Carlos the knack

I have been having an indecently great time in single-player myClub. Just me and my team of Irregulars. I am as attached to them as to a Season 3 Master League team at any time in the past.

I have been playing one-off Irregulars matches, over and over again, in the myClub mode. It’s not as empty and meaningless as it might sound. There is a sense of progression in a few concrete ways. First, you get to move up and down the difficulty levels. The quality of the opponents changes proportionally as you go along. And there is also the EXP-gathering nurturing of your own players to follow too.

I doubt I will play many more human-vs-human online matches until PES2019. It feels too late to get further into the multiplayer side of things on PES2018 right now. There are scant weeks of life remaining to the mode and the game.

I remain deeply suspicious as to whether the clinching feature of myClub in PES2018 – player development – will be in PES2019’s version of the mode. Every Master League aficionado knows all too well what Konami is capable of doing to their modes.

How to play and enjoy single-player myClub?

1) Set up a myClub club. The interface is straightforward. A bit of poking around and investigating will reveal everything. Multiple squads are possible. (Via Squad List, from the formation screen.)

2) You will be awarded basic Agents quite randomly. Use your starting GP and/or Agents to assemble a team of no-hopers. Roughly speaking, 16 players rated 71OPR or less make up a team of no-hopers.

3) Play against the COM. (It’s the box in the middle of the first screen that says VS COM.)

4) You start, rather disappointingly, on Regular, which even a low-level club should be able to handle. But watch what happens: win home and away, and you get ‘promoted’ to the next difficulty. In myClub, there are three difficulty levels within the difficulty levels. Regular, Regular Stronger, Professional Weaker, Professional, Professional Stronger… (I’m stuck fast on this last one.)

4) Eventually you end up meeting teams like the one in the screenshot above. That is Roberto Carlos staring across the divide at my hapless Giorza.

In Master League, a Roberto Carlos would be just a good left-back. In myClub, he is markedly more of a Roberto Carlos.

Why? I’ve mused on this many times. My feeling is that in myClub, every slight edge counts, so the Roberto Carlosness of Roberto Carlos shows through that little bit more, and that little bit makes the difference.

I cannot get my Irregulars out of Professional Stronger. I take the lead, I get pegged back. I can draw, but more often lose.

I haven’t been more addicted to a throwaway single-player mode since I used to play International Tournaments in the pre-Master League days on ISS.

It’s about identification with the players, and growing the players. Even after a bad defeat my Irregulars pick up lots of EXP. Slowly, slowly. slowly, they are growing.

Zigoni was a no-hoper 67OPR a week ago. Today he is a 70OPR, with commensurate stats to support that – and it’s starting to show up in games.

These are times in PES when Master League has been deliberately diluted to nudge us towards the very mode that I’m dabbling in. By playing myClub, am I enabling that process? Collaborating with it?

Yes, of course I am – but the question is, if I wasn’t doing so, would there be a chance of the policy being reversed?

Absolutely not. No chance whatsoever.

No matter how many Master League lovers boycotted myClub, the seething multitudes would continue to throng the virtual playrooms of online football, and PES would continue to be made with their needs and expectations uppermost in mind. Nothing I do, or do not do, will ever alter that.

Updated: 17th July 2018 — 11:54


  1. I like the look of having the classic players employed in MyClub, it’s a shame they’re not included in ML as standard. Regarding MyClub single player, It’s good to see you enthused about the mode but I find it sad that the fine tradition of PES single player has been reduced to playing friendlies against user generated teams.

    Speaking of ML there are some new screenshots out

    Most interesting for me is the inclusion of focus points for training so you can share the points around different trait grouping. I can’t believe the marketing is trumpeting a pre-season tournament, who honestly cares about that nonsense?

  2. Cook — I’m also following the ML revelations today. As ever, they’ve moved a few menus around and moved the functionality of the existing transfer system into a new sub-menu of its own, and tried to present it as a new feature. If we didn’t already know that Master League is effectively an abandoned mode in PES, we do now. It’ll be very interesting to see if injuries and fatigue actually make it into PES2019.

