FIFA 19 has now released for EA Access members and EA Origin members on Xbox One and PC. Along with the first-time impressions, players are able to explore new mode such as FUT Champions and Division Rivals. Division Rivals is a new mode which allows players to play competitively without the stress of the Daily Knockout Tournament. There is currently a lot of confusion over how this mode actually works, along with the consequences of playing games in this mode. Fortunately EA has stepped up to explain.
EA has published Division Rivals edition of their ‘Pitch Notes’ series which allows them to be transparent with their community. Along with the new Division Rivals Pitch Notes, there was another edition of the Pitch Notes about FUT Champions and everything surrounding the changes in that mode. We took the time to break down the Division Rivals mode and how it works, as well as sharing thoughts on the mode.
When you first load up FIFA 19 Ultimate Team and Division Rivals, you will not start off in Division 10 like previous years. You will have to play a set of placement-matches. This is similar to esports modes in games such as Rocket League, Overwatch, and Call of Duty. You will play these 5 placement-matches to determine your initial skill rank and form. This will ensure that you are matched with players that are at a similar skill level and division to you. Placement-matches are a one-time occurrence and players will not have to re-do these games after their initial placements.
The initial placements do not determine your skill level forever, as you play more games, you will gain promotion or be relegated depending on your performance. Your skill rank will also change after each game depending on whether you win or lose.
As mentioned previously, your skill rating will be determined after your 5 placement matches in FIFA 19‘s Division Rivals. In addition to this, you will be placed into a rank within a certain division. If you compete and earn a promotion or get relegated, you will earn the rewards of the tier that you are in on Thursday. This is when the rewards are distributed. We will get into rewards later on in the article.
Remember, your skill rating will change after each game and this will determine your rank within your division. If you get to rank 1 in your division, you are close to promotion. Gaining promotion will grant you better rewards at the end of the week, as well as a larger multiplier on your FUT Champions points earned after each game. You will need to earn a certain amount of FUT Champions points through the Division Rivals mode to qualify for it.
After completing your placement matches, you will be put into a weekly-competitions which consists of 10 divisions which are then split into ranks. As your skill rating increases or decreases, your division will do the same. Wherever you finish at the end of the week, you will get the rewards from that tier. Most players will be playing this weekly competition to qualify for FUT Champions. However, EA knows that some players don’t want to play the highly competitive modes in FIFA 19 such as FUT Champions. So, they decided to make the rewards quite good, depending on how much you play it.
The rewards in the new Divisions Rivals mode are not up to par with FUT Champions, but it allows players to play FIFA 19 online while being less competitive, but getting similar rewards. The reward system is similar to Squad Battles. As you get a higher rank, you get better rewards which give you 58,000 coins worth of rewards for rank 1, moving all the way down to rank 5 with 2 jumbo gold packs.
There is another great addition in terms of rewards for Division Rivals. From Rank 3 upwards, players have the choice of their reward. You can choose from an untradeable set of packs (you can’t sell the items), a tradable set of packs (you can sell the players), or coins. This is great as it allows some players to gamble with their rewards, whilst allowing other players to use the coins without having to gamble with packs. This is one of the best parts of this mode, in my opinion. EA says:
“The choice of rewards gives you greater control over how you want to craft your club in FUT 19.”
The method of qualification for FUT Champions is still unclear; however, EA tries to explain it in detail in their article.
“In FUT 19, we’re introducing FUT Champions Points as part of Division Rivals – every game you play in Rivals will take you one step closer to qualifying for the Weekend League using these Points. The number of FUT Champions Points earned for each game is dependent on your performance and current Division. The better you play, the more points you earn. Each Division has a multiplier on your FUT Champions Points, so the higher the Division you are in, the faster you’ll rack up Points. Instead of the high pressure of Daily Knockout Tournaments, the new qualification system through Rivals will give more players a chance to compete. Plus, every game played in qualification also helps you earn rewards as part of the Division Rivals Weekly Competitions.”
We will have to see how the points work for FIFA 19, as well as how many points you’ll need to qualify for FUT Champions through the Division Rivals method. EA then goes on to talk about how players can choose the competition that they play in after qualifying. As well as qualification through the Weekend League, which we covered in a previous article about FUT Champions changes.
Between the two competitive modes in FIFA 19, you will play difficult opponents that could affect your skill rating. However, EA has resolved this concern by your FUT Champions games having no effect on your Division Rivals rating. This means that you can be heavily beaten in FUT Champions, but still be in a high rank for the next Division Rivals competition. As mentioned previously, EA is advertising Division Rivals as an alternative to FUT Champions for less competitive players. They say in their article:
“One of the key goals was ensuring that players didn’t feel penalized for playing Champions over Rivals or vice versa.”
What do you think about the new Division Rivals mode in FIFA Ultimate Team? We’d love to hear from you. Also, if you enjoyed this article, feel free to check out our other FIFA coverage.
Part-time streamer, huge fan of all games, especially the FIFA Series! Graduate of Cambridge Technical Diploma in Media Studies.