PES 6 in 2021 #1: Master League on PSP

Master League PES 6

Master League. I’ve created the football club of my dreams, an European giant, for the first time on the PSX many years ago, when the game was still named ISS Pro Evolution 2. Then I played for weeks in the brilliant PES3 and PES5 on the PlayStation 2. My last adventure with Pro Evo was when I returned to beloved mode in PES 2017. Since then, several months have passed. The dusty PSP and the recently added PES 6 to the collection came together perfectly, and I decided to play again as a coach conquering the European football world.

Minanda, Castolo and the old guard of Master League

After so many years of experience, it was inappropriate to set the bar too low for myself, so in the options I immediately selected a high level of difficulty of the game, as well as the Master League itself (less money to spend at the beginning). Plus, of course, a starter set of defaults, with names familiar to all the PES fans like Minanda, Ivarov, Castolo and Espimas. As a team I chose AC Milan, because if you’re going to build a squad from dreams, it’s must be at the San Siro.

I knew very well that the first half of the Division 3 games would be a cramming of points and a fight for at least draws. And so I set the team up in a 4-4-2 formation, the most classic as possible, in order to have all the zones secured and limit the number of opponents’ attacks. I didn’t particularly count on goals for my side, because there wasn’t really anyone to bite in front in the current squad.

However, I didn’t expect it to be so hard. Admittedly, I started with 0:0 against Catania, but then there were only defeats without a goal scored and with offensive actions to be counted on the fingers of one hand. The only consolation was that thanks to this one point I held on to the second from the bottom place with my Milan, ahead of the even weaker Excelsior.


First negotiations

The red light was flashing menacingly as I entered the negotiation break, indicating potential bankruptcy and the end of the game. This had never happened to me before in history, and I had no intention of letting it happen this time either. However, I knew that I had to strengthen the lineup somehow, because the starting bunch would at most manage to pull out maybe another draw or two. Goalless, of course.

Quite unexpectedly, a rescue wicket opened up in this negotiating round. After all, it turned out that I could try to squeeze rival teams with my players on an exchange basis, paying nothing to bring in much better players. I was not going to waste such an opportunity. Taking advantage of the presence in Division 3 of such rivals as Valenciennes, Murcia and Catania, I fast-tracked new acquisitions to Milan, whose salaries, by the way, lowered the burden on the budget.

I wasn’t picky, as virtually every rival player was better than Valeny, Stremer or Ximelez. The names won’t tell you much, but by the time Milan got back into the game, it already had goalkeeper Coque, defensive midfielder Malcolm, center-backs Julio Izco and Hetemaj, side midfielders Taele and Roudet, and forwards Savidan and Morimoto. Most important, however, was him – Murcia’s offensive midfielder Pedro Leon.

I forgot one thing

One thing I didn’t take into account. Chemistry. The new squad needed time to build any chemistry, so the expected improvement in performance did not come. After the next meeting, which resembled an agonizing game, I reduced the meeting time to five minutes again. I knew that I wouldn’t get anything out of longer battles anyway. The idea was to survive the second half of the games and collect a few more draws, because every 200 points to the budget is at a premium.

I made an exception only for the last round, in which Milan faced Excelsior in a battle for seventh place in the table. No one wanted to be last. I set up a ten-minute meeting and let my squad go into battle. Anything not to lose.

After the first half 0:1, because the defenders again scored some kind of babol. Artificial intelligence does not help in PES6 on PSP and every now and then they lose coverage and leave their positions, creating opportunities for opponents. Forty-five minutes to make up for the loss and score maybe the second goal in the entire competition. It didn’t look too good. In the 78th minute, however, a miracle happens. Our new captain, Pedro Leon, gets more space in front of the penalty area, gains momentum and strikes past the goalkeeper. A goal, a draw, 1:1, a precious point. After several hours of pain and suffering, a moment of joy. This is what one loves Pro Evo for.

Season to forget

We finish the season as the second worth squad in the league. Results? 0-7-7. Goals scored – a whole two. The league is won by AEK Athens, which, with Rivaldo on the spearhead, gave no chance to the competition and confidently advanced. In place for the waving us goodbye Greeks, we welcome in our Division 3′ inferno the Belgians of Anderlecht. It probably won’t get much easier…

During the post-season break, I save the budget with three sparring matches, in which I find that even a draw can earn 300 points. I also discovered that I can face a team of all-stars with different profiles, which give even greater gratification for a positive result. Unfortunately, the attempt to beat the North American All-Stars ended 0:1. I returned to the market and boosted the squad further with transfers of two solid defenders – Raul Sanchez and Nyatanga – fine addition to the lineup, thanks to the trade market, of course. As it turns out we have avoided bankruptcy at the eleventh hour by reducing the salary costs from 8800 to 6100.

I’m hoping for a much more enjoyable next season. With a stronger lineup finally coming together, I have a chance for better results. I’d like to see more goals from this Milan side at last. The next episode of coverage is coming soon.

PES6 is one of the classic installments of the cult soccer series Pro Evolution Soccer. The sixth edition is the second released for Sony’s portable console and the first to feature a Master League mode.

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