Here’s how FIFA 23 should fix FUT Champs’ broken rewards system

fifa 22 fut champions shieldEA SPORTS

After five years, FUT Champions feels stale and desperately needs a fresh coat of paint. FIFA 23 marks a perfect opportunity for EA to revaluate its most popular Ultimate Team game mode.

FUT Champions was a revolutionary addition to FIFA 17. The game mode completely altered the framework of FIFA, transforming it from a casual game played with friends into a competitive title.

I have a love-hate relationship with FUT Champs. With nearly 3000 hours in FIFA from FIFA 17 to FIFA 22, I spent most of that time grinding the competitive game mode late into my weekend nights. The game mode equally frustrates me and fills me with adrenaline other video games can’t replicate.

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Phil Foden in FIFA 22EA SPORTS
There are still some OP cards in the standard FUT Champs Upgrade

History of FUT Champs

Initially, the competitive game mode featured 40 matches within three days. That equates to 10 hours of gameplay in just three days. FIFA psychos like me were able to complete it, but that’s a lot to ask of a casual player. 

Qualifying was also a grueling process. Players had to win a four-game daily tournament that EA released from Monday through Thursday,, and you only had a limited amount of attempts. 

FIFA 19 decreased it to 30 games per weekend, and FIFA 22 went one step further. Instead of tournaments, players could earn points at their own pace, and each weekend only consists of 20 games. Qualifying for the weekend portion requires four wins from 10 matches during the week, but the mode is more accessible than ever.

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EA revamped its rewards system in December, rewarding players that reached 18 wins or 19 wins. Previously 16 wins was the maximum reward. The update incentivized top-level players to compete in FUT Champs. 

The problem with FUT Champs

Despite the revamped rewards and improved accessibility, at some point in FIFA 22, FUT Champs became a chore rather than something I looked forward to each weekend. The amount of stress and disappointment I felt after playing 20 matches didn’t feel worth it for the offered rewards.  

I usually finished Rank 4 in Weekend League and on a rare occasion placed Rank 5.

Rank 4 earned me three Team of The Week player picks, a 100k pack, a 125k pack, a premium TOTW pack, and 52,000 Ultimate Team Coins. 

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FIFA 22 FUT Champs RewardsEA SPORTS
FUT Champs players have a chance to pick from a section of Player Picks.

TOTW is outdated

TOTW cards no longer carry the same gravitas as past FIFA titles. FIFA 22 rapidly released promo cards, phasing out TOTW cards early into the game’s lifespan. 

TOTW awards players special cards based on real-life performances. For example, if Harry Kane scored a hat trick against Manchester United, he would receive an inform card. However, there is a catch.

All cards rated 85-98 only receive a plus one rating for each inform card rewarded, and players cant receive two in a row. Harry Kane would go from just an 89 overall to a 90 overall, and it wouldn’t make much of a difference.

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The TOTW upgrade process makes it painful for good players to receive meta cards.

There were 36 TOTW squads in FIFA 22, and below is the last TOTW squad of FIFA 22. 

Son Heung-Min, Andrew Robertson and Angel Di Maria headlined TOTW 36.

It’s easy to cherry-pick weak TOTWs’ to show how bad they are, but this is one of the better teams,, and it still doesn’t hold a candle to promo cards. 

Fortunately, during FIFA’s annual Team of The Season program, TOTW cards were replaced by TOTS cards as the player picks for rewards. TOTS rewards started in May, arguably too late for trying to bring back FIFA players that dropped the game.

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What EA needs to change for FUT Champs

EA Announced for the weekend league beginning on July 15 that they are adding Shapeshifter promo cards into FUT Champs rewards. 

Below is FUT Shapeshifters team one. The same regulations as TOTW teams do not bind promo teams, and EA can do whatever they want with cards. For example, EA could upgrade Eden Hazard from 85 to 95 overall and change his position and stats completely.

The gulf in quality between the TOTW Squad and this promo squad makes it hard to justify playing weekend league before the rewards change. 

FIFA 22 shapeshifters team oneEA Sports
Lionel Messi, Alphonso Davies, and Son Heung-Min, all received Shapeshifters promo cards.

I believe that EA should make promo cards in rewards a permanent feature, and it would be a massive addition to FIFA 23. Red Player Picks should be changed from TOTW cards to Promo cards. It wouldn’t disrupt the market because the player pick items are untradeable. 

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Or EA could keep the TOTW Player Pick packs and just award untradebale Promo packs. Either way what we have now is not sustainable. 

Some players would argue that TOTW cards should remain as rewards, but inform cards are nothing more than a mere novelty item in FIFA 22 and have been since the start.