Konami has announced it has secured nine officially-sanctioned leagues for PES 2019. The news emerged today via a tweet by Pro Evolution Soccer, which lists seven of them. The new leagues include the Russian Premier League, which is exclusive to PES 2019, Argentina’s Superliga Quilmes Clásica, the Danish Superliga, Portugal’s Liga NOS, Switzerland’s Raiffeisen Super League, the Scottish Ladbrokes Premiership, and the Belgian Jupiler Pro League.
BIG NEWS! We're delighted to reveal SEVEN new authentic leagues are coming to #PES2019. Fully licensed, with ALL the teams!
That's not all. TWO more will be announced at a later date.
— eFootball PES (from ?) (@officialpes) May 23, 2018
Konami is eager to compensate for the loss earlier this year of their exclusive UEFA Champions League license by providing a selection of other licensed content to convince fans of PES 2019’s appeal. Beyond the seven announced leagues, two more are yet to be revealed and the hope is that they are a little more glamorous than the ones we’ve already been made privy to. Not to throw shade at the current leagues, but they just don’t have the allure of say the English Premier League, or La Liga with their unique wealth of international stars and top-tier clubs.
In addition, Konami plan to introduce further partner clubs and stadiums after the game is released. From last month’s reveal, we already know that big European juggernauts Barcelona and Liverpool are set to feature, which somewhat dampens the underwhelming selection of leagues.
In my estimation, PES is vastly superior to its direct rival, EA’s FIFA, when it comes to game play and depth, however the latter benefits from partnerships with the Premier League, World Cup rights, a big old bag of advertising cash, and is rumored to have snatched that lucrative Champions League deal right out of Konami’s hands. Conversely, Konami has secured an exclusive on the Russian Premier League, which used to feature in FIFA.
Though, a hard pill to swallow, big names tend to sell sports titles. In a genre where yearly releases are the name of the game, any advantage, however superficial, is crucial to attracting old and new players alike. Hats off to Konami for persevering with PES 2019 in what is now a two-decade-old rivalry between these two dominating titles.
PES 2019 is set for release on PC and console on August 28th in the US, and August 30th for the rest of the world.