In the Master League, you create and manage your own team with the aim of becoming the strongest team in the league competing against the computer teams in a round-robin tournament. It was first introduced to the game in ISS Pro Evolution in 1999, which was also the first in the series (counting earlier releases Goal Storm, Goal Storm 97 and International Superstar Soccer Pro 98) to feature club teams for the express purpose of composing the Master League.
- For more information on the early Master League, click here
Prior to PES 2010 there were four leagues, each split into four divisions of 20 teams and the league that you compete in has a Division 2 which featured 8 teams up till PES 2008 where 18 teams featured in Division 2 in the Next Gen consoles. (They stayed the same in the PS2 version until PES 2009 when 12 teams were included in the Division 2). Teams are promoted or relegated depending on their results, and high performance teams are invited to take part in big tournaments, previously known as the WEFA Championships and Masters Cup but since PES 2009 teams feature in the licensed Champions League and Europa League. The UEFA Super Cup was introduced in PES 2011
The Master League never ends. You can keep playing until your team gets to the level your ambition drives it to. Before PES 2010, there were 3 choices when you go into the mode:
- Pick Master League Default Players where you can chose an existing team with Master League Default Players.
- Match Mode Players where you can chose an existing team with full squads.
- Create Original Team where you can create a team from scratch (This mode was removed in PES 2011)except for the Wii and Psp versions.
 Game Over
You get Game Over under the following conditions:
- The team's points fall below zero. (changed in PES 2010, see below)
- The number of players in your team falls to 15 or below.
In Master League, a full and capable squad is often needed to compete as a rotation policy needs to be implemented. This is necessary because of the easily diminished stamina of your players. Some people have criticized this system because of its departure from realism, in that players can play every game of a season and suffer no ill-effects. Others have welcomed it as an incentive to try new formations and combinations of players. Members of your squad also get called up for International Duty throughout the season. Usually only members of one or two nationalities are called up at a time and will return back to your squad after one week.
The maximum amount of players you're allowed in your squad is 32 and the minimum is 16 (going below ends up with 'Game Over').
 General Structure
As the participation of club teams in the games was expanded, the structure of the Master League grew accordingly, to the point that it has gradually become a more realistic football manager simulator within the game and less of an expanded tournament mode.
- ISS Pro Evolution: A single league with all 16 teams.
- ISS Pro Evolution 2: Introduced the promotion and relegation system, with its 24 teams being distributed over a 16-team top division and an 8-team second division. Teams may be distributed at random or at the player's choice, but the player's team will always start at the bottom division.
- Pro Evolution Soccer: The PlayStation 2 version had 32 teams divided in two 16-team divisions, while the PlayStation version, like its predecessor, featured 24 teams divided in a Division 1 with 16 teams and a Division 2 with 8 teams. Teams may be distributed at random or at the player's choice, but the player's team will always start at the bottom division.
- PES 2: The PlayStation 2 versions (as well as the Gamecube port of Final Evolution) featured 40 teams across three divisions (D1 and D2 with 16 teams, and D3 with the eight remaining teams), while the PlayStation version distributed its 32 teams across two 16-team divisions. Teams may be distributed at random or at the player's choice, but the player's team will always start at the bottom division.
- PES 3: Introduced the concept of leagues running in parallel, with its 64 teams being distributed over four different leagues, each containing 14 clubs from different regions: Northern League (England and Scotland), Western League (France, Spain and Portugal), Southern League (Italy, Turkey and Greece) and Eastern League (Germany, Netherlands and all other remaining countries). Players can choose one of these leagues to play on once they get promoted from Division 2. The Division 2 composition will always be of the same eight clubs: PES United, WE United, West London White, Longobardi, Azur, Nord, Bourgogne and Lisbonera; if the player chooses a team other than these eight, WE United will be relocated to the space left in the corresponding top league, although the player can still choose which will be their top-flight league of choice. Also, the WEFA tournaments were introduced in this entry; with similar structures to the UEFA Champions League (WEFA Championship) and the UEFA Europa League (WEFA Masters Cup), they also run in parallel to the season like the leagues and their respective cups.
- PES 4 through 6: While PES 4 introduced real national leagues, Master League still maintains a similar structure to that of PES 3, except now the top leagues are named League A, B, C and D, and each contains 16 teams arranged at random; the built-in leagues do influence in this arrangement, however, by often having each league composed by teams from the same country by default. Players can still choose to rearrange the teams that will take part in each league, though, up to and including Division 2.
