EA Sports

FIFA Team of the Year (TOTY) is finally here. The biggest promotional event of the EA Sports FIFA gaming calendar kicks off Friday at 1 p.m. ET. Here's what you need to know: 

What is FIFA TOTY?

TOTY is an annual event in FIFA's Ultimate Team (FUT) mode, celebrating the best players from the last 12 months. Eleven players are picked by fan vote and released in digital "packs" filled with player and consumable items available over an eight-day period. These players will have boosted stats, making them among the highest rated and most coveted players in the game through the end of the game cycle. There's also a vote for a 12th man in the TOTY squad, with users able to vote for their favorite player to miss out on the final TOTY XI.

In addition, during the Team of the Year event, TOTY Moments and Flashback players celebrating specific achievements and moments in individual careers will also be released through Squad Building Challenges (SBCs), giving players the opportunity to submit unique squads using players based on different challenge requirements in exchange for special these special items. 

Who's nominated for the 2021 TOTY?

Seventy players are finalists to make the 2021 TOYY XI, including superstars like Neymar, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Ramos. The full list of nominees can be found here, and the squad will be revealed on Friday.

What happens during TOTY?

TOTY is FIFA's biggest promotional event. That means eight days of flash SBCs, special player cards, lucrative objectives and more. For example, during FIFA 20, no fewer than five Flashback or Player Moments items available through Squad Building Challenges dropped during the TOTY period: Player Moments Eden Hazard, Flashback Marcelo, Player Moments Bernardo Silva, Flashback David Luiz, and Flashback Manuel Neuer. In addition, Player Moments Hakim Ziyech or Flashback Andres Iniesta were available through playable objectives by completing in-game challenges. 

What does that mean for gamers? 

Whether you're a hardcore FUT enthusiast or just a casual, TOTY is the perfect time to build your ideal squad. Because of the number of packs being opened during this time and the plethora of high-rated players available across leagues, prices on the in-game market absolutely plummet. Traditionally, upgrade SBCs abound, giving users the opportunity to "craft" higher-rated players by plugging in low-value items into repeatable SBCs. So whether you're looking to add an icon to your team, finally slot Kylian Mbappe into your lineup, or simply want to build a competitive squad without breaking the bank, this is your time.