SK Gaming founder unveils GOALS, a soccer game to compete with FIFA and eFootball

A new promising soccer game is in the works.

Screengrab via GOALS

FIFA and eFootball (formerly known as PES), the two established soccer gaming franchises are about to gain a new competitor in the form of GOALS, a touted AAA free-to-play soccer game with cross-play.

It is being created by Andreas Thorstensson, a former professional Counter-Strike player and co-founder of esports organization SK Gaming.

GOALS is being made to be an esports-ready game, which will directly challenge FIFA and eFootball‘s approach to professional competition. Thorstensson said he has played more than 5,000 matches of FIFA Ultimate Team, the most popular game mode of the soccer franchise, which unvolves assembling the best team possible to compete against other players. Thorstensson said that he had observed the esports scene for a long time, noting that it was broken and will not get better any soon.

GOALS, though, won’t be the first free-to-play soccer game with cross-play. EFootball will be released between September and November this year and will be a free-to-play game, implementing cross-play for all platforms over time.

“We are going to make the greatest football game of all time,” Thorstensson said on his Twitter thread. “It will use a play-to-earn model where time spent and skill in the game will be rewarded through digital assets (NFTs) so more people hopefully can make a living playing the game.”

The non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique digital files that can represent photos, audio, video, and other media, which seems to be a big part of GOALS.

Challenging FIFA and eFootball isn’t an easy task by any means, but GOALS seems to have a great idea to differentiate itself from the competition. “Multiplayer first means we are going to put a lot of resources into creating a fluid experience online to eliminate lag, latency, and button delay, which is a big problem in football games today,” Thorstensson said, referring that these features are what Riot implemented in VALORANT.

Being an esports-ready title, means to Thorstensson, that GOALS will not use “catch-up mechanics, rubber band effects, and ‘handicap'”, which are allegedly present in FIFA, some of its players say. The new soccer game wants its players to win due to their skill and nothing else and will develop a proper MMR system with tournaments and ladders. “We see no reason why the world’s largest sport shouldn’t be the world’s largest game,” Thorstensson said.

The GOALS‘ project is being backed by VCs and angel investors. The company is currently hiring staff such as producers, tech directors, game designers, concept artists, character artists, and NFT engineers, so it’s going to take some time before the game hits the field.