It’s the end of season 6. My PES2010 Master League career has so far been a pretty farcical—but enjoyable—one, with me oddly stuck in Division 2 from the start. Everybody else in the PESverse seems to be capable of getting out of Division 2 in one season, or at most two seasons. Not me.
Why has this happened to me? I still don’t know, but anyway…
With four matches of season 6 left I was in 7th position in the league table, 4 points off the promotion spots. During close league run-ins, Master League traditionally offers the chasing human player a helping hand, making other results fall just right—as long as you can win your own games, of course. If I could get enough points from the last 4 matches, I could still do this thing. Probably
So what happened in the final four matches? Let’s find out. Let me note here that I’ve played the whole of season 6 on Professional difficulty, in my usual 10-minute matches.
Coventry City 1-3 Blackburn Rovers
Disaster. Mission Improbable seemed to be over before it’d even begun. And I even took the lead in this match. My goal was a decent first-time strike following some nice build-up play. The ball hit the post and rebounded into the net off the keeper’s heel, but that only made it a better, more satisfying goal for me. The game wants me to win! I thought. 1-0 to me was the half-time score. But it’s a game of two halves…
For several years now, taking the lead in a Master League match can be the worst thing you could do. The second half was all Blackburn. Literally. I don’t recall possessing the ball for longer than two passes throughout. I won’t go on about it. Almost any player of PES knows the kind of thing I mean.
Blackburn scored 3 goals and won the match comfortably. I’ve included two of their three goals in the clip—their second goal here was actually their third in the match. It came when I was looking for an equaliser and thought I might actually get it, despite feeling that the pitch was tilted 45 degrees towards my goalmouth. Note the heartbreaking deflection in the area from my created player—‘not-Greg’—that sets up Blackburn’s killer final goal:
Standard Liege 1-1 Coventry City
I took the lead again, but conceded a dirt-cheap goal almost straightaway from their kick-off. The AI is always very dangerous from its own kick-offs after you’ve scored. The commentary specifically mentions it whenever they do get a goal immediately. What does it all mean? Sigh. I don’t know.
Despite these two results I was still only four points off 3rd place. It really is true that the game likes to keep the door open as long as possible. Even if it’s only slightly ajar.
AC Nitsaloskis 1-0 Coventry City
And the door promptly swung shut.
That 3rd-placed team was AC Nitsaloskis. Obviously, beating them would set up a thrilling final match.
I changed to a 4-4-2 formation with widely-placed wingers. Clearly I was getting nowhere with 4-3-3. My midfield felt very lightweight. The AI’s long spells of ping-pong possession were starting to enrage me. And I almost never feel enraged by PES.
Their goal was a joke, I played rubbish, I lost—and that really was that. There was not even a mathematical chance of promotion now. It was always unlikely anyway, I suppose, given my history so far in this career. 10 points from 12 is the kind of form that’s still some way in my future, when I have a better team made up of better players. Will that day ever come?
Portsmouth 1-3 Coventry City
It’s probably no coincidence that my best result of the four was the one that came when the pressure was off. AND that it was against against a lowlier team, of course. The top teams are beasts in PES2010’s ML, for me anyway. I was 3 up at half-time. In the second half the familiar CPU overdrive mode kicked in, but I mostly held them at bay.
And so that is that. Season 6: no promotion. Yet again. On I go to season 7, to try it all again.
The final table:
Too many draws cost me again. Despite the mediocre campaign, I had three players in the Division 2 team of the season—Ruskin, Duffy, and my created player not-Greg:
I’ve given up feeling disappointment, embarrassment, bewilderment, or anything negative about my lack of progress. I’m mostly curious now, if anything. What is happening (or not happening), and why? When will I make the breakthrough? What if things stay like this all year…? At what point would I just give up? (I doubt I’d ever give up.)
This is simply my PES2010 Master League experience, for better or worse. It’s a vastly different experience from just about everybody else’s experience. And I’ve just got to make the best of it. I’ve just got to make lemonade.