What Is The Weekend League
A new addition to ultimate team last year, the weekend league provides a more competitive element to the game. Over the period of Friday to Sunday, players may complete up to 40 matches receiving rewards based on the amount of games won. There are no draws, so extra time and then penalties are always hiding around the corner.
On top of the weekly awards available, untradable monthly prizes are awarded based on the total number of wins across the whole month.
Why The Weekend League Effects The Market
Due to this competition being so competitive and every player attempting to achieve the highest number of wins possible (in order to receive the best prizes possible), there is a large uplift in demand for the premium players that fall into the appropriate price banding. While players like Ronaldo are in constant demand for obvious reasons, cheap beasts who are more affordable for the general player base see a much larger increase in demand. With extra players looking to buy simply the most overpowered cards possible, we can see dramatic price swings depending on who is in favour at any given time. At times the weekend league will provide specific requirements that must be met in order to play, for example 0 PL players in the squad. This can heavily effect the market as you can imagine as emphasis falls on certain leagues, nationalities or rarity of card.
With the weekend league taking place over the period of just 3 days a week, we also see a lot more action during this period in terms of people buying. Last minute preparation, lack of desire to play in the week or simply people changing players in order to try out others ensures that this is when the market is at its busiest.
When And Why People Buy
We touched on this above, but the key reasons people buy for this event is to; build the best possible team in order to achieve the best possible rewards, replacing players that simply aren't working for their specific play style, trying new cards or formations which require a change in the roster or simply matching set requirements that the weekend league may provide.
The average FIFA player tends to buy their team whenever they are ready to play. With most people working through the week this usually falls on a Friday evening which is why we often see a significant increase in prices. Those who follow the market closely will prepare in advance, buying when others are selling. This period is commonly just after the weekend league finishes.
When And Why People Sell
There are hundreds of reasons why people sell, well maybe hundreds is a slight exaggeration but there are still loads! Weekend league requirements, players not working for them, players not fitting into a set formation used, better cards becoming available or simply wanting to change things up are some prime examples.
Once again, with the majority of people just selling and buying when convenient for themselves, we see most people selling their teams as soon as they are finished with the weekend league so that they can have their coins readily available to build again in time for the next. This provides a large influx of cards on the market around the end of the weekend league alongside less people buying. Consequently we see prices being undercut in an attempt to sell and hence prices taking a dip.
Weekend League Rewards
Rewards are always an exiting time for the FIFA player base! The chance of packing that one big Premium player that could completely change your time is forever enticing, but how can this effect the market?
Rewards have been released at 18:00/ 19:00 GMT for the past 6 months (depending on our daylight saving nonsense). This is likely to continue going into FIFA 18 and hence gives us an indication of what to expect. Due to the fact that rewards are released to all players simultaneously, we constantly see a bajillion packs being opened at the same time which in turn provides a significant uplift in players entering the transfer market. This in turn leads to a large percentage of players undercutting one another in order to sell their cards quickly, temporarily bringing down the prices of a large number of players.
Monitoring and understanding the market here provides massive investment potential. Winning players for cheap on bids, sniping or whatever you plan on doing is possible and with the expected increase in demand coming on Friday you are usually able to quickly offload these players too for a swift profit.
Understanding demand here is the most important factor. Some players will take a price dip and then recover, due to demand, while others will take a dip and then remain at this new price simply due to the lack of demand.
Investing In The Market
If we base this off trends that repeated last year, we are left with a very simple guide on how to invest. Obviously this should be tweaked and improved as your knowledge grows and you react to any changes we see take place:
Buy when everyone is selling, usually as the league finishes or the days that follow.
Buy when player prices dip below their estimated value, usually when rewards are released and everyone attempts to sell at once.
Sell when everyone is buying, usually as the weekend league starts and people start creating new teams.
To summarise, buy when demand is low and sell when demand is high, simple!
Let's not forget one of the biggest money makers during this event, consumables! With a large percentage of players attempting to win as many games as possible, we see a massive amount of players running a single team to ensure they are familiar with how they play, the strengths and weaknesses etc.
This provides a huge increase in demand for squad fitness cards and contracts which is rarely present during the period where weekend league is out of action. A squad fitness is ideally applied after every two games and a contract whenever needed. Based on this logic, an average player will apply 20 squad fitness cards per weekend league and when we multiply this by the amount of players doing this, a bucket load of these cards are used!
Use the same logic here! Buy when demand is low, outside of weekend league hours and sell when demand is high, during the weekend league.
As mentioned in other guides, special cards being released can provide an increase in demand for chemistry cards or position changes too. As your market knowledge improves, you will instinctively start picking up on trends with this and investing accordingly.
Investing In Yourself
With weekend league rewards being awarded in tiers, sometimes buying that premium player will allow you to progress to the next level. An investment such as this WILL lose you coins, even if it's only from EA tax, so when does this type of investment make sense?
If the Premium player will move you up from gold 3 to gold 2, it's debatable if the cost is worth the reward. However moving up from Silver to Gold, or Gold to Elite is a significant increase in expected reward value and often can be the correct decision.
Obviously this doesn't mean spend everything you have, but if you can justify spending X% of your coins for this boost, and the expected gain matches or surpasses the expected loss from the investment, it's always a decision worth taking advantage of.