In my Beginner’s guide to PES Club Manager, I mentioned in the final post that I have not played in the Survival League yet.
But recently on 20th March, the Survival League event dropped by again, and will end on 10th April. Since this event does not come by regularly, I took the opportunity to play this game mode for the first time.
Overall, I feel that online cups is still harder than the Survival League. However, Survival League is indeed really challenging for managing your players’ stamina, and is the most frustrating game mode in PES Club Manager.
Introduction to Survival League
Survival League is an event available only for players in Top Player Division or higher. It is made up of 5 levels. At the beginning, you start at level 1. To progress to level 2, you need to finish first in the league.
If you don’t win the league, you will remain at your current level. If you win all 5 levels, you will conquer the entire Survival League.
Survival League is quite similar to domestic leagues as there are no user teams. However, there are also no cup tournament, sponsors and football agent offers.
Certain event features in PES Club Manager are also disabled while playing in the Survival League. I was not able to take part in National Team Challenge Spin Tour and Secret Drops Spring event while playing this game mode.
Survival League is all about managing your squad like in real life. You have NO access to recovery kits. Recovery kits (Shown below) are mainly used to recover stamina that players lose from playing regularly. There are also recovery kits for motivation and injuries.
As if that isn’t bad enough, players’ stamina drain at a MUCH faster rate in the Survival League. It also takes a longer time, even when fully rested, for players to regain their stamina. Even playing your goalkeeper every game will eventually drain all of his stamina before the midseason.
There are still midseason training camps in the Survival League, but take note that it does not fully restore all your players’ stamina.
So instead of recovery kits, you have access to recuperation programmes (Shown below). Each season, you get at least 5 recuperation programmes. You must use up all recuperation programmes before the end of the season as they DO NOT carry forward to the next season.
The benefits you get from recuperation programmes are small, but still impactful. You should ideally reserve them for boosting your team before a crucial match. Player stamina management makes this game mode highly challenging, especially when trying to preserve your key players’ stamina for important matches.
Survival League first impressions
I played 2 seasons of Survival League and won the Survival League level 1, but played badly in level 2 and finished in 8th place.
These were the opponents I faced during my 2 seasons in the Survival League. The top 3 teams in each table were the 3 strongest teams in their respective levels. Teams you face in the Survival League come from all over the world.
Survival League Level 1
|Celta Vigo||La Liga||Spain|
|Real Sociedad||La Liga||Spain|
|PAOK FC||Super League Greece||Greece|
|Boca Juniors||Superliga Argentina||Argentina|
|San Lorenzo de Almagro||Superliga Argentina||Argentina|
|Club América||Liga MX||Mexico|
|Club Universidad de Chile||Chilean Primera División||Chile|
Survival League Level 2
|Inter Milan||Serie A||Italy|
|Levante UD||La Liga||Spain|
|Atlético Mineiro||Campeonato Brasileiro Série A||Brazil|
|Club Atlético Banfield||Superliga Argentina||Argentina|
Now, you may think that majority of the teams in Level 2 aren’t famous and, therefore, shouldn’t be hard to beat. But that was totally not true.
For some reason, Level 2 is A LOT harder than Level 1. The teams in Level 2 are much stronger at winning the ball from you, and much harder to win the ball from as well. It was a really frustrating experience repeatedly watching my team struggle to make plays, and then concede afterwards because of an unstoppable counterattack.
Personally, I feel that you should avoid the Survival League if you are trying to refine your team. A team that is not well-trained and has no camaraderie just can’t compete here, even if you splash your cash on lots of 6-7 star players.
Winning a level in the Survival League gives you a good reward: A random 6-star player with the special trait “Climax Hero”. This special trait gives that player a big spike in his rating during the closing stages of the match.
Survival League tips
The first thing you will notice when starting the Survival League is that each team has a “Counter lineup” special trait. This means that the team’s overall rating INCREASES if you play a certain formation.
Take a look at Inter Milan below. The special trait “Versus 5 DFs” means that Inter Milan’s overall rating will rise if you play 5 defenders against them.
Always check what your opposition’s special traits are before playing against them. Obviously, the solution against Inter Milan is to not play 5 defenders.
The main struggle you will face in the Survival League is managing your players’ stamina. One important thing to remember is that your opponents always start at FULL stamina, so they don’t have that same concern as you do.
Low stamina players cannot track opposing players, and will make sloppy plays. To start with, I suggest setting your “Pressuring” to conservative and “Defensive Style” to all-out defence after you have taken a significant lead (i.e. 2 goal lead).
Since recuperation programmes don’t provide a big impact on team stamina recovery, you will need to sign additional players (i.e. A reserve team) to compete in the Survival League.
You should prioritise having back up fullbacks, wingers and forwards since they generally lose stamina at the fastest rate. Sign a backup goalkeeper as well. You can still sign players from the scouting list after the season has started.
Also, note that in the Survival League match schedule, you face teams in order from weakest to the strongest team. Therefore, rest your key players strategically ahead of time so that they are not at low stamina before facing the strong opponents.
Remember: Survival League is all about results, not fanciful or high-scoring football. Preserving your players’s stamina is the top priority!