And then suddenly the cat wanted to escape....
Co-Founder Patrick's self-experiment in Pro Clubs continues. Now on Playstation 4, as part of a real Pro Clubs team that was still looking for players at short notice...
At 20:04, my mobile phone rang. A Whatsapp message. Nothing unusual. It happens several tens, sometimes hundreds of times a day. It said "Patrick Baur: Your chance" and came from our teammate at Doppelpass, Florian Felleiter. Plus a photo from Facebook. The first team at esport-manager.com, the S5 Elite Bombers, were still looking for two centre-backs for their Pro Clubs team's training evening. My answer was short and sweet: "I'm a striker".
Fifteen minutes later, I wrote to the Bombers' club managers. "What happened next was very spontaneous, even for a spontaneous person like me. You see, I had only ever played FIFA career mode with my digital avatar, the Pro. On Xbox. However, the Elite Bombers play on the Playstation 4, which I had gotten two nights before - also in a night and fog action. But I'll gladly share the story with you another time.
Step by step to the start in the Pro Clubs team
Let's bring up the bottom line: At 9:10 pm, I started my debut as a Test striker for the S5 Elite Bombers. Some excitement altogether marked the time from about twenty past eight until the black Bomber jersey. After all, to play on a Pro Clubs team, there are a few requirements.
- The Playstation has to be connected - in my case, either Xbox or Playstation 4 can be connected to the TV. And, of course, the Xbox was connected to the HDMI cable first.
- FIFA21 has to be up to date to play against others in online mode - and of course, that wasn't the case with me yet. So first, an update of just over 3 gigabytes had to be downloaded and then installed... Waiting time - depending on the internet line - up to 20 minutes.
- You have to have a Playstation Plus subscription, which, luckily, I had already taken out. This step alone costs time and nerves on the console. Also to it gladly at another place more.
- You have to be "friends" with the club manager on the Playstation. So I quickly exchanged the IDs via Whatsapp and got the friend requests.
- The club manager has to invite you to a "Playstation party" to hear the standard team exchange, also called Teamspeak. Here you talk about the moves, the common tactics and strategy during the game.
- But for you to hear and talk to the team, you'll need to equip your Dualshock controller with a headset - with a jack. I didn't have one handy and had to - update time was right for that - search around the house for an old headset first.
- Yeah, and then you still need your Pro. Also on the Playstation. I had already created it the night before. So: Hook on it. Are you ready?
- Not quite: First, I need a transfer to the new team. That was done quickly, and finally, I could take the central striker position in the starting eleven. Shirt number 13! Digital football world, I'm ready.
- Oh yes - there was one more thing: Actually, I had planned to spend a cosy evening in front of the TV with my wife and watch "Prison Break". But my wife saw the shining eyes and then experienced the evening as a viewer of my debut. A big thank you at this point for your understanding, sweetheart!
So, you can imagine what was going on in the Whatsapp groups during those minutes. Again briefly asked here, there shared an ID, and next steps asked.
Talking about it is one thing, being there is an experience
Why I'm doing this, I've written and said before that I think Pro Clubs mode is the true digital transformation of football. A mode that requires tactical skill, understanding of the game, training, tuning and team play. So far, I had my first experiences to control only the Pro in FIFA 21, around it 21 bots, which are handled automatically. But when I talk about the Pro Clubs mode, again and again, I think it's only right that I try it "properly" myself once and not only speak out of observation and make judgements. In the middle of it, instead of just being there.
Goal debut in the second game and a lot of room for improvement
Into the game, into the fray. The Playstation controller feels different from the one on the Xbox. The "ball feeling" is also a bit different for me. The first game, more or less, passes me by. Three to five ball contacts - that's probably all it takes. And already the first Pro Clubs game is over. 1:1 is the final score. And what can I say: I want more!
So the second match follows. Now I get along a little better. Four minutes are played when we are outnumbered in the opponent's penalty area. I take over the ball from my teammate, run out to the top of the penalty area, turn, shoot and TOOOOORRRR!!!!!!. (In the video: minute 24:25) I cheer. Loudly. Very loud! My wife and the visiting cat cringe. The cat is so startled that he flees the house afterwards... While I'm happy. Like a little boy. First goal. We win the game - 4:1. The attachment to the game is already getting better. In the third game, we lose. My own game still has room for improvement. I still lose the ball too fast when receiving it. Also, the running routes are not coordinated yet. So you sometimes start too early, sometimes too late and sometimes the paths cross where you can't use it.
One-time use or more?
I learn this evening how much tactics is also in the game, how you can learn from each other and improve your game by commenting on each other's play. Thanks to the S5 Elite Bombers team for making this fun possible.
After I turn off the console, my wife asks me if she should get a stack of books ready for the next few weeks. The television is then in the future, probably somewhat differently occupied..... I just left that open once.