform throughout the event which was a nice touch
- They had everything color coded so it was easy for players to find where there match was going to take place
- The payouts were absolutely tremendous, 1st place = 167,000 for FIFA
- They didn’t have a random bracket set up, it was really weird… They placed players in brackets but then you could negotiate if you didn’t want to play a certain opponent. They guy who won the event in FIFA, was going to have to play his training partner in the second matchup so he asked for VG to change his location in the bracket & THEY DID!!
- Also VG announced after the first round games were completed that they were going to raffle players who lost their 1st round game an opportunity to reenter the tournament. This I thought was extremely unfair and was nowhere in the rules for the event.
* Side Note: One of the guys who finished 3rd /4th actually lost in the first round of the tourney, but they allowed
him to reenter the tourney as if he won his first round match-up.
- As with many events, the referees don’t know the title they are refereeing… Each game I played it was up to the players to monitor what was illegal or fair. Mainly because they didn't have enough referees to watch over the matches.
Overall it was an amazing event, don’t let my pros & cons scare you off. I couldn’t believe some of the decisions Virgin Gaming made in terms of brackets etc… But outside of that the tourney ran smooth and I can’t wait till next year’s event.
My Matches (Remember I was competing in NHL 2012 & FIFA 2012)
Also everyone needs to keep in mind; every player at the event is one of the best in the world.
In FIFA I was well prepared for the matches, I will say some of their TV’s played at different speeds though which changed the game a little.
1st Game: Easy win, I dominated from start to finish.
2nd Game: I had the run of play the entire game but had some unlucky misses and nearly lost the match. I was able to grab two late goals to close out and win 2-1.
The FIFA God’s came down on me hard in this game. I was ahead 1-0, then tied 1-1 on a deep shot. Then I was losing 2-1 courtesy a penalty kick where I didn’t even slide in the box. I pulled back the equalizer right after that, and I thought I scored the winner in the 88th but they pulled it back for off- sides.
My opponent held the ball in the overtime period in order to go to PK’s where I lost 4-3. I really should have gone at least a couple more rounds into this tourney, I hate outplaying an opponent and then losing but that’s how FIFA works sometimes.
NHL 2012 (I wish I had a little more time to put towards NHL, I was a good player but nowhere as talented as I am when it comes to FIFA)
1st Game: I had a solid game and played tight on defense not surrendering any goals which led me to an easy win over my opponent. 3-0
2nd Game: I played one of the favorites to win the tourney, and he was consistent and always pressuring. I had a lot of trouble getting behind his defense, to make solid opportunities… I lost 4-0, but still made the prize pool due to my 1st round win.
I want to thank vVv Gaming for always showing me support, and Virgin Gaming for putting together such an incredible event. I can’t wait for next year, so I can improve on this performance. Our other FIFA player Figoskillz lost I believe in round 4/5 in the event.
"I'm from Houston Homie"
I went back to my hometown for a local FIFA tourney this past weekend which included some solid competition and allowed me to start practicing for LAN events in FIFA 12. (PS3) There were 16 competitors invited – The event was held at what’s going to become “Xtreme Soccer Shop”, in the video the venue is totally empty because renovations haven’t been made yet. The owner is really involved in FIFA so he opened up the store to hold an event.
The setup was a little unorthodox (multiple group stages before reaching bracket play)
16 = 4 groups of 4
Top 2 from each group advance
8 = 2 groups of 4
Top 2 once again advance
Then we played a single elimination Semi & Final to decide the Champion.
3-0 in group 1
3-0 in group 2
Semi = 3-1 win
Final = 4-1 win
I only conceded 3 goals in eight games so I would say my defense won me this event. I had a really close game in the semi’s where I was actually losing up until the 65th minute before scoring a penalty kick and opening the flood gates.
1st place = 400$ (Winner take all)
Sao Paulo, Brazil – Largest city in Brazil
World Cyber Games Pan American Championship
Team USA arrived in Sao Paulo early Friday morning with expectations to put on a solid showing at the Pan American Championship. The competition titles included FIFA 11, Starcraft 2, and Counterstrike 1.6. Our Starcraft player was unable to get an approved visa in time for the trip therefore we didn’t have a representative at the event.