    Re. myClub single-player, they don’t feel at all like friendlies, for the reasons I give in the post. There are stakes. They feel like big matches.

    I’m not the only ML refugee getting an ML-like thrill from assembling squads in myClub and developing them 90% offline — if Konami are as calculating and mercenary as we know they are, they won’t want to encourage that.

  3. Had three penalties this season on PES 5. More than I had in 12 seasons of PES 2017. Boom!!

  4. That ML news is indeed what most of us were expecting – the same basic mode with a few things shuffled around. At least the pre-season tournament has a trophy presentation I suppose. Confirmed in-game injuries would at least add something to this rather stale mode.

    Which all makes me wonder why I’m even considering buying PES 2019. For the gameplay I suppose which I can only hope has evolved to at least feature more shot variation and improved player individuality.

    As for myClub, I’ll certainly be playing it but I think at best it will provide a little respite at those times when ML starts feeling a bit flat – which is a lot more often than it used to be.

  5. Shed – with the award of GP prizes for various ML milestones, at least ML can be used as a GP farm for myClub. I cannot believe I just said that. This is what football gaming – PES football gaming – Master League! – has been reduced to in 2018. Quite deliberately too, we have to remember. None of this is an outcome that has not been brainstormed and focus-tested. To echo Barry Davies, you have to say it’s brilliant.

  6. Myclub is a novelty and is fun but could never replace the “story” that ML provides.

    That new ML news is no surprise, just a tarted up version of last years. The same fundamental problems will still be there in full, the lazy regen system and easy transfers making it possible to assume a world class squad in no time. If there was a change there it probably have been touted already. Sigh.

    Did anyone actually stick it out with “Challenge Mode” anyway? Did it actually make a difference to transfers?

  7. Just caught up with the recent PES news and the blog, as my Dad was rushed into hospital after having a stroke on Monday, so have been at the hospital with him and my mum and general in a state of emotional fuzz for 2 days.

    I see Adam tweeted saying the ML screens showing transfers etc are not indicative of what PES 19 ML will actually deliver, and that menus will change blah blah…

    I did manage a session on PES 18 MyClub yesterday as a diversion tactic from what was going on around me, played 9 of the 10 season games in Div 7, Lost 5, drew 2, won 2, I need to win the last game to remain in the divison, what a difference from Divs 11,10,9 & 8 which I romped through, but not in a good way.

    Firstly, every single online game in Div 7 was a heavily momentum-scripted game against me, every single one.
    Rebounds all fell to the other play, my players felt like they were trudging through treacle, every shot i took either hit the post, went wide or was ridiculously saved from 6 yards out, the other player had one pot shot from a tight angle, and scores.
    This is how it went every single game.

    It may sound like sore loser syndrome, but not at all, it was pure hard evident fact, I know for 100% certainty that online scripting is a thing, as I’ve seen it work in my favour too, but every single Div 7 game was rife with exploits against me, button lag, players previously scoring for fun, unable to make a 5 yard pass, the lot.

    As for PES 19, even more so than the fouls, I really hope Konami realise that not every single bit of contact no matter how minimal has to result in the other player dispossessing you.
    IRL players jostle, use physicality, and depending on the inertia, momentum, running technique, balance, strength etc, usually dictates who wins that jostle, not in PES 18.

    If you are running with the ball, and a COM or online human player catches up with he, he will muscles you off the ball, each and every time. There is no input or anything you can do to counter this, its happening.

    Also, Div 7 is rife with Lag cheaters, so many times across the 9 matches, I would be winning, or draw level, and suddenly, despite it not happening once before in the match, a soon as I put together a dangerous looking attack ….. the little wifi symbol appears in the top corner, the game stutters for a second, play slows down, my attack suffers as coordination with what I’m doing with the controller, and whats happening on screen is out of sync, Lag enabled, yet low and behold, when I lose the ball, the human opponent then charges upfield with an untouched, lag-free, smooth as silk attack.
    Incredible the lengths people go to just to win.

