Football Manager (FM) has, over the years, incorporated competitive features similar to most esports games. These features are available in the new Football manager 2023 (FM23) in various versions; Playstation, Xbox, Android12, and iOS.
Nonetheless, the lack of a distinct multiplayer makes FM an incomplete version. However, players and developers are adapting different competitive modes.
Failure of Initial Trials: "Football Manager Live"
You'll be surprised to know that FM developers had, in 2007, attempted to convert the virtual game to an Esport. The product was Football Manager Live, which lasted until 2012, and the failure was credited to players' lack of interest.
The concept was for participants to compete directly rather than virtually through computers. With the rising interest in the game, it's fair to assume that the project is a success through the use of more advanced tech features.
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The Start of a successful Esport Journey
Ten years after the formulation of Football Manager Live, the developers did start working on another strategy in 2018. Credit goes to technological advancements, including better internet use, to make the game more accessible and playable.
This new formulation focused on viewers' demographics, where participants compete in a knockout formula while aiming for a monetary prize. The competition was timed, unlike the previous tournament, which lasted for a season-long football period.
Therefore, such changes and inclusion increased viewers' and players' interests in the upcoming esport version.
Features in the New Football Manager 23
Esports are famous for being action-packed and including unique graphics in their layout. FM, on the other hand, is unique, and sometimes you can't compare it to FIFA or other football games.
However, the new version came with features that make the game more exciting and qualify it as an esport on several bases. These new features include:
Introduction of the Champions League
FM did strike a copyright deal with UEFA for the UCL, EUROPA, and Conference league rights. These competitions were available but were under unofficial labels.
Players can now enjoy all the team's features, including the team's kits, increasing the realistic nature of the game, especially during competitions.
Games' AI Improvement
In addition to the improved gaming experience, graphics change, and enhancement of different action plays, AI has been regenerated on the opponent's side. This means the latter's in-game moves and decisions are more realistic and varied.
FM23 squad planner has been revamped and has become essential for managing your team and reviewing areas you need improvement.
You get the ‘Experience Matrix’ which categorizes your squad into the following categories:
Additionally, you can interact with your scouting agents more to discuss prospects or give out necessary instructions.
Involvement of Social Media Platforms
Most esports have been made popular through tournaments conducted on social channels. Also, we have different influencers who play Esports games for a living.
Twitch, one of the favorite streaming platforms, has accommodated thousands of FM fans, where they meet to compete, discuss, and share various ideas. The following might not be as significant as other Esports games like Dota or God of War, but it is undoubtedly a good sign for FM.
Football Manager's journey to be fully realized as an Esport has taken a long time. With the recent improvements and strategic additions, the sport is heading in the right direction. Soon we'll see the sport adopted on other platforms, including Betway, for the benefit of gamblers.