While it’s not quite Online Franchise, MLB The Show 20’s Custom Leagues come close. Here’s everything we know.
Sony San Diego unveiled a new mode for MLB The Show 20 in a Twitch livestream Thursday afternoon. The stream added more detail to the Custom Leagues feature teased in a video earlier this week.
Custom Leagues will allow between four and 30 players to compete against each other in an online league (no CPU default teams). Leagues can use real-life rosters or players’ Diamond Dynasty teams. The commissioner can offer up various restrictions in the league, from imposing a maximum team overall to mandating players complete a certain amount of games per week and the length of the regular season and the World Series.
Commissioners will be able to mark their leagues as “Competitive” or “Relaxed.” They’ll be able to mandate that players play a certain number of games per week. If players don’t play their mandated games, commissioners can simulate games or pick the winners of unplayed games. They can also make other players co-commissioner and give them those permissions. If a player is kicked, that team turns into a CPU team until another player is invited.
Postseasons can be either two, four, or eight teams. Teams that don’t make the postseason will still be able to challenge other players, but those games won’t affect the postseason itself.
If leagues use the Diamond Dynasty option, players can’t use their Create-A-Player. You’ll be able to add and drop player cards that you unlock in Diamond Dynasty mode outside of your league throughout the season, meaning you won’t need to restart the league to access newly unlocked cards. 40-man roster leagues will see player ratings adjusted based on updates released by Sony San Diego throughout the real season.
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The leagues will handle trades in an interesting way. Players will be able to play games in any order and at their own pace so long as other players are online and within the league’s parameters. The trade deadline in an online league is two-thirds of the way through the season. However, the deadline is per player. If one team blows past the deadline, that does not affect any other team’s ability to trade. Trades are only available if a league uses the live series rosters.
The livestream also unveiled a new competitive structure. MLB The Show 20 will have automatic matchmaking and reporting during tournaments and a Battle Royale-style draft. This seems like a way to integrate the tournaments into the game itself and make it even easier to dive into the game’s heretofore fractured competitive landscape.
It was also confirmed that there is no offseason between seasons, meaning no traditional GM obligations that you would see in a traditional Franchise mode. This also means there’s no player progression based on a player’s performance in the season. Their ratings will only be adjusted based on Sony San Diego’s roster updates.
The livestream also unveiled a new legend. Colorado Rockies great Todd Helton is joining the game. Helton will obviously be a great hitter in the game, but the developers also took his career as a college quarterback into account and gave him a fantastic arm and vision.
MLB The Show 20 drops March 17. Players who pre-order the Digital Deluxe, MVP or 15th Anniversary editions will get early access March 13.