    One quick question for anybody in the know….
    In MyClub your rating goes up as you win matches and progress through the Divs, I started at around 250, and am now up to 560 in Div 7, so how comes I can play against someone in Div 7 that’s only rated 290 ?

  8. Paul – having done that hospital routine myself in recent years, all the best. I take it all is as well as could be expected, or you wouldn’t be fit for anything else at all. ‘Stroke’ remains a scare-word in health terms but surprisingly many are treatable.

    Not sure about the answer to your final question, but I’d guess it’s a combination of multiple squads and matchmaking settings. I’m around the 330 mark but often come up against 700+ rated players in Division 10. And I have used my Irregulars 90% of the time over my past 10 matches, losing more than I would have if I’d gone with the A-Team. Also, I don’t think it’s set in stone that your opponents have to be in the same Division as you. Not sure about any of this, just guessing. I think PES2019’s myClub is where I’ll get granular with things.

  9. Thanks NG, luckily my mum found him 30 mins after it happened and he was in hospital within 2 hours where a stroke team was waiting for him, 4hrs is the magic window apparently, anything over that drastically reduces the recovery chances.

    I’m not sure either about the opponents being in different divisions, it just seemed odd how someone could get to Div 7 but only be rated in the 200’s.

  10. Paul – Having also been through many rounds of visiting parents in hospital over the past few years, I very much sympathise with you and what you are going through. Here’s to your dad making a full and speedy recovery. It’s odd how PES or something equally trivial feels oddly the right thing to be doing when you’re having to endure stress like this.

    I’m still not touching PES or any footy game and don’t plan to for a while yet. I have, however, been drawn back into No Man’s Sky which currently stands as a far better game than the version released back in 2016. I’ve done lots of exploring, upgrading and I’ve completed missions with the intention of being ready for this much anticipated (among the sizeable and PES-like NMS following) free DLC. And what an update it promises to be. It’s free too, unless you’re on Xbox in which case it’s the game’s debut on the system.

  11. Paul – without any fuss being made over it, stroke awareness and treatment has got to the point where patients often make a full recovery. Amazing how often nowadays you see and hear people walking around and living ‘normally’ who will causally say they had a stroke X number of years ago. I think you’re just old enough to recall a time when that wasn’t really the case.

    Shed – I’ve kept NMS on my shelf for 2 years, hoping it would get to the point it now seems to be at. Although to be fair an update or two ago, it was where I’d have wanted it to be. I was up till 3am last night playing Fallout 4 so I don’t think I’ll be NMS’ing it for a while but it’s gone to next in line.

  12. Thanks Guys, thats where gaming, especially casual gaming comes into its own, its a brief side-aversion from reality, just a way to forget about things for a few moments.

  13. Fingers crossed Paul.

  14. Paul – exactly and at times like these you realise the importance of gaming, particularly football games as they provide that needed switch off. Like others my thoughts are with you and wishing your Dad a speedy recovery.

  15. Thanks Darryl
    We all need that reality aversion every now and then. As i know you sadly know all too well.

    Cheers Chris99

    Konami just released some screens, Myclub 2019, and it shows player cads, with players at level 1, so surely if there are levels, then there must be the ability to develop them and level them up, otherwise there’d be no need for levels.

  16. All the best Paul.

    As NG said my (our?) generation has seen a shift in prognosis and recovery from when we were young. Bloke at our football club was diagnosed with cancer, when I asked last week how he was someone said he’s had surgery and is about to start intensive chemo and radiotherapy. I immediately imagined deaths door scenarios and bugger me if he didn’t drive past me the next day and stopped for a chat as if he’d been treated for a blister.

    Nothing other than fortnite for me recently but without the drive of earlier efforts. I’m simply never going to win one as I’m not fast enough around the interface like these youngsters. I’m ready to start a proper game and no man’s sky could very well be it after the update.

  17. Hey Paul, I hope your dad gets better soon!

  18. Im still playing PES 2016.

    A losing streak has forced me to PRACTICE. Pick a middling national team. Batter the goal for 94 minutes. Concede in the 95th.