- PES 2008: Maintains the structure from previous titles, with 20 teams in each of the top leagues and 20 teams in Division 2.
- PES 2009: Same as its predecessor, but Division 2 has been reduced to 12 teams. This structure is also utilized in Become a Legend, except that Division 2 is absent from this mode.
- PES 2010: Does away with the fictional leagues and WEFA tournaments entirely, utilizing the five real leagues at the player's disposal. Due to this, the UEFA Champions League can now be played in the mode. Also does not feature a second division; if the player chooses a team from any of the "Others" bracket, they must choose a league to play in.
- PES 2011 and 2012: Maintain the structure of PES 2010, but the Second Division returns in the form of the D2 league; if the player chooses a team from this league, they will have to also choose a league to be promoted to.
- PES 2013: With the introduction of the Brazilian League, the Copa Libertadores becomes playable in Master League. The player may choose their continent to play on at the start, but any team they choose will be automatically placed on the WE League, which acts as Division 2 to the league corresponding to the chosen team, or a league of the player's choice if they choose a team from WE League or from the Other Teams bracket. PES and WE Leagues appear regardless of the chosen continent.
- PES 2014: Similar to its predecessor, except its generic leagues (with the exception of PDII League) are now continent-locked, so any chosen league will lead to its continental competition ladder. Also, the player will only start in the Second Division if they choose to play on PDII League, whereupon they must choose which league they will be promoted to, regardless of continent. Also, choosing a team from any of the "Other Clubs" blocks will allow the player to choose any league to enter, as long as they are from the same continent.
- Since PES 2015: Similar to its predecessor, except the PDII League has been done away with entirely, and the only playable lower divisions are specifically those of England, France, Italy and Spain, thus not allowing players to choose a league to be promoted to. 2018 also adds preseason tournaments.
 PES 2009
 Player Development (PES 2009 and before)
Development is regarded by many as one of the most enjoyable parts of the Master League, but it is optional. Players gain experience with every match they appear in, and with the training they do off-season. When a player's experience reaches 100%, their ability level will increase. The parameters of players who have aged and past their peak will start to decline. When players reach retirement age, they will make an announcement mid-season. When the season ends, the player will be removed from the roster. After a player has retired, they will be 'reborn' as a new player, and will be available to sign the season following their retirement from the "Newcomers" section in Negotiations.
 Club Popularity
One of the newer features of the Master League is popularity. Players and teams are all allocated a particular letter which represents their popularity, from no popularity at all through D, C, B, A and eventually S. The user can improve their team's popularity by winning (and sometimes drawing) matches.
Similarly, popularity can fall when a team loses matches. The higher a teams popularity is, the harder it is to progress to the next level. The higher a team's popularity is, the easier it is to sign higher-profile players.
In Pro Evolution Soccer you get money or as its called PES points. With PES points you can spend on buying players or gain by selling your player if at a certain point during the Master League you don't have enough PES points the game will end.
 Criticism (PES 2009 and before)
Although Master League mode is said to be the best part of PES it has remained virtually unchanged since PES 4 (although PES 2010 received an overhaul and some of these criticisms were implemented), some find there are still many let downs in the ML mode:
- You cannot swap between teams; once you choose your team, you cannot leave and manage another team - Unlike 'Manager Mode' in FIFA.
- The currency is fictional. (changed in PES 2010)
- Some players such as Aguero and Benzema are almost impossible to sign even in the easiest Master League level.
- Transfer system still not as authentic as FIFA's.
- The leagues only contained 16 teams each, plus one league with an 8 team Division 2, giving the game an unrealistic feel.
- Master League's version of the Champions League is unlicensed despite the Champions League mode being licensed. (changed in PES 2010)
- You can't build a team from scratch now and you only have 1000 when using a custom team.
- Lack of lower league teams makes promotion less interesting.
 PES 2010
It has been announced that the Master League mode in PES 2010 will receive an overhaul. The UEFA Champions League and the newly licensed Europa League will be integrated into the Master League. The participation to the European competitions will also lure the strongest player to join your team, and transfer contracts and dealings will be now more complete with the management operations that will be in real currency.
Scouts have been added who deal with the negotiations on behalf of the user and players can only be signed if they play for a club (this rules out players who play for their national team only).
