A Closer Look at Player Pricing and the Events that Effect their Value

FIFA Market Trends

Players are expensive at the start of the game. Players are cheap at the end of the game. For those of us that have played Ultimate Team for the nearly 10 years it has been a game mode, that much is clear. And FIFA 20 was no exception.

The reason? A quick economics lesson on the principles of supply and demand will tell you. When FIFA releases in September, there are few cards on the market (low supply) compared to the high volume of players that want to play the game (high demand). Therefore, player prices are through the roof.

However, as time goes on more packs are opened. An increase in supply occurs. Where we had a low supply before, we now have a medium/high supply and medium/high demand.

Now May comes, along with it TOTS. The supply of cards on the market is at a peak, and demand for playing Ultimate Team is dwindling with the approaching summer and conclusion of any major FIFA events. Many FIFA players stop playing, and with that prices plummet to even further lows. Where we began on the left side of the graph, now we fall on the right.

FIFA Events

While this is how the FIFA market looks over the long-term, Ultimate Team events cause short-term deviations that present opportunities for investing. Knowing the events of the Ultimate Team calendar will help you to predict and take advantage of these changes in the FIFA market.

FIFA 20 Events

FIFA 21 Events (some dates tentative)

*check the FIFA Calendar for a full list of events*

September 30th – Web App Release

Rejoice! A new season of FIFA begins. One of the first ways you can access the game is through the web app. Through this, you will be able to buy/sell players, purchase packs, and receive daily rewards for logging in. NOTE: you will only be able to do use the web app if you have already set up an account in some previous FIFA.

In addition to the web app, a 10 hour EA Access period grants Xbox and PS4 the option to experience FIFA 20 in its entirety. For traders, the entirety of this trial should be devoted to Ultimate Team. There are a few ways that you can approach this.

First and foremost, sell all of the items in your catalog. Coins are in short supply at the beginning of FUT, and this is one of the easiest ways to stockpile them.

In addition, make sure to activate your coin boosts as these can earn you an extra 250-1000 coins per completed game. How you choose to play these games depends on your abilities as a FIFA player.

For more skilled players, draft is a great option. Yes, you have to spend 15,000 coins or FIFA points to play. However, the potential packs for winning a few games will more than cover your costs. In reality, if you win the draft mode you are looking at getting at least 50k and possibly much, much more. Offline draft mode is alternative if you would rather play AI instead.

October 6th – Early Access Release

For those who purchase the Ultimate or Champions version of FIFA 21, you will have a 3 day jump on everyone else to play the game. These early stages of the game are huge for establishing a coin base, so the sooner you can jump in the better.

October 9th Full Release

When the game is fully released, the demand for players begins to increase dramatically. Therefore, prices increase as well. Be sure to invest your coins gained through the early access period in players – particularly OTW or TOTW 2 gold cards – before the full release to make profits. If FIFA 18, 19, and 20 are any representation, the players reach their peak about 2 weeks after the release. For FIFA 21, this would mean ~ October 23d.

October 23rd/30th – Halloween Scream

While EA typically released promos for 1 week, FIFA 20 marked the first year they ran promos over 2 weeks. Ultimate Scream was the first promotion we saw this for, and we would continue to see it later in the year as well. I expect more of the same in FIFA 21.

November 27th/30th – Black Friday/Cyber Monday

For the first time in the FIFA season, players have the opportunity to buy expensive packs valued at 50k, 100k, and 200k. For an investor, this weekend is Christmas come early.

All of these packs mean one thing: a drastic increase in supply, and consequently excellent opportunities for players to be bought for great prices.

In FIFA 20, the best looks for investment were high rated TOTW players that came from good nations and leagues (useful for SBCs). Look to buy them during lighting rounds via bid or snipe to get the best deals.

In FIFA 21, anticipate on investing in something similar – a high rated inform from a good league and nation that is near discard.

December 10th – Team of the Group Stage

An event that often catches players by surprise, be sure to prepare yourself for the Team of the Group Stage. This is the first time that an abundance of quality players are in packs, and as a result many packs are opened. Again, packs mean supply, and supply means the market takes a hit.

December 17th – FUTMAS

Starting on the 17th, there will be daily SBCs to get different players upgraded players. In FIFA 20, we saw 2 per day beginning with FUTMAS Witsel and Simon.

January 4th – TOTY Release

The best players from the previous year are released in four phases: defenders, midfielders, attackers, and then the full squad. In FIFA 20, the attackers came out on Monday, midfielders on Tuesday, defenders on Wednesday, and the full squad on Thursday. We will see if that trend continues for FIFA 21.

January 14th/21st – Headliners

Headliners can be best described as midseason TOTS cards. However, where TOTS cards statistics are static, Headliners are dynamic items that upgrade just as OTW cards do.

Four consecutive league wins granted these players an additional upgrade as well.

January 28th/February 4th – Future FUT Stars

A promo that began in FIFA 19, this event is described on the EA website as follows:

“The brightest young prospects in football now have massive ratings boosts reflecting their potential to become the best in the world. Build a new generation of talent into your FUT 20 squad now with the Future Stars!”

February 12th – Winter Refresh/Upgrades

Rebranded from Winter OTW to Winter Refresh in FIFA 20, these cards were given to recent transfers but were no longer dynamic. Upgraded gold cards were released for players who performed well at the beginning of the season as well.

February 19th/26th – Shapeshifters

A new promotion for FIFA 20, these cards had different positions and allowed people to get more creative with their squad building.

March 18th/25th – FUT Birthday

A consistent FIFA promo throughout the years, EA added Skill Move and Weak Foot upgrades to FIFA 20 FUT Bday cards.

May ? – First TOTS Release
COVID-19 threw a wrench in TOTS for FIFA 20, so EA chose to rebrand the event as TOTSSF (Team of the Season So Far).
Below is the order of leagues they released:
  • April 24th – Community/EFL TOTSSF
  • May 1st – PL TOTSSF
  • May 4th – Saudi TOTSSF
  • May 8th – La Liga TOTSSF
  • May 11th – Super Lig TOTSSF
  • May 15th – BuLi TOTSSF
  • May 18th – Liga NOS TOTSSF
  • May 22nd – Serie A TOTSSF
  • May 25th – Eredivisie TOTSSF
  • May 29th – Ligue 1 TOTSSF
  • June 1st – LATAM/MLS TOTSSF
  • June 5th – Ultimate TOTSSF
  • June 8th – ROW TOTSSF

In addition, SBCs are released along with these in which you can get an untradeable version of a TOTS player as a reward.

July ? – Summer Heat

Another new event for FIFA 20, Summer Heat brought upgraded cards from earlier promos back into packs. In addition, there were Summer Showdowns, Summer Heat Fan Votes, and other content making this event one of the best promotions of the year.