Whew. Season 6 has ended with high drama. Of course it ended with drama. How many ML seasons have you played where things sort of dribbled out to mid-table mediocrity? Of course there are some nothing-y seasons, but not many. Master League is purposefully designed to bring about dramatic outcomes.
With 9 matches to go I was 5 points off the playoffs, and was just one of 12 teams in contention. I knew that if I put together A Run of Results, I would find myself in the playoffs.5 wins and a draw in May. I was very proud of those three clean sheets at the top, but I wouldn’t say the matches were the most enjoyable. The AI goes absolutely crazy at times. Focusing hard enough to keep those clean sheets was very stressful.
This run of results left me needing to win my last two matches to be certain of a playoff spot. I duly won my penultimate match – but lost my final match, which meant I was sweating at the final whistle.
Last season, in a similar position, the other results went against me.
This time, results went my way.
The final table:By the skin of my teeth. I did well to finish 6th for a team that lost 17 matches and conceded 70 goals. #MLtableScriptingFTW
I came up against Leeds in the semi-final. I started nervously, but got a massive slice of luck with an R2 curler. I haven’t had an R2 curler for so long (nerfed in the October patch) that I have almost stopped trying them. I try maybe one every two matches, on average. None go even close anymore. Keeper saves, or it flies wide.
This one hit the post, cannoned out, hit the diving GK’s back, hit the underside of the bar, and dropped in (it’s on the mini-clip below). I went on to win that leg of the semi 2-0, which meant the semi-final was won for all intents and purposes. The return leg was of course tougher, but I won it 3-2.Norwich in the playoff final at a weirdly-lit Wembley. The pitch seemed too bright,. Maybe it was my telly.
I was nervous. This was my first playoff final in PES2019 – I didn’t get past the semi-final stage when I was last here, four seasons ago. To have 46 matches depend on the outcome of this single match felt like a lot of pressure.
The AI was souped up to the gills. For most of the first half I struggled to get across the halfway line into Norwich’s half.
0-0 all the way to the end, and I began to get really stressed. It was getting to the point where I knew if I conceded, that might be it.
In the 1st half of extra time, I slid in on a running attacker and brought him down in the box. Penalty to Norwich, which they duly dispatched. 0-1. Disaster.
I was going to lose. I was going to spend at least one more season in the Championship. I’ve enjoyed these 6 seasons, but now I really feel I could do with a change of scenery,
Should I reload, or something?
No! No reloading. Never. If science fiction has taught me anything, it’s that the integrity of the timeline must be respected. Bad Things happen to those who meddle.
I played on, and the minutes dribbled away, and it looked hopeless. I wasn’t creating anything. Then I played a ‘PES2012 turn and shoot’ ball into Mario Gomez on the edge of the box with his back to goal and a defender on him. I forced a turn – Gomez is not the most nimble of strikers – forced some space, and took a snapshot. GOAL. 1-1.
With every player on both sides seemingly shattered and dead on their feet, it looked to be heading to penalties – until…
Above is a 1 minute 44 seconds vid that shows two key moments from my playoffs. First comes that flukey in-off-the-keeper R2 curler that kickstarted my semi-final. Robben is the striker of the ball, but the game rightly registers it as an own-goal by the keeper.
Second is the key moment from extra time in the final. The scores are locked at 1-1 and with a single swing of his boot, Castledine got us promotion. No aiming reticule was used. I remembered how to take them this time.
How wonderfully ironic that the goal that sent me up to the Premier League should be a penalty – but was it even a penalty?
No human ref would ever have given that as inside the area.
When it happened, I was too confused about what was happening to capture a slow, side-on replay of the incident. Getting a penalty in PES is a matter of staring and wondering what the hell is going on, then taking the resulting penalty in a daze, wondering if you’re dreaming it.
One angle in the auto-replay shows the Norwich defender’s knee seemingly just about making contact with the back of Jarvis’s calf a few pixels inside the box. Look at the area just above the ‘2’ visible on the Norwich player’s shorts – it’s the point of contact, and it’s probably around 4 pixels inside the box.
A human ref would have given a free kick just outside the box and everyone would have accepted it. But for a computer it doesn’t matter that 99.99% of the event clearly happens just outside the box. The contact might be 0.01% of the event, but it is the crucial factor, and it’s inside the box, and that’s what makes it a penalty.
Needless to say, I am delighted to be promoted on the basis of a dodgy penalty decision. Add in that freak R2 curler own goal, and I am happy as Larry with the outcome to Season 6.The playoff final was one tough match. I know I’ve said that several times already, but it really was. The final stats indicate the truth of this. It’s very rare I get out-shot, out-passed, out-crossed, and out-intercepted.And so to the next season.