My group play started early Saturday afternoon: We played 2 games against each opponent in the group stage.
Based on a points system (3points a win, 1 for tie, and 0 for loss)
Brazil: 1-1-0 (1 win, 1 tie)
I started the event playing extremely well, with a balanced attack and steady defense. Not dropping any matches during the group stage. Which left me seated #1 heading into bracket play.
The structure changed to best of 3 going into bracket play.
I played a different Panama opponent first 2-0
[*]Then I met Mexico in the semi finals
With that loss I was playing in the 3rd/4th game against Costa Rica.
Costa Rica 1-2 (vVv michs09 = 4th place)
My advantage in the group stages ended up being a hindrance in my future games. I used smaller faster defenders in my back line where all my opponents used tall, strong, but slow defense. In the two series I lost my opponents connected on crosses and corner kicks for their goals which were contributed to my lack of size in the back line. Finishing 4th is still a nice showing, but I’m disappointed because of how close I was to being in the final, and then at the least coming top 3. My opponents played well and all the games were tight. (usually just separated by a goal)
I want to thank the vVv Gaming community for support, and all of our sponsors.
Below is the link to the official site:
It’s that time of the year again; the IeSF 2011 World Final (International Esports Federation) took place in Andong, Korea this year. I qualified to represent the USA in the Hyundai Veloster promotional title after winning a qualifier held by WOGL. (World Online Gaming League)
Titles: (FIFA Online 2, Starcraft 2, A.V.A. & Hyundai Veloster)
40 Nations (400 total players)
Team USA arrived at Incheon Airport jet lagged after 20+ hours of traveling. We took a bus ride to a nearby hotel where the event organizers informed the players there would be a layover for the night. Most the competitors took naps and then went for dinner/ exploring the city before coming back to the hotel and relaxing.
The next day included a four hour drive to our hotel located in a forest about thirty minutes from the city. That was probably the largest complaint from the players throughout the event. Who wants to take a thirty minute bus ride a few times each day? Also they chose an odd city for a gaming competition; Andong, Korea is only inhabited by around 150,000 people.
Day 3: (Friday)
The competition gets underway with all group stages for each title being completed by the end of the day. I finished first in my group defeating (Brazil, Russia, & India) without dropping a lap. Unfortunately for me the #1 Korean player took notice to my lap times, and lost purposely in his group versus his above average Korean teammate. This meant that he would be the number two seed and I would meet him the next day for bracket play opposed to his teammate.
Believe it or not at gaming events situations like this happen more often than you would think.
If I raced perfect I knew I would have a decent chance still, I was confident that I could beat at least 2/4 Koreans in the tournament so why not take down the top guy.
Day 4: (Saturday)
I arrived at the venue early to get some practice races in before my head to head matchup. After about forty-five minutes it was time to face-off. We ran close to identical first laps but on lap two he made a couple turns a little tighter than mine and edged me out by a second to win the race. I was hoping to get a chance at the end of the race to bump his car in order to put him off so I could steal the win but that opportunity never came. We shook hands and I went to go check on the rest of Team USA. Shortly after lunch a few of the players headed to the city to see some of the shops and get a feel for Andong. Later that night with most players already being eliminated because only the finals took place on Sunday we all started drinking in preparation for the club. We arrived at the club a little past twelve and stayed there dancing and drinking until just after four. A couple of the players found some “Friendly” lady friends but I wasn’t nearly drunk enough for that.
Day 5: Sunday
The finals didn’t start till the afternoon so I had plenty of time to sleep before heading back to the venue. Both the FIFA Online 2 & StarCraft 2 finals were 3-0 in sets and left little excitement for spectators because of the dominant performance by the victors. Following the closing ceremony we did some more shopping and then went back to the hotel. Many of the players had flights at 3am that morning so we all stayed up drinking and even played some soccer outside the hotel prior to their departure.
