In my opinion, the Online Cup is the hardest game mode in PES Club Manager. This game mode is unlocked when you reach Amateur division, which is fairly early in your PES Club Manager career.
An online cup is held every month; the most common one being the Managers Cup. There are 3 other types of online cups: Partners Cup, Special Managers Cup Event and Manager Champions Cup.
The 48th Top Player Managers Cup was recently held earlier this month, and I finished as runner-up. This is the best result I have ever had in an online cup to date.
Partners Cup is held in place of the Managers Cup every few months. The key difference between these two cups is that the Partners Cup has home and away legs, whereas every match in the Managers Cup is always held at a neutral venue.
Manager Champions Cup is a tournament involving teams that won or did well (usually reaching at least the semi-finals) in the most recent Managers Cup. It is unique because you can actually control your team in real time if you want to.
I have not seen a Special Managers Cup Event in many months, and I am pretty certain that this cup has been removed from PES Club Manager.
In this post, I will only be covering the key features of the Managers Cup in PES Club Manager, and share my experience in the 48th Managers Cup.
To qualify for an online cup, you need to obtain a certain amount of Managers Score (See picture below). Do note that Managers Score CANNOT be earned from playing in the domestic league.
Once you have racked up the required number of points for Qualifiers Round 1, you qualify for the online cup and will enter Qualifiers Round 2.
Here, you can continue to rack up points in order to be the top 20% of users with the most Managers Score before the online cup starts. Your reward is an invitation to participate in the online cup of a higher category.
However, this is very time-consuming and pretty pointless since you are screwing yourself over by facing more difficult opponents. Why would you want to do that if your goal is to win an online cup?
You need to select one of two cup categories before the main event begins: Special Class or Free Class. As strange as it sounds, the online cup is essentially two tournaments in one event.
This is extremely important: If you participate in the Special Class, then ALL your first team players must come from the LATEST SEASON. This even excludes your youth players. If you don’t comply, you will automatically be assigned to the Free Class.
The Special Class is generally more popular because you can get a good reward (usually a building permit) just from progressing out of the group stages. Also, you can only qualify for the Manager Champions Cup through the Special Class tournament.
The main event of the Managers Cup is held over a period of a week. 16 teams in the same tournament category will be drawn into 4 groups.
Each team in the group plays each another once, and the top 2 teams qualify for the knockout rounds. The 8 teams that qualify for the knockout rounds then compete to become the champion.
The first major difference you will notice between online cups and any other game mode in PES Club Manager is that you can’t control your team in real time. The match is automatically played out, so you have no control over what happens DURING the match.
This means that you need to set your team lineup, tactics and man-marking before the scheduled match timing. You can log back into PES Club Manager after around 30 minutes from the start time to check the results, and watch the replay of the match if you want to.
And this nicely leads on to another crucial tip for online cups: Check the time of the match! In the past, there were a number of occasions where I forgot to prepare my team before the match started, and this resulted in some costly losses.
Other than that, there is nothing else to worry about. Your players’ stamina and motivation are always reset to full after each match. Cards and injuries do not carry forward to the next match in online cups too.
TOP PLAYER MANAGERS CUP 48
This was the team that I used during the 48th Managers Cup:
The formation and tactics are totally different from what I used when I was writing my beginner’s guide to PES Club Manager. Recently, I found it difficult to continue playing effective counter-attacking football. My counter-attacks kept getting shut down by good user teams, and it is suicidal to let strong user teams have most of the possession.
So, I went back to basics — Possession game and short passes. After all, it is easier to keep possession with short passing. I play 4-3-3 formation because I want to be aggressive and keep a lot of pressure on the opponent’s defence. Keeping possession is also important in 4-3-3 because the central defence is more vulnerable with less players in midfield.
The Online Cup isn’t a game mode for players who aren’t sure of what their best team lineup and tactics are. I was quite confident of my team because I regularly attained good results against user teams in the International League.
In general, I recommend sticking to what works for you when facing teams in online cups. For teams with overall rating of 30+ points higher than you, you might want to consider making small tweaks to your team.
This was the team that beat me in the finals to win the Top Player Managers Cup 48:
This is the quintessential strong user team packed full of talented 6-7 star players (including the substitutes). You can’t see from the picture above, but all his players in the starting lineup had special traits, and his 3 forwards had limit breaks too.
It’s not uncommon for user teams in PES Club Manager to employ lots of highly talented 6-7 star players in their first team for quick success. But what I learned from this is that there are two main components (other than lots of training) you must have to succeed in online cups: Strong forwards and special traits for everyone.
Sometimes, you just have to accept that your opponents have much stronger players than you. However, there are still a few things you can do to lessen their advantage:
- Special trait tormenters. These traits increase the opposition’s overall rating if you employ a certain tactic. So ask yourself beforehand, “If I were to use this tactic, am I making my opponent stronger?”. This opponent had no special trait tormenters, so I didn’t need to tweak my tactics.
- Identify the overall playstyle. Although I don’t really understand the asymmetry in the formation, this opponent had a strong counter-attacking team. A number of players had the “Counter-attack style” special trait. This meant that I needed to maintain possession and keep a deep defensive line to ensure that my defence and defensive midfielder don’t overcommit to attacks, and get caught off guard by a counter-attack.
- Attacking area and containment. This opponent liked to attack down the sides. So, containing his players in the middle prevented him from playing to his strengths.
Looking back at my early days in PES Club Manager, I regret not taking online cups seriously when I was in Amateur and Regular Divisions. It’s likely easier to win online cups in the lower division categories, so don’t make the same mistake as I did and ensure your team is always ready to challenge every online cup.
Good luck to all managers trying to win that elusive online cup, and hopefully I can win one myself someday.