EA Sports' FIFA 16 Ultimate Team released their now annual "Green Team" Wednesday.
The special cards, available until Monday, March 21 at 6 p.m. GMT and comprised entirely of Republic of Ireland players, don't boost player performance in-game in any meaningful way -- they have the same ratings as each of the selected players' normal FUT cards -- but are, well, green, in honor of St. Patrick's Day. They also have a higher discard price like normal Team of the Week cards and a more expensive price range to match.
Though they're special in that they're collector's items only, there's a "St. Patrick's Cup" Tournament running on Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC through Monday around the same time. The tourney allows you to only play with Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland players, so any Green Team cards you pack or buy on the transfer market could certainly help with your chase of the prize of 15,000 coins online or 10,000 offline.
But along the way to rolling out this year's special Irish cards, a funny thing happened:
Aston Villa starlet Jack Grealish (bottom row, second from the left) is a high-potential player unquestionably. He's suited up for the Republic of Ireland's U-17, U-18, and U-21 teams alike. And though he qualified to do so because of three Irish grandparents, he made a somewhat controversial (at least in Irish football circles) decision regarding his future senior international team plans this past fall:
Grealish is from England and he's never played for the Republic of Ireland's senior team so this is a perfectly fine decision for him to make. Because Ultimate Team is based on a set database, it's not possible (or at least extremely improbable) for the FUT development team to change Grealish's international affiliation from the Republic of Ireland after the game's launch. He'll be English in next year's game.
But somehow, someway, nobody selecting the "Green Team" on the FIFA side managed to recall Grealish's flip. And thus from 6 p.m. last night until around midnight, a non-Republic of Ireland affiliated player had a special St. Patrick's Day card in the game.
To EA's credit, it was a fairly honest mistake. And upon realizing it, instead of just leaving it as is, the development team pulled Grealish's card out of packs and replaced it with Stoke City (and Republic of Ireland bell cow) Jonathan Walters:
We've revised the St. Patrick's Day team, the players below will be in packs until Monday. pic.twitter.com/TrBr2ZaByL— EA SPORTS FIFA (@EASPORTSFIFA) March 17, 2016
What that means is you now have a green Jack Grealish card that was only in packs for around six hours. As a silver rated card -- essentially relegated to second-class citizen status in this year's game and in packs far less commonly opened than those containing higher rated players -- there were already going to be fewer of them out in the wild. With just five hours and change for an already scarce card to be acquired by the hundreds of thousands who play the game daily, the card is going to be practically extinct.
If you're an ardent FUT collector, prepare for dozens of grueling hours of trying to "snipe" the card off the market whenever someone ultimately lists one. Since the card's only 72 rated overall, is going to cost the price range max of 30,000 coins and isn't boosted in any way from Grealish's normal card, you really aren't missing out too much if you aren't lucky enough to get your hands on one. If you do though, prepare to lord it over all your FUT playing friends and enemies alike.