Tips from the pros: How to set up your virtual Bayern team

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We all know that the reality is on the pitch – yet the right tactics and the perfect formation can often deliver a crucial advantage. In the football simulation video game eFootball PES 2020 from Konami, it’s no different, which is why José Carlos Sánchez and Miguel Mestre from the FCB Esports team have put together their best tips for you. With this setup, you can ace your next match on the console, whether you’re playing solo, against friends or online…

Unusual formation

Although Hansi Flick would probably not be so keen, on the console it can make sense for José Sánchez and Co to play with four central defenders.

“It depends on how you play and who your opponent is. For me, the 4-3-3 with three or four centre-backs is ideal,” explains Sánchez, who won the 2017 1v1 European Championship. “The rather unusual formation is necessary because the full-backs in PES are often very attacking, and so you’re vulnerable to the counter. The physical side is also very important in the game,” he continues. (Sánchez)

Suitable adjustments

Important basic tactical settings can be made under the ‘Standard tactics’ tab, where you can set the basic orientation at both ends of the field, which for Sánchez is a bit different to normal this year. “It's a good idea to rely on ‘counter-attacks’ for your attacking instructions. ‘Build-up’, ‘positional play’ and ‘support range’ are more individual settings. A high support range and flexible formation play give you more options up front, but sometimes you're not so solid at the back and give your opponents more room," knows the Spaniard.

Flexible defence

As for defensive instructions, it’s mostly  about your individual taste, according to Mestre – who celebrates his 21st birthday this Sunday: “Whether it’s ‘stay tight’ or ‘frontline pressure’, you have to decide what’s best for you. With the ‘containment area’, you should be mindful of your opponent. If he often goes down the wings, you should choose ‘wide’. If he prefers to attack through the middle, go for ‘medium’. For ‘pressing’, it’s again a question of individual preference, but be wary of the players’ stamina with the aggressive options. A deep-lying backline makes sense if you like to defend observantly. The compactness determines whether the players stand close together in the centre or are spread across the pitch.” (Mestre)

Miguel Mestre likes to maintain his formation in order to be able to launch attacks more quickly.

You can also select advanced instructions for both attack and defence. Here are Sánchez and Mestre’s favourite settings.


  • Anchoring: “Ideally with the supporting striker or centre-forward. It’s important they keep their position so that they’re always available when an attack starts.”
  • Defensive: “For the defensive or central midfielders or for your full-backs. This setting helps you to be more solid and to maintain the team structure.”
  • Hug the touchline: “Particularly with a 4-4-2 formation, this setting is suited to possession football.”


  • Gamble: “This setting is applied to the striker. It’s important so that he has good stamina until the end.”
  • Gegenpress: “If you need to score another goal, it’s good to put pressure on the opposition in the final minutes, especially if his players are tired and he wants to run down the clock.”
  • Swarm the box: “This is mostly suited to defending in the closing stages, when the opponent is trying to get forward with long balls and crosses.”

Depending on the state of play and the opponent, the Esports team also have to make tactical changes sometimes. The FCB gamers particularly like the following options:

  • 4-4-2 with wide wingers along with the setting ‘possession game’ and ‘hug the touchline’. It particularly helps when the opponent presses aggressively.
  • 4-4-2 with ‘stay tight’, a deep ‘defensive line’ and ‘short passing’ through the ‘middle’. This means you can get forward with good passing play combined with a steady defence.
  • 4-5-1 with two defensive midfielders helps with patient possession play.
Don’t forget to choose the right players for set pieces – for example, sending Niklas Süle forward for corners and free-kicks.

Pick the right players

Tactical settings are all well and good, but of course you also need to deploy the suitable players. “In defence, good ratings for ‘defending’, ‘physical contact’, ‘jump’, ‘aggression’ and ‘interceptions’ are particularly important. In midfield, ‘passing abilities’ and ‘tight possession’ are important. In attack, it’s about ‘speed’, ‘finishing’, ‘balance’ and ‘stamina’.” (Sánchez)

With his captaincy rating, Javi Martínez can improve his teammates on the pitch and bring a major advantage..

And it’s not just the normal attributes that are important, but also individual abilities which are assigned according to the characteristics of each player. “These can lead to a significant improvement in the players in certain situations,” said Mestre – and he has a favourite at Bayern in this regard. “For example, I like to have someone with the ‘interceptions’ quality on the pitch. With Bayern, one of them is Leon Goretzka. If we need another goal, it makes sense to bring on Thomas Müller with his SuperSub qualities.” The precise effects and meanings of all these attributes are explained in eFootball PES 2020 with the ‘Help’ button.

Of course, practice beats studying, and Sánchez knows that: “The key is in trying out all the possibilities that the game offers you and finding out which settings work best for you.” These tips from the Spanish Esports duo can certainly help you to come out on top in your next console clash.

The FCB Esports line-up is completed by Alex Alguacil. Read more about the world champion PES eFootball gamer and his career here:

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