    It’s scripted isn’t it. Make me feel better.

  19. Differing divisions to your own is commonplace you can check it in the user details screen I believe it is the third one over when you’re in user details.
    Best of luck Paul, a tough time a gaming diversion is always a good idea for a little escape.

  20. Thanks guys, he’s doing much better now, so hopefully be home by the weekend, where i will whip his ass into a fitter healthier lifestyle.

    Few more matches on MyClub last night, needed a win from my last Div 7 game to remain in the division, I lost 5-0.
    Possibly the worst out of all those scripted, biased matches, it was actually incredible and jaw dropping to witness the absolute fuckery that was going on in order to give him the win. Couple that with his lag cheat exploits and it was just a mess.

    So down to Div 8, first match a 2-1 loss, decent player but again, lag cheat.
    Followed by several wins, and a draw, then the last match of the session was easily the worst match I have ever played online.

    Every type of online tomfoolery you can imagine was there in abundance, pausing for no reason, playing 1-2’s back n forth between his keeper and defender for 10 mins straight, hacking me down every opportunity, lag cheating, the game was smooth as butter except when i got the ball around his box then it turned into a choppy, laggy button-delayed mess, then when he got the ball back, all fine again.

    All of that, plus the online bias being well in his favour, his GK saving ridiculous point blank shots and his chipped through ball to a fast CF gave him a 3-0 lead at half time.
    I grabbed a goal back straight from KO after half time, 3-1, his constant dickering and trying to annoy me caught him out in the 85th min when i dispossessed one of his hundred 1-2’s passes and slotted past the keeper from 6 yards out. 3-2.

    Switched to all out attack and slid into his player as he attempted a 360 roulette skill in his own half, 1-2 between Unal and Brewster, could see the slide hack coming a mile so an R2 close control side shimmy left him sliding thin air, chipped through ball overhit, his keeper came out, intercepted and he tried a rainbow flick with his keeper, lost control, I squared the ball to Brewster to tap into an empty net in the 94th min for a 3-3.

    I took more satisfaction by not being beaten by that lowlife c*nt, with all his shenanigans and online bias, and lag cheating, than I did from any other match I’ve won online.

    Just look below at the stats. My shots and on target shots to his, how many saves he made, the possession, passes made … if I’d had lost this match I would have ditched MyClub for good.

    View post on

  21. Paul – epic tale there and pretty much what we imagine the default online football gamer to be like.

    Those post-match stats, based on your description of how the match went: 1 foul each… Just shows the state of football gaming today. With a proper fouling model, your opponent would have had a huge chunk of his game-spoiling tactics taken off him.

    I haven’t seen this screenshot of PES2019 yet but indeed if ‘Lvl 1’ is a feature of the new cards then it does seem the system is preserved. Fascinated to see how it works in the new environment. What I think it means is that there can be no player selling on the transfer market.

    Given (not Not Given) – it’s scripted. But PES2016 is an instalment of the series even I found easy!

    Uncle Turf – my gaming this past month or so has been: Fallout4 50%, Football Manager 30%, PES 20%. Classic mid-summer percentages there.

  22. just one example, theres others on Twitter

  23. Paul – Ooof. That was stressful to read. Just had a little read up about “lag cheating”, having never really taken the time to look up how it was done. It’s sad to think that there’s kids, or even low-life adults out there doing this with no conscience or remorse. But then nothing surprises me about the depth of human depravity anymore. And to what end? Top of a digital leaderboard for 10 months, but not by merit? It’s not like they do it to get into the pesleague finals, as they would get destroyed. I can’t see the reward.

    Thanks though, you’ve just saved me £35 on a PS Plus subscription.

    -Old Man, shouting at cloud

  24. Thoughts with you at this time Paul. Hope for a full and swift recovery.

    Gotta love PES 5.

  25. Tommy – was stressful writing it !!
    I don’t get the lag cheaters either, for the very reasons you’ve described, pointless.

    Cheers Lloyd.

  26. Paul – I never knew lag cheating was even a thing. It sounds like you are having a truly horrible time of it in myClub. Playing offline would seem to be the thing to do I suppose.

