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FIFA 19 Ultimate Team: here’s everything I packed for winning 50% of my games in the weekend league

The weekend league, AKA FUT Champions, is the pinnacle of FIFA 19. Each week elite players go head-to-head across 30 games from Friday to Sunday, with a tiered reward system dishing out performance-based goodies the following Thursday. Last weekend, I qualified for the first time. 

I consider myself an expert at making coins in FIFA 19 Ultimate Team, but in terms of online play my abilities are more Todd Kane than Harry Kane. Meaning that the 17 weekend league wins I pulled off are definitely achievable by any casual player willing to put the hours in. Yes, including you. But is it worth sacking off an entire weekend for? Let’s take a scan through my ‘Gold 2’ tier rewards and find out:

Player Pick 1

Gold 2 rewards grant me 45,000 coins, 2,000 Champions qualification points (insta-qualifying me for next weekend), two Rare Mega Packs, one Rare Gold Pack, and two ‘Team Of The Week’ player picks. This week’s TOTW contains 90-rated Christian Eriksen, 87-rated Fernandinho, and 86-rated Marco Arnautovic – but I’m offered none of these. Still, 84-rated Ryan Fraser’s 90 pace and 86 dribbling will slot in tidily to the all-Premier League squad I toy with when not using my main Serie A one. 

Player Pick 2

Minimal practicality, maximum romance: as a Palace fan I legitimately sling down the DualShock, leap around the room and text happy swears to my kid brothers when the fourth and final option here turns out to be centre-back Mamadou Sakho. 83-paced defender Eder Militao would be the more tempting pick for some, and 82-overall Haris Seferovic is a tidy all-rounder, but it has to be the mercurial Frenchman.

Rare Mega Pack 1

I’ll use both Fraser and Sakho sparingly in my Premier League squad; now all I need to make this a perfect Weekend League reward set is a card rated 85 or higher for my Serie A team. Big ask, I know. Instead this pack brings more shiny gold Prem players: Bernd Leno, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Luke Shaw and Arthur Masuaku.

Little for me to use there. Still, that Claude Puel manager card goes for upwards of 1,500, and I’ll make at least 4K off the three Squad Fitness items, so not bad.

Rare Gold Pack

With 30 cards in a Mega Pack, we’ll put the second one aside for now. Instead, it’s Rare Gold time, and another board player. Croatia flag… Chelsea badge… hello, Mateo Kovacic. Or rather: hello again, Mateo Kovacic, as like Leno he’s a duplicate.

This is a throwaway pack. 83-rated cards are at a seasonal low price-wise – though that should change later in January, when Ones To Watch challenges are released – and while the made-for-FIFA Bayern 4th kit is lovely, I already own it.

Rare Mega Pack 2

Here we go. Last chance to unearth some Serie A sassiness, and… look away now West Ham fans, it’s Dimi Payet. Lining up next to former team-mate and eventual bubble-blowing successor Manuel Lanzini.

This Mega Pack is even more disappointing than the first: again, three Squad Fitness cards will bring in a bit of coin but most of the players are worth little more than discard value. A trio of unimpressive packs, then, but offset by those welcome player picks. Yet there is still faint hope…

Division Rivals rewards

Happy bonus! Each match you play in the weekend league also grants 400 Division Rivals points regardless of the result, meaning I’ve scored Rank II in FIFA’s other big online mode without playing a single game. That earns me two Prime Gold Players Packs and two Rare Electrum Players Packs. Making this the part of the story where Rajda Nainggolan erupts from the screen – and shatters my spleen – in excitement, right? 

Nope.

Best pulls from these packs are two 83s: Nacho Fernandez of Real Madrid, and Sevilla’s Ever Banega. That Ederson showcased at the outset of this piece? My best pick from this weekend’s Marquee Matchups rather than anything that materialised from Champs or Rivals, further underlining the randomness of packs.  

Conclusion

In GR’s FIFA 19 Ultimate Team coins guide I write many times that you should never buy gold packs. These rewards demonstrate why: the chances of you pulling a specific player rated 84 or above are slim to none. So in a roundabout way this confirms that my trading methods are watertight. Yet I have something tangible for those weekend efforts, too: a serviceable, speedy left-winger and one of my favourite real-life players, both of whom will come in useful for my Premier League team.

Is it worth casuals putting in similar efforts for such rewards? I’d like to say ‘probably not’, when there are so many other more useful things you could do across any given Sunday. Yet have already made the necessary excuses to friends, family and dependents as regards my lack of availability this coming weekend…

FIFA 19 is out now. Wondering how you can up your game in order to rack up the weekend league wins? Then enjoy our comprehensive guide to FIFA 19 formations.

GamesRadar+'s lead sports writer. Obsessed with NFL, WWE, MLB, and very occasionally things that don't have a three-letter acronym. (Namely: soccerball, Bill Bryson, and anything Pitch Perfect.)