EA is having to re-jig much of its planned FIFA Ultimate Team promotions with real-world football paused due to the coronavirus. Now, it's had to change one of its most popular annual events.
EA runs a Team of the Season promo as the real-world league seasons come to an end, adding special cards with increased stats for players deemed to have played well enough to make the Team of the Season for each league featured.
It's one of the most popular FUT promotions of the year, and usually sparks increased interest from FUT fans in the current game as EA looks to reveal the next FIFA in the series.
But with the coronavirus putting a halt to football across the globe, EA has been forced to rename Team of the Season to Team of the Season So Far – or the tongue-twister TOTSSF for short.
"While both football and the world at large find themselves in unprecedented times, Team of the Season So Far is the chance to celebrate the best players in each league so far this season," EA said in a blog post.
EA stressed there will not be another Team of the Season promo, even if the domestic leagues manage to finish their seasons. Instead, when the suspended domestic leagues return, in-form players will be represented by Team of the Week, Man of The Match and other promos.
So, we're looking at Team of the Season So Far including players who starred in domestic leagues up to the point the football world put a stop to play. When it comes to the Premier League, I expect a raft of Liverpool players to be included, a smattering of Man City players and, selfishly, some of Chelsea's young guns, who shone particularly brightly in the early part of the season.
This isn't the first time EA's had to change the way FIFA Ultimate Team works because of the coronavirus outbreak. Normally, EA runs Team of the Week promotions in which new cards are introduced into packs based on the outstanding performance of real players. But with football off for the foreseeable future across the world, EA no longer has real players to base Team of the Week cards upon. So it's ditched Team of the Week for the foreseeable, replacing it with a new promotion called Team of the Week Moments.
Ahead of the launch of the TOTSSF promo, EA is running a poll for the Community Team of the Season So Far (CTOTSSF) promo, which launches 24th April. This lets fans vote from a list supposedly featuring the top performances around the world. But this list includes some real headscratchers. West Ham's Brazilian forward Felipe Anderson has had a terrible season so far, scoring just one goal, but he's made the cut. Crystal Palace winger Wilfred Zaha has scored just three goals all season. And Leicester left back Ben Chilwell was fined by his team-mates for turning up late for a training session that led to him being dropped. And yet there he is.