    Lloyd – What a sight for sore eyes that is. THE classic PES with THE iconic player scoring a beauty. Is that on PS2? Lovely to hear the golden tones of Peter Brackley too.

  27. Shed – Yep, PS2 mate. Hooked up to 42 inch tv with hmdi thingy.

  28. Lloyd – I’ve got myself one of those HDMI adapters, great little piece of kit. Got one for the Wii too. Sadly my PS2 had just about packed up now, so I changed to emulating on my PC. Blows the little HDMI adapter out of the water in term of graphics!

  29. Those HDMI adaptors are indeed very handy for a trip down PES memory lane although wide cam on PS2 PES still looks a bit rough.

  30. PS2 on a 55″ QLED 4K tv via one of those HDMI adapters looks horrid, playable in normal cam, just but any replay is unwatchable.

  31. Paul –those myClub player cards look very bland and functional. I know the caption says [Simpsons disclaimer voiceover voice] ‘Design subject to change’, but in trying to avoid resembling Ultimate Team’s glittering golds and silvers, they might plump for bland and functional as a conscious design choice. But yes, those images clinch it: player development is in in myClub 2019.

    Lloyd – one of the greatest players of all time in the greatest PES of all time. It doesn’t get much better than that. Schwarz is the PES equivalent of Elvis. (Presley, not Costello.)

    I play a couple of PES5 matches every week or two on PC. Looks great, none of the problems of outputting to TV etc.

    Tommy/Shed – even Paul is on record as saying such players are a minority – although he did seem to go on a bad run in his high-falutin’ Division 7. I remain semi-committed to starting an Irregulars story in myClub 2019. The offline dimension really is greater than any of you know.

  32. n-G – I’m more likely to get PES 2019 than not now, barring any shudderingly bad gameplay changes. What playing and mostly understanding myClub has done is give me a way of playing PES when ML is either not an option (while waiting for a decent option file for example) or when that mode inevitably starts to feel dull. I can’t see it being any more than that.

    What I do like about myClub is that it gives me a chance to play PES with the type of players I usually avoid in ML through my sizeable list of house rules – superstars. I’ll happily have Messi, Ronaldo, Maradona and Pele in myClub but playing ML with big star signings just doesn’t feel right.

    With my PES plan in place, Star Wars Battlefront for mindless shooting stuff and this rather exciting suped-up No Man’s Sky for chilled exploration, I’m feeling quite content with my gaming lot right now. And of course I have the PS2/3 in the shed for a much needed escape once X-Factor season starts.

  33. Pretty much with you Shed, ML will be my go to mode for PES 19, and i’ll let the MyClub GP and rewards rack up and stockpile then when ML is done with, I’ll load up MyClub and give that a good few months with my bounty of coins, like i did this year, starting with the 350k I had amassed unknowingly whilst playing ML.

    Given that we are almost at the end of July, and PES 19 releases end of August, they are leaving it tight for a demo. The game will go gold any time now, so safe to assume that whatever we get as a demo ‘should’ be quite close to what we get at release. But, this is Konami, and they do love that big lever.

  34. I’m probably going to pull the trigger on a pre-order over the weekend. Looks like my bravado back in April-time about that being it for me and nuPES, was just that, bravado.

    Does anyone know what has happened to the PESfan forum? I know what the maintenance notice says, but that’s been displayed for a month now, and it was down for a month before that. PES-related forums have a very peculiar habit of disappearing for myserious lengths of time, sometimes at peculiar times too. Fond memories of WENB going down for ‘scheduled maintenance’ the day after one of the PS3 editions was released, when there was a problem with the WENB Option File. EvoWeb have got previous on this too.

    Shed – myClub with lesser players is also pretty decent.

    Paul – I’m really not fussed about the ghost of Master League that it’s pretty plain we’re stuck with now. I am most interested in myClub, although of course we’ll see how that survives contact with a Week 1 PES.

