If you have followed competitive FIFA over the last few years you will probably have heard of Ryan Pessoa aka Hashtag Ryan.
Infamous for his ability on the virtual pitch, Ryan has taken his career to new heights by qualifying for the upcoming ePremier league, taking place at the end of March.
The competition is still in the Club Playoff stage, with 17 of the 20 Premier League teams having already chosen their Xbox One and PS4 representatives.
Chelsea was one of the first Premier League teams to host playoffs, meaning Ryan had decided blue was the colour for him at a very early stage.
“Chelsea is a huge team, not just in England, but in Europe and the rest of the world too.” The 21-year old pro said.
“They have been extremely successful over the past decade and it’s an honour to be able to represent them in FIFA 19.”
Having played for esports team Hashtag for the majority of his career, to Ryan, it meant a lot to finally represent a Premier League team in some capacity.
“As a kid, I dreamed of representing a team in the Premier League for football obviously, we all have those childhood dreams but it never turned out that way,” he said.
“Now I have the option of doing so in the ePremier League I’m going to make it count.”
Although not an avid supporter of the boys in blue, Ryan said he had great respect for their game as well as some of their players.
“I am not a supporter, but I am a fan of Chelsea and what they have accomplished in recent years.
“Also, some of the players they have in their current squad are huge role models to me, especially César Azpilicueta, who I have actually met before, and Eden Hazard.”
For a player so young, Ryan has excelled since his professional career began in the midst of FIFA 17.
Being ranked first in the world on Xbox One during FIFA 18 and finishing in the top eight at the FIFA 18 FUT Champions Cup held in Barcelona last year.
Despite the enormity of the ePremier League Club Playoffs, practice took a backseat, yet Ryan’s confidence remained sky high.
“I did not specifically practice for the playoffs,” he said.
“I spent a lot of time catching up with my studies and also taking a break from FIFA just to relax a little bit, maybe that helped me.”
“I was confident in my abilities, but at the same time wary, because I knew others had practised with those specific players,” he continued.
“So for me, it was always going to be difficult especially with the expectations.”
Having thrived during FIFA 17 and 18, putting countless hours into EA’s football series – there’s no one in the world who knows the game’s assets and flaws as well as pro-FIFA players.
Ryan has had one consistent beef with the game since its release.
“What annoys me about FIFA 19 could spiral into a 5,000-word document but I’ll keep it short,” he said.
“The fact that they don’t fix things in the game properly and seem to be oblivious to what everyone else can see is wrong.”
Ryan played in the Gfinity Elite Series for multiple seasons with Hashtag, building a close kinship with his fellow teammates, which will only make it harder if forced to face off against Alex ‘Shawrey’ Shaw, who has also qualified for the ePremier League representing Leicester City.
“There are going to be big competitors there, the likes of Tekkz and my teammate Hashtag Shawrey who’s had an amazing year,” the confident pro said.
“I am not keeping an eye on anybody right now.
“I know if I am completely focused and ready to compete I will stand a great chance at winning the whole thing.”
Ryan’s best FIFA tip
“Keep practising every day,” Ryan said.
“This year with the introduction of Division Rivals there is a way to continuously practice against people on similar skill levels so it can help to improve your game!”
To find out more about FIFA 19 esports, please visit the Gfinity esports website