The new PES season may just about have started, but the more popular game on the site, FIFA, kicks off today. This is the most prestigious competition on the OGC website, so expect bragging, tempers to flare and Choosy to be in a relegation dogfight.
The top tier is possibly the tightest to call in recent history. The title race will likely consist of usual suspects, Matt and DT, although many outsiders have a good claim to the throne. Matt, playing as Besiktas, and without the distraction of the PES league, is the favourite in my eyes. With more trophies than I can count, he is a solid bet to win the first silverware on FIFA this version. DT will contest that statement however. A better FIFA player than PES player (albeit he is a top player on both formats), AC Milan will provide him with a team that can obliterate certain opponents. Getting somewhat fortunate, receiving a usually 4.5* star team in a 4* team draw, the Essex man will be disappointed if he doesn’t win the title.
As for other players with dreams of an upset on the cards, look no further than Fran_Bron and the two Finbows, finbow1984 and Finbow88. Fran_Bron is a self-declared title favourite, although playing as Espanyol, he will be disappointed having wanted to swap to a plethora of other Spanish sides. As for the Finbow brothers, Craig (finbow1984) has been given a plush draw with Real Sociedad. The La Liga side boast striking options such as Carlos Vela and Inamol Agirretxe, so expect Craig to score a ton of goals. As for Mark (Finbow88), on his day he is one of the best players on the site, possibly even untouchable when in form. Mark’s problem is consistency over a season, and he will be hoping to shake that tag by going close with Russian outfit, FC Krasnodar.
Sharkey is a player with a history of success on the site and will be playing on PES as well as FIFA. Having drawn Shakhtar, a top half finish is expected, although he himself could be a dark horse. Another player also on PES is Flux. Having swapped well, PSV for Celta Vigo, Flux should also finish in the top half, although playing in both leagues, being a favourite over on PES, may distract the Toon fan. Scottshep, another player with a good draw, playing with Real Betis, will be hoping to finish in the upper echelons of the league.
Likely to finish somewhere in mid-table mediocrity are Chris, MikeyKinnear, Shepy and Natboy. Given the previous success on the site for players like MikeyKinnear and Natboy this judgement may seem a bit harsh. However, given the team draw and the quality of Division One, not every player can fight for the title. Chris took Flux’s original team, PSV, and will be hoping their pace leaves rivals for dead. Mikey will be playing with Lokomotiv Moscow and therefore could struggle against teams such as Milan and Besiktas. Shepy has opted for Newcastle, whereas Natboy has opted for Hamburg.
Finally, those players expected to struggle are Choosy, Crossy and Spurs Ben. For me, Spurs Ben and Choosy have sides that can score goals, in Watford and West Brom. Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo for Spurs Ben and Saido Berahino and Salomon Rondon for Choosy may score the goals to keep their heads above water respectively. Crossy also has a decent team in Fiorentina, but will need to put up one hell of a fight to avoid relegation to Division Two.
Due to the tight nature of this league there could be a surprise winner, although for me I am going with one of the old guard, Matt or DT. Every player in this division has the opportunity to win the FIFA League Cup, so Division Two teams be aware of a mouth-watering draw.
As with the PES league, the majority of the second tier in FIFA consists of new blood. However, first of all a big welcome back to former OFL players, Damian and Will (Modan). Damian was the original voice of the site, founding the podcast. Aside from every existing OGC member offering open arms to welcome the eccentric American back, he also has FIFA pedigree, having won Division One back in the day. As for Will, who will probably be referred to as Modan more frequently on the site, it is also a case of welcome back. As much as there will be a lot of “f**k you Modans” in the chat box, it is good to have players return to the community. Starting with these two, Damian will be playing as Hoffenheim whilst Will will be playing as Torino. Expect these two to be in promotion contention.
As far as I am aware, the remaining players are all newcomers to the site. As I know little about them, I will discuss their teams they will be playing with. Firstly, Terraldo will be playing as Monaco, a team much sought after according to whispers from other members. Other high profile teams have been given to I_littlefinger_I, iGraVeSxValley, StephenTWHU and HeRo6rB who will be playing as Southampton, Lazio, Malaga and Zenit St Petersburg respectively. The two Division Two players to also feature over on PES are Njameson77 and Jed85, the former having been drawn Nice and the latter with CSKA Moscow. Only time will tell whether they will be distracted by the PES league or whether they will perform better on FIFA. Other decent draws have gone to F_K_m1, JohnDeo7, iDventurer_z who will play as Galatasaray, Crystal Palace and Fenerbache respectively. Finally, tough draws have been given to Grundlebug, Malky7661 and MightyQuinn who have been drawn with Werder Bremen, St Etienne and Hertha Berlin respectively.
Obviously because the vast majority of this league is filled by newcomers, it is difficult to accurately predict the final standings. Of the two players with history within the community, I would expect both Damian and Will to finish in the top six, with the latter possibly fighting for automatic promotion.
Good luck to all those competing this season. Get involved with the community! Who do you think will be fighting for the Division One title? Who is facing relegation from the top tier? And who will be taking their place after having won promotion in their first season? Comment below.