The event was run well and there were hardly any complaints about problems with settings, lag, or delay. The only major issue was location, we spent so much time traveling that it felt like we didn’t even get to see much of Korea. Overall it was a solid event, and a great experience.
FIFA Online 2 = 4th
StarCraft 2 = Group
Hyundai = 5th-8th
A.V.A. = 3rd
I want to thank the vVv community for the support and all our sponsors who make competitive gaming possible!!
11/2/10 (IeSF Challenge Grand Final 2010)
The IeSF Challenge (International Esports Federation) took place over the weekend and myself with a few other American teammates were lucky enough to be competing. The two major games focused on at the event were
The WCG National Final is considered one of the most prestigious events of the year and mainstream results are normally demanded from any gaming organization. At vVv we were lucky enough to have 6 players in attendance including 5/9 for Guitar Hero and myself for FIFA. I put in a lot of time training FIFA 2010 and I must admit winning the event was the only goal I set for this year
4/10/10 - 4/11/10
Upon the announcing of WCG Ultimate Gamer Tryouts, I needed to make a decision and fast. The dates and locations were put on paper about 10 days before the actual casting calls. (Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, NYC) I immediately began to view flights and try to price the trips, naturally I was interested in attending the NYC casting call because the majority of my family lives there. Being from Houston meant that none of the locations were necessarily going to be convenient or cheap so I chose to visit family for the weekend in NYC. I found a nice deal at 240$ round trip even with short notice.
So I booked my flight, and brought out some old games so I could work on my skills before the event, unfortunately with work and a busy schedule with school I had limited time to prepare but I did put together a resume etc... I flew out on Friday afternoon and landed in NYC around 10pm... I woke up early the next morning to get a good breakfast and talk with family before heading out. I showed up at the venue around 1pm and was greeted by a line of about 30-40 people but I figured I missed the morning rush so the wait shouldn't be too bad. I saw some familiar faces, and after a little more than an hour I was to the front of the line ready to make my first impressions.
After taking the paperwork the "judges/officials" walked us through the game stations where we had to compete in Forza, SF4, and MW2.... We were monitored while playing the games, I think mostly to insure that we weren't actors and actually had knowledge when it comes to a variety of popular titles. All the games were placed on "Hard" and we competed against the AI while being closely watched. There was a quick interview afterwards that was a general screening so the judges could get an idea of your personality.
My personal performance :
Forza = Poor---- I've never played the game, and sort of raced it like a NFS or PGR opposed to a Gran Turismo... but I can easily improve heaps and bounds on this title with just an hour of practice
MW2 = Average---- In shooters I have had success in the past but I haven't really played daily since COD4, GOW1, or even Halo2... So I understood the game but I wasn't anything to brag about to your friends
SF4 = Exceptional---- It's been a long time since playing Street Fighter but when the game first came out I was all over it, I also own an arcade stick and have been known to focus alot of my extra time into the "Fighting Genre" ... I was really disappointed they didn't allow the competitors to use a stick, but adjusting to the xbox controller wasn't too difficult.
Interview/Screening---- Very short, asked me a few basic questions... checked out my credentials, "What time can you come back tomorrow? " (I noticed that interviews differentiated in time between contestants, I will note that in NYC there were quite a few actors/actresses but they were not that difficult to weed out)
My meeting/interview was scheduled for 6pm which meant I needed to check in around 5:30 to be on the safe side. I made it to the hotel on time, only to be greeted by at least 20 gamers sitting around in the lobby waiting for there names to be called... I went to the front dropped off some additional background information forms and then took a seat, I knew it would be quite some time before it was my turn to shine. Around 9pm I was finally pulled in for my interview (3 hours behind schedule)... I felt comfortable maybe even excited while I sat in my chair with the video camera rolling. I was possibly the most accomplished person in the building, and believe me I got the mouth to back it up. We had a friendly discussion filled with trash talk, laughs, and smiles for around 20-25min before leaving the venue.
There is no telling who will get chosen for the next level, but I can guarantee I left a lasting impression...