Despite great gameplay the Pro Evolution Soccer series is fighting a losing battle against the might of EA Sports’ FIFA games. PES 2019 suffered the loss of Konami’s licensing relationship with the UEFA Champions League, losing out to EA.

Will PES 2020 fare better than FIFA 20? Konami has tweaked the branding to bring us eFootball PES 2020, launched officially at E3 2019.

When is eFootball PES 2020 coming out?

eFootball PES 2020 will launch on 10 September 2019.

You can pre-order it here for PS4, Xbox One and PC via Steam for £47.99.

What new features does eFootball PES 2020 have?

While PES still has the official Liverpool, Arsenal, Barcelona, Dortmund and Inter licenses among others it simply can’t compete with FIFA’s license to use basically every official kit and player likeness in the land. 

PES 2020 will have Barcelona though, with Messi on the cover and exclusive rights to the likeness of the Camp Nou – so a small victory. 

But most gamers want player, kit and stadia likenesses in their modern football game no matter what team they are playing as or against – and PES simply doesn’t provide that anymore. 

With the loss in 2018 of the Champions League and Europa League rights to EA, PES 2020 will be feeding on scraps. Sure, it has the Portuguese Primera Liga, the Scottish Premiership and the Dutch Eridivisie but when it lacks the major leagues of England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France it’s going to be a losing battle. 

What PES 2020 does have going for it is its improved Master League with better transfer dealings, legendary managers like Maradona and Cruyff, and updated gameplay. 

PES’ gameplay is its best weapon against FIFA and Konami is claiming to have improved ball physics and made games even more realistic. Context aware player touches mean your player will react to pressure from defenders better and play more intelligent passes.

There are several new ways for defenders to block shots with parries and diving headers. Off ball player movement intelligence should also help you drag the opposition away from the path of your next net bulging wonder goal. 

There are also hints you might be able to commit tactical fouls, a cynical feature of the modern game perhaps, but it makes play even more real.

We’re looking forward to playing PES for the gameplay, but FIFA still looks like it’ll steamroll PES out the way with its far superior licensing and marketing clout. Which is a shame.