Season 14 is over. PES2015 is over. Master League is over, and will not be resumed until PES2016.
And – the Treble. Is it over?
I’ll tell you straightaway — by means of a short clip that is worth watching because of how it neatly encapsulates the whole PES-playing, ML-playing, Treble-seeking experience.
Regular readers will remember that I was still in all three Tournaments of the Treble. I was facing an FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea. I was dangerously confident about progressing through.
Predictably, it was a tough match, one where Chelsea netted first and early. My fellow Master League 2015’ers will all nod their heads and sigh, knowing what I subsequently went through.
We join the action in the 74th minute. It’s still 0-1 to Chelsea. At this stage I have been battering the Chelsea defence for a good 60 minutes of game time, and only rarely forcing a save from the keeper.
The Treble was teetering in the balance. And then…
Well. Take a look (and listen):
The score at the end of the match was the score shown at the end above.
The Treble was over, not just for this season, but for PES2015. There will be no more seasons. I’m not tempted to have another crack. That was the last chance, and it’s gone.
It was gutting, and I considered reloading for the first time in my Master League life since… since… since ever, I believe.
Reloading and replaying matches to get a different result is against everything that I play Master League for. So it just cannot happen, ever.
I play ML and adore it for the up-and-down storylines it delivers. For the unfolding, over many weeks and months, of memorable, personalised, lived experience. Reloading and replaying would undermine the very essence of what I’m looking for when I play Master League.
So there was no reloading. If my Master League playing style had a motto, the motto would be: “Whatever happens, happens.” Accidat quicquid accidet.
The Treble was gone – but an almost-as-good, last-season Double of League-and-Champions-League wasn’t.
Let’s wrap that up right now.
I breezed past Monaco in the Champions League semi-final and beat PSG comfortably in the final 3-0, and that was that. The Champions League could do with a healthy dose of domestic league difficulty. It’s rarely a problem once you get good enough to progress past the Group stage.
The last-but-one match in the League was against Arsenal. Away.
All season with me and Arsenal at the top of the table it’d been nip-and-tuck, neck-and-neck, and so on.
Here’s another 1-minute clip. There are no audio tricks with this one, just a straightforward clip of footy game action.
It’s 0-0 at the start of the clip. Just as with the first clip, the score at the end of this clip was the final score at the end of the match:
That Arsenal shot was close, wasn’t it? Was that a stroke of luck, or was it a good save by Friedel (my ever-present keeper since he was a 17-yr-old Regen)? Whichever, it was huge for me, and potentially decisive as things turned out.
As I expected, it went down to the last day, but with a slight goal-difference advantage I went into my last match (at home against Newcastle) knowing that a draw would almost certainly do me. I won. The final League table:
Yes! Only my second league title on PES2015, and my last. That, coupled with the Champions League, rounded off a great season, all told – and a very good Master League.
I let the calendar run forward a few weeks, interested to see my updated club ranking:
A good point at which to bow out. I’ve definitely had enough to eat at this table. I’m full.
I’ll have much more to say about PES2015 in my end-of-year retrospective in early September
My general feeling for now is that PES2015, and its Master League, couldn’t be said to be classics. They’re both in the second rank of PES and ML. I don’t think that’s a controversial or surprising view.
I love PES2015. I’ve loved playing Master League. Which doesn’t mean either one is automatically a classic that I’ll look back on with wistful longing in years to come. I also loved PES6, and loved playing PES6’s Master League – but I’d go seriously against the grain of PES fan sentiment, and only assign PES6 to the second rank of PES games. When I think of great PES games, I rarely think of PES6, but there’s no denying PES6 was a great game. PES2015 will occupy more or less the same position in my personal pantheon.
Experienced PES players will know exactly what nuance of opinion I’m straining to express here. Another good example: when you’re an enthusiastic, committed fan of a TV show, there are no bad episodes (or so few as to make no real difference) — there are just less-great episodes. There’s plenty such nuance to be teased out of PES2015, but I’ll save it all now for the retrospective.
I can safely say it’s been another epic Master League. The latest of many such epics, stretching all the way back to the turn of the century.
And on that blaring trombone note of triumph, Master League 2015 has left the building.