The Online Cup is the hardest game mode in PES Club Manager in my opinion. This game mode is unlocked when you reach Amateur Division. An Online Cup event 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 Managers Champions Cup.
The 48th Top Player Managers Cup was recently held earlier this month, and I was the runner-up in the tournament. This was the best result I have ever had in an Online Cup.
I have never qualified for the Managers Champions Cup. I have also not seen a Special Managers Cup event in many months, and I am unsure if this cup has been removed from PES Club Manager. Therefore, I can’t provide any insight into what these tournaments are like.
Partners Cup is usually 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. The Partners Cup also serves good rewards like player contacts, even if you don’t progress out of the group stages.
In this guide, I will describe the features of the Managers Cup in PES Club Manager and share my experience in the recent Managers Cup, providing tips along the way.
To qualify for the monthly Online Cup, you need to obtain a certain number of Managers Score (See picture below). Do remember 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 continue to rack up points and aim to be the top 20% of users with the most Managers Score before the event starts. Your reward is an invitation to participate in the main event of a higher category.
In my case, I could participate in the Online Cup of the Super Star category even though I am from the Top Player Division. But I advise against doing this as it is very time-consuming.
There is one extremely important thing to note before participating in the Online Cup. You need to select one of two cup classes before the main event starts: New Season Class or Free Class. The Online Cup is essentially two tournaments in one event.
If you participate in the New Season Class, then ALL your first team players must be from the latest season. This even excludes your youth players. If you don’t comply with this rule, you will incur a 500 point deduction from your team’s overall rating for the tournament. This will essentially kill off your chances of progressing out of the group stages.
The New Season Class is generally more popular because managers can get a good reward, usually a building permit, just from progressing out of the group stages. Also, you can only qualify for the Managers Champions Cup if you have had a good result in the New Season Class Managers Cup. I play in the Free Class tournament exclusively because I still have a lot of good 2017-18 players from my scouting list.
The main event of the Managers Cup is conducted 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 don’t control your team in real time. The match is automatically played out, and you have no control over what happens during the match. This means that you need to set your team line-up, tactics and man-marking before the scheduled match timing. You can log back into PES Club Manager after at least 30 minutes from the start of the match to check the results, and watch the replay of the match if you want to.
This nicely leads on to an extremely crucial tip for Online Cups: Always check the time of the match! There were a number of occasions in the past 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 Managers Cup:
Looks very different from the team I played when I was writing my beginner’s guide to PES Club Manager? Not long ago, I realised that my team was no longer able to play effective counter-attacking football, and I kept getting shut down by other user teams.
So I decided to forego my favourite playstyle and return to basics — Possession-based and short passes. I play 4-3-3 nowadays because I like to play aggressive and keep a lot of pressure the opponent’s defence. Keeping possession is important because the central defence in the 4-3-3 formation is more vulnerable if I cannot keep hold of the ball. It is also easier to keep the ball with short passing.
Online Cup isn’t a game mode for managers who are unsure 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 with around the same overall rating as you during the Online Cup. Teams with 30+ points higher than you are those that you need to pay closer attention to.
This was the team that beat me in the finals to win the Top Player Managers Cup 48:
This is also a typical example of a user team packed full of talented 6-7 star players. You can’t see from the picture above, but all his players from the starting lineup had special traits, and his 3 forwards had limit breaks too.
It’s not uncommon for managers in PES Club Manager to deploy lots of famous 6-7 star players in their first team to get quick success. While there isn’t anything wrong with that, this is not the way I like to play the game as developing 5-star players to become top players is a fulfilling challenge. But just remember that you will have to overcome a few of these teams in order to win the Online Cup.
Even though you may have to accept that your opponent has much stronger players than you, there are still a few things you can do to gain slight advantages against tougher opponents:
- Special trait tormenters. These traits increase the opponent’s overall ability if you employ a certain tactic. So ask yourself beforehand, “If I were to use this tactic, am I giving my opponent an advantage?”. This opponent had no special trait tormenters, so I was free to use any tactic I liked.
- Identify the overall playstyle. This opponent has a strong counter-attacking team, and a number of players had the “Counter-attack style” special trait. This means that I needed to try and maintain possession as much as possible. I also kept 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 by containing him in the middle, I prevented him from playing to his strengths.
Looking back at my early days of playing PES Club Manager, I regret not taking the Online Cup seriously when I was in Amateur and Regular Divisions. It’s likely easier to win the Online Cup in the lower division categories, so don’t make the same mistake as I did and ensure that your team is ready to challenge in every Online Cup.
Good luck to all managers trying to win that elusive Online Cup, and hopefully I can win one myself someday.