PES Club Manager for beginners: Rising through the divisions

In this final post of my PES Club Manager Beginner’s guide, I will discuss some key areas to take note of as you climb to higher divisions. Having played over 90 seasons since October 2016, getting to Top Player Division 11 (where I am currently at) has been a long grind. It takes quite a bit of effort and commitment to analyse and strengthen your team on a regular basis. The game can get tedious and you may lose the motivation to progress further, especially if you have a busy schedule.

One thing that kept me going was setting targets for myself. Always aim to promote every season. If you have found the winning formula, aim to win the league and cup double. And if somehow winning gets boring, try using mostly 5-star players in your team and show that you can still excel even without superstar players.

Thankfully, this game is not just about grinding all the way to Superstar X Division. There are other fun game features in PES Club Manager that makes it the complete fantasy football experience.

Pre-match analysis

Before I cover on game features, let me start with this very important tip. During the Beginner Division, your focus may solely be on creating the best possible first team. But eventually, you will have to make it a habit to analyse your opponent’s players and tactics before facing them, especially against strong user teams. You don’t have to be an expert in football, but it helps to forecast your opponent’s game plan and anticipate the problems they may pose to you.

Look at the example above. AlwayzAGamer is one of my friends in PES Club Manager. Without looking at his players yet, I can deduce 2 key points:

  1. His defensive line is very deep. All defenders are positioned within the penalty box. The whole purpose of a deep defensive line is that you don’t want pacy forwards to run into space behind the defence. This tactic compliments counter-attacking football since the opposition might overcommit players to navigate past this tight defence.
  2. He is most likely playing down the middle. Playing out wide will likely result in the 2 attacking midfielders in the middle to push outwards and join the wing forwards. This will leave a big gap in the middle of the field, which can easily be exploited with a simple through pass to launch a counter-attack down the middle.

When editing your team before the match, don’t forget that you can view your opponent’s tactics by pressing on the V icon (Circled in red below). You get to see your opponent’s main tactical options and substitutes in addition to the first team and formation.

You may not be familiar with the names of many football players and it is too time-consuming to look at every opposition players’ stats before each match. But it helps to identify the key players that can pose a big threat to your team. Players with an overall rating of above 100 along with limit breaks and special traits are clear star players of the team. But sometimes, key players are not so obvious.

From the team lineup above, DMF Maxime Gonalons can be considered the most high key player of the team because he is the only link between the defensive line and the rest of the team. If he is being shut down, it will be difficult for the team to utilise build up play from the back to get the ball to the forwards.

Domestic leagues

Now let’s move on to game modes. Every season, you get to choose to participate in either the international or domestic league. Before entering a new season, check who your opponents are for the season. The number of user teams you face will increase as you advance to higher divisions in the international league.

What if you are stuck in a certain division and decide that the only way forward is to do a major revamp for your team? Then consider playing in the domestic league for a while to train up your team and rebuild your overall rating. The key differences in the domestic league are that there are no user teams and no promotion or relegation. So at the very least, you can play without the fear of relegation. Getting relegated in PES Club Manager has serious repercussions for your club status.

There are 4 domestic leagues in PES Club Manager: English, Spanish, Italian and French. Do take note that just because there are no user teams, it does not mean that you will easily cruise to the title. The good teams will be challenging to play against. For some reason, football powerhouses like PSG can be beaten comfortably in the international league and exhibition matches, but are really strong in the domestic league.

Hall of fame

Did you know that you can manage 2 different teams at once in PES Club Manager? Once you reach the Amateur Division, you can build a club museum in your hometown and start registering players in your hall of fame.

Players accumulate fame points by playing matches, and this can be accelerated with the help of fame boosters and your team finishing well in the league table. Once you reach 2000 fame points, your player will be eligible for induction into the hall of fame and can play for the hall of fame team.

Compete against other users’ hall of fame teams in the Classic Masters to earn master points, which are used to increase the capacity of your hall of fame. PES Club Manager also occasionally hosts the Classic Tournament, a knockout tournament where hall of fame teams face off to become the champion.

Other game features

Monthly online cups like Managers Cup and Partners Cup are unlocked at Amateur Division. This is a tournament that consists of group stages and knockout rounds. Overall, a challenging tournament to play in. The rewards served even for just getting out of your group are worthwhile. You need to earn enough managers score each month to participate in the online cups. Do note that you don’t earn managers score in the domestic league.

If you are in Top Player Division and want a huge challenge, consider playing in the Survival League. All I know is that this is described as the toughest game mode in PES Club Manager, but I have not played it myself.

And if you want to make more friends in PES Club Manager, you should consider joining an association. There are regular events being held for associations such as Association Cup, where members contribute their players to form a formidable team to represent the association.

With a variety of game modes in PES Club Manager, there is always something else you can do besides grinding to higher divisions. So keep an eye for them and most importantly, enjoy the game!

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