S5 Elite Bomber manager Viktor Mezler: Pro Club is real virtual football as it should be
eSport is becoming more and more popular and professional. In 2018, the German Bundesliga was the first major sports league in real football to start a virtual tournament. The Virtual Bundesliga Club Championship. Here, gamers from clubs in the first and second Bundesliga compete against each other in singles and doubles matches within a league.
But the FIFA game has much more to offer than single and doubles matches. The modus which comes closest to real football is the ProClub mode. But what exactly is the ProClub mode, and how does it differ from the "normal" FIFA that we all know from the Virtual Bundesliga or only from playing Ultimate Team?
Viktor Mezler is one of the founders of the S5 Elite Bomber. One of the first ProClub team that was founded and still is active today. With him, we talked about the unique features of the ProClub mode and got an insight into the work of a ProClub Team Manager.
Hello, Viktor. You are the coach, founder, and club managers of the ProClub Team S5 Elite Bombers. Can you briefly explain who you are and whats your exact job?
We are a FIFA ProClub team existing since 13.01.2015. I am the manager of the S5 Elite Bomber. This includes the tactical development, analysis and the squad report, which I discuss with the other club managers. So basically, my job contains a little of everything that matters to our club.
In ProClob there are many parallels to real football
For all those who do not really know it yet. What exactly is the ProClub mode in FIFA 21 and what is the special attraction of this mode to you?
Pro Club is real virtual football as it should be. The game is played in an 11 vs 11 mode. In complete contrast to the FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT), the ProClub mode requires not only tactical understanding but also social skills such as team player skills. In the ProClub mode, each gamer controls exactly one player. Only by playing together as a team you can be successful in this mode.
Does the ProClub mode also feature stars like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?
There are very strong offensive and defensive players in the ProClub mode. But I would not compare them with Messi or Ronaldo. No ProClub player has ever dominated the mode so much.
Are there parallels to real football and can you bring the experience into the ProClub game?
Yes, there are many parallels to real football. For example, a lot of tactical and positional information can be transferred to virtual football, or almost implemented. It is also a team sport, just like in real football. Only as a team, you can be really successful.
As a gamer, do you need different skills in ProClub mode than in individual mode?
Yes, definitely. As a ProClub gamer, you should definitely understand FIFA and football. Like in real football, the positional play and the right timing is one of the most important things you need to bring along. The so-called FIFA competence is more of a basic skill and should be there right from the start.
How can we imagine a FIFA training with the S5 Elite bombers?
For us club managers, the training preparation usually starts after the last match day or training. It starts with analysis and the refinement of tactics. On the day of the match or training, the line-up for the coming evening is then announced by 18:30 at the latest. If necessary, tactical instructions in the form of explanatory videos will also be provided. At the training itself, the things will be discussed again so that the team can practice them. On the day of the training, the team will play against another ProClub team in the EA league. From time to time we are also taking part in so-called training cups.
Do interested Gamers have the possibility to train with you and recommend themselves for a place in the squad?
Yes, of course. We always organise trial training sessions where we invite applicants. They can then prove themselves in a test training.
Of course, you not only doing training sessions. You also take part in several tournaments. Can you briefly introduce them to us?
We play in big tournaments, such as the annual Penguin tournament of Equality 05 eSports. Smaller tournaments are mostly played on weekends and are organised by the FIFA ProClub Community. Here we very rarely appear, as we are currently represented in four competitions. We use the weekends to spend time with family and friends.
What are your goals for this season?
We have a newly formed team. We still need time and patience until the automatisms take effect. Nevertheless, in the ProLeague our goal is the European qualification. In the Virtual Pro Gaming Germany (VPG), promotion must be the goal.
Where are the qualities of your squad?
Our quality is especially reflected in the team feeling. Although we also have strong individual players, these guys always put themselves at the service of the team. That's what has always made S5 Elite Bombers stand out.
Are there also transfers in the ProClub, as we know it from real football?
Yes, there are transfer windows, just like in real football, that open up and you can sign players during this period. But money does not play such a big role yet.
How do you see the future of the ProClub mode? And what do you wish for EA to improve your mode?
I think the ProClub mode has an extreme potential, which EA, unfortunately, treats very poorly. There is nothing that captivates you more than when one team competes against another.
The ProClub community would like EA to improve the Mode in many various ways. It starts with the functionality of the game. Then a big issue is the individual editing of jerseys and club logos that could be uploaded. Also better creation of the FIFA character in the ProClub mode with e.g. tattoos etc. or just simply the editing of the stadiums.