Other staff such as coaches have been added which Level 5 coaches will allow for maximum development of skill while also reducing the risk of injury during training; but a Level 1 will have provide limited development of skills while a higher risk of injury. Physio's have been added to reduce a period that a player could be injured for, the higher the level physio, the better the treatment.
In addition, the facility such as youth teams have been added which can allow you to sign any of those players during the transfer window to boost numbers or to sign a potential world class player. It's worth noting that in the first season the youth players will be of default players unless you start as the default team.
The final facility was your club is the fan base, if set to Level 5, this will provide maximum merchandise sales which will be added to your balance at the start of both transfer periods.
 Total Cost of Staff/Facilites
Coach: £5,000,000 (Level 5)
Athletic Trainer: £5,000,000 (Level 5)
Club Doctor: £5,000,000 (Level 5)
Scout: £5,000,000 (Level 5)
Youth Team: £10,000,000 (Level 5)
Fan club: £10,000,000 (Level 5)
This sum of money is paid off in the first week of September each season. Check 'Expected Earnings' regularly to make sure you don't fall into the minuses and risk having some of your players released.
Another new feature is the sponsors which provide extra revenue for your team during pre-season and also revenue based on winning at home or competitions.
The real currency will replace the highly criticised PES points system that had been in place, however this is only for the next-gen consoles.
Although the new Master League in PES 2010 has been given an overhaul, some mistakes are still in place. For example, you are unable to sign a player who is not affiliated into a club before starting a Master League. For example David Beckham, who is a member of the England national team but not a member of a club.
In this the game the calender has changed. You no longer simulate 1 week at a time (half a week depending on fixtures before) but now half a week every time. This allows for more time preparing your team and making transfers. However this does make game progresses a lot slower than before.
Also during the end of season, you can no longer make friendlies with teams to boost revenue.
 Player Development
In PES 2010 when a player retires, they may return in a youth team of any club and it may be worth searching for these players during the transfer period as they may be a potential gem for a cheap price. Also, with the addition of coaches, the player's development will no longer be based on whether he's playing and the natural curve, but also the level of the coach. The higher levelled coach, the better development of your players or conversely the slightly decline of the older players.
 Club Popularity
In PES 2010 for next gen version they changed the money to real life currencies such as Pounds (£), US Dollar ($), Euro (€) and Yen (¥). But for PS2 they are still on the old points.
 PES 2011
 Player Development
One of the new additions was that you can choose whether to have Dynamic or Normal player development:
- Dynamic: The player will develop more due to good performances while deteriorate while injured.
- Normal: The player will follow his development curve.
 PES 2012
Master League in PES 2012 has stayed pretty much the same. There is however opportunities for your players to communicate with you.
Without unlocking any of the Extra Content, you will start with the Master League Default squad.
For 100GP (each one costs this) you can purchase these unlocks:
- Start the game with a generous supply of Team Funds.
- Improves your chances of signing the players you want.
- Start the game using Club Team lineups.
 PES 2013
As you enter your first match, all your players are wearing plain black boots. Not only that, the opposition players are also wearing plain boots. After matching a certain criteria, you'll be awarded with new boots for use on your players.
In Master League, you unlock boots to assign to players, and this will give them a stat boost. The boots you acquire though can only be assigned to one player. They have different abilities, so by unlocking the Adidas F50 it will give the player a boost in pace.
It’s important to remember that the opposition are going through the same process. For example playing Barcelona in the Champions League, players like Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta could be wearing fake boots. Not one of the opposition player was wearing a boot they would in real life, but they had on different boots with different abilities.
In Master League you have a new menu called Items, which consists of Shop, Item List and Equipment. The shop has access to 18 different stat boosting abilities, from strength training with dumbbells, to a cycling machine that helps stamina. These items cost points, which you gain from playing the game in general. So, Konami have removed PES Shop of old, and implemented it into Master League.
What's key to remember is that each element purchased can only be assigned to one player. Also, some elements last for a set amount of time, like a season.
Each player in ML now has an Item menu, which allows 3 slots, plus a boot slot. So you can give them 3 different stat boosts, and then boots to complement that.
As an example, you could give a player like Andy Carroll stat boosts in dribbling and pace, and Adidas F50 boots.
 Classic Master League
This mode will feature relatively the same Master League system featured on older PES games. It is unknown whether it's an early PES system or PES 2012.
 PES 2014
 Team changing
After a large outcry from the PES universe for the master league to include team changing like what managers do in real life, PES 2014 has it as a new feature. But also a change to managing national teams has also been included.
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