  35. NG, that ‘bravado’ was displayed before your/our interaction with MyClub, and was based on ML mostly wasn’t it? So it was well founded, and of course you maintain the right to change your mind at any given time.

    I’m not expecting ML to be any different for PES 19, apparently transfers have been ‘fixed’ as in big teams no longer sell all their best players every transfer window, nut other than that, not much has changed at all. Just hoping the game play holds up the ML mode, much as it did for PES 18.

    Knowing that MyClub mode is there for when ML gets stale, and a new revamped MyClub mode too, is a welcome thought. Something to get stuck into.
    MC may even get a go before Ml does as option files don’t usually emerge until a few weeks after release, shall get it from PES Universe, always good quality work.

  36. Paul – I’m hoping transfer fees have been fixed to be a little more in line with today’s inflated player evaluations. I’ve just signed Sterling and Alli, both still in their mid twenties, for just over £20m each.

  37. Tommy – I loaded my Master League save the other day for a look and noticed that my club has close to £600,000,000 (SIX HUNDRED MILLION) in the kitty. True transfer fees would rectify that problem somewhat, but we’d still face the problem of ML these days being simply too easy – by design.

    Paul – PES Universe (and others) have had a Day 1 OF out for the past few years, and will do so again with the increased closeness between them and Konami. What takes time to arrive is the inevitable week 1 update from Konami. It’s a few weeks before everyone is happy.

  38. Here’s hoping Tommy, apparently transfers are more realistic too, so Messi doesnt end up at West Brom etc. No idea if the values will be altered.

    NG – the PES 19 kit template is almost identical to 18’s, except for a slight difference in the sleeves and collar, so everything is transferable assets wise, and those guys have been working on kits for weeks. I’d expect a day 1 update from Konami with transfers etc in.

    Now that Monaco is a partner club, we should get the Stade Lous II stadium too, probably via a DLC.

  39. I’m most looking forward to testing out the new stamina model which could be game changing if implemented correctly. Imagine having some players only capable of 60 mins a week, it’ll add another layer of strategy to squad building in either MyClub or ML.

    I’ve been playing a bit of FIFA 18 recently so I’m looking forward to playing the next edition once PES is done, however quickly that may be.

  40. Cook – deep, deep scepticism here about this new stamina model. It’s notable that nothing at all has been mentioned of it from all the preview sessions recently. If it was game-changing, it would have altered the previewers’ experiences of playing their million-mile-an-hour preview matches. I don’t recall seeing the new stamina model mentioned even in passing. You’d expect to hear things like ‘oh, and the new stamina model showed up in the second half when I had to substitute Neymar who was noticeably slower and ineffective’ – but we haven’t yet heard anything remotely like that. And that’s what we do need to hear, for this ‘new stamina model’ to be in any way meaningful. Think about what is wrong with the sentence ‘I had to substitute Neymar because he was slow and ineffective’. Think about that from a 2018-era football game designer’s point of view. There is just no way it can happen, is there? I would love to be wrong, but all the signs are that I’m not.

  41. nG – Do away with the chairman throwing money at you every season, and we’d be fine. I ended season four £11m in the red on my wages. I thought that the game start auto-sacking players as it has done in previous editions, or at least would alert me that I needed to trim the fat. Nope. Just a massive cash injection. You can’t lose!

  42. Cook – Bizarrely, stamina levels seem to be more accurate in Myclub than in ML. I have no issues keeping my first team fit in ML, and with the absence of injuries, most of my bench are mere spectators. Add the accumulative fatigue from Myclub into ML, please.

  43. nG – Re: PESfan. Looks like it’s a vBulletin issue down to GDPR. WENB used vBulletin, as did PESfan, I think.

  44. Tommy – I’m almost convinced that the PES-related forums in particular leverage things like that to have a sneaky few days or weeks off at fractious times for the community. The PESfan mods and admins have had a pretty easy month or two when they probably wouldn’t have. Ditto the WENB downtime the day after PES2013 (I think it was) was released! EvoWeb did something similar a few editions ago. If the PESfan powers that be really wanted to get it back up and running, it would have been back up weeks ago.

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