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Pitch Notes: Division Rivals

As part of the Pitch Notes series, this article will dig into all the details about Division Rivals in the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC version of FIFA 19 Ultimate Team. Check out the Pitch Notes entry on FUT Champions and the Weekend League to learn more about the latest additions to the most competitive mode in FUT.

Division Rivals is a new way to play FUT online in the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC versions of FIFA 19. Rivals consists of three game systems: Placement, Skill Ratings, and Weekly Competitions that, when combined, create an exciting new way to play FIFA Ultimate Team online.

Placement Matches

Your Division Rivals experience starts with a series of placement matches that are used to determine which Division you will start in. The goal of the placement matches is to ensure that you face the correct level of competition and reduce the amount of time you spend facing significantly weaker or stronger opponents. There are five placement matches in Division Rivals, and each one is used to calibrate your skill rating to determine a starting Division that is appropriate based on your results.

The end of placements isn’t the end of your skill evaluation, though; every game you play in Rivals will continue to calibrate your skill rating and Division.

Skill Rating

Your Skill Rating determines which Division you’ll be competing in every week, while your Division defines what range of rewards will be available to you that week, as well as the rate at which you earn FUT Champions Points.

It’s important to note that your Skill Rating isn't set in stone after your placement matches. It changes after each Rivals game based on who you played and the result of your match. If you win, your Skill Rating is going to go up; if you lose, it’s going to go down. Your opponent is also a key part of the equation: if you beat someone with a higher skill Rating than yourself, you will earn a larger Skill Rating increase than if you beat someone with a lower Skill Rating. Similarly, when you’re on the losing end of a match, your Skill Rating decreases more when it’s a lower-rated player rather than a higher-rated player.

Division Rivals will always try to match you with a player of a similar Skill Rating who is close to you geographically to provide you with the best matchmaking experience possible. This means that if you are on the cusp of promotion or relegation in Rivals, you could potentially play against an opponent in a higher or lower Division than your current Division.

Weekly Competitions

Once you have completed your placement matches, you start your first Weekly Competition, a leaderboard of players in your Division that is split into Ranks. If you’re familiar with the Squad Battles ranking system, you’ll quickly feel at home in Division Rivals.

Each game that you play during the week will contribute to your Weekly Score and determine which Rank you finish in for your Division at the end of the week. The higher your Rank, the better rewards you will receive at the end of each week’s competition. Your Rank in your Division isn’t directly tied to your Skill Rating; it’s based on a weekly score earned only from the matches you played that week. Winning is worth more points than losing, but every result still affects your weekly score.

Earning Rewards

At the end of each week you will receive rewards based on your Rank in your Division. For the first time in FIFA Ultimate Team, you will have a choice regarding the types of rewards you want to receive so that you can build the club you want. The better your Rank, the more options are open to you; if you’re looking for Coins to purchase a player on the Transfer Market, you can choose to go that way. But if you’re more interested in player content that is in the game and want to select packs as rewards, there will be options for that as well. The choice of rewards give you greater control over how you want to craft your club in FUT 19 .

Weekend League Qualification

The introduction of Division Rivals gave us an opportunity to improve Weekend League qualification. 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 dependant 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.

Another change that the new FUT Champions Points system allows us to make is giving you greater choice over when to play in the Weekend League. In FUT 18, when you won a Daily Knockout Tournament, you immediately qualified for the Weekend League starting that Friday. The new points system allows you to choose when you want to play; once you’ve earned the points to qualify you can redeem them immediately, or you can hold on to them and redeem them before the start of the Weekend League in which you want to play.

The FUT Champions Points system also allowed us to change how Weekend League re-qualification works. Last January, we dropped the number of wins required to re-qualify to the Weekend League in FUT 18 from 18 to 11.

In FUT 19, we’ve built on this approach by granting FUT Champions Points based on performance in the Weekend League. Starting at tiers with 11 wins or more, the rewards earned will include the full amount of points required to join another Weekend League. Additionally, every tier below 11 wins also includes some FUT Champions Points that will get you closer to another attempt at qualifying for the Weekend League.

Weekend league to Rivals Link

When designing Division Rivals, it was important for us to make sure that both Rivals and FUT Champions complemented each other enriching the experience for both modes. One of the key goals was ensuring that players didn’t feel penalised for playing Champions over Rivals or vice versa.

With the likelihood of coming up against tougher opponents in the Weekend League we wanted to ensure that your Skill Rating, which determines your Division in Rivals, remained unaffected by the matches you play in Weekend League.

Whilst your Skill Rating remains unaffected by playing the Weekend League, each game played will earn some Weekly Score in Division Rivals helping you improve your standing in the Rivals Weekly Competition. That means that every game played in the Weekend League contributes to unlocking to rewards in both the Weekend League and Division Rivals.

We are excited for what Division Rivals means for the future of online in FIFA Ultimate Team. With better progression, more interesting rewards, and a big improvement to the qualification process for the Weekend League, it’s shaping up to be a great year for online play.

-Tyler Blair and the FUT Development Team

FIFA 19 is available for pre-order* for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

*Conditions and restrictions apply. See GAME AND OFFER DISCLAIMERS FOR FULL DETAILS.

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