EA's FIFA 21 has continuously dominated sales charts since it released in October 2020, much like prior entries in the yearly sports game franchise. FIFA 21 Season 3 began on January 1 and will run until February 12, but the developer is now also celebrating the start of 2021 with its fan-driven "Team of the Year" competition.
For those who do not follow FIFA-related ventures, the vote does not pertain to which specific team was the best overall. Rather, it asks players to vote on which 11 players they feel were the best of the best in 2020, with each player recognized set to receive unique items with "some of the highest ratings of the season" in FIFA 21 later this month.
The voting period for this Team of the Year event is active now and will be open until January 18, according to EA's website. Fans can pick their 11-player team using 70 nominees from around the world across four different categories: Seven goalkeepers, 18 defenders, 19 midfielders, 26 attackers. Among these choices is attacker Kylian Mbappe from the Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, who serves as FIFA 21's cover athlete and was one winner in the Team of the Year vote for FIFA 20.
Even though the end of 2020 saw a number of new releases alongside the launch of Sony and Microsoft's next-generation consoles, FIFA 21 continues to be a best-seller in the UK and other regions, likely in-part due to its own release on PS5 and Xbox Series X. However, the game has still be controversial thanks to its Ultimate Team feature, which some have compared to gambling as others believe EA may be nerfing cards to encourage players to buy more.
A recent theory spreading through the FIFA 21 Ultimate Team fanbase is causing quite the stir. It seems as though quite a few players are convinced that EA has been nerfing FIFA 21 player cards a few weeks after release to force players to spend money trying to obtain the latest upgrades.
A common experience for FIFA players is apparently finding a great budget player, scoring goals with them, and thinking they've found the talisman of their FIFA 21 squad. Then, after they've played a few games everything seems to go wrong. According to this recent fan theory, the downturn in player quality is due to EA secretly nerfing player cards after release to force the current meta toward recent promo cards and Squad Building Challenges.
A recent Reddit thread has players discussing their experience with fantastic players that seem to take a statistical dip. With nothing about these kinds of nerfs in patch notes, some players believe EA is hiding the nerfs to drive pack sales. EA has become notorious for its use of microtransactions, so players may have a point. Making older promo cards worse could force players to try and get the newer ones.
The Reddit thread included a laundry list of players that seem to have been stripped of their stats, but even if EA has been intent on selling Ultimate Team packs, hiding player card nerfs would be difficult. Recently, dataminers found code that could block the FIFA Ultimate Team mode in some countries. If code existed to nerf player cards, proof would likely have been found. It's more likely other issues are causing players to feel like they are getting worse.
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