On Wednesday, Philadelphia Union announced the signing of Thiago Vazquez to the Union eMLS team and will represent the club at eMLS tournaments and EA SPORTS FIFA competitions worldwide.
Shortly after inking his first professional contract, ThiagoCapo12 spoke with PhiladelphiaUnion.com about his expectations for his first eMLS season and his love of the beautiful game.
Why is the Philadelphia Union Esports team a good fit for you as a gamer?
“I had offers from esports teams both outside and inside eMLS. I think that’s what happens when you do things well like I did last season, but there are a lot of reasons why I chose the Philadelphia Union. To begin with, this is the team that I have supported since my arrival to the United States. I have had the pleasure to attend Subaru Park a couple times and the environment is amazing. I fell in love with the players, the fans and the DOOP chants after each goal. I also wanted a club that matched my winning mentality. At the end of the day, it is one of the most competitive teams in MLS right now and they have shown it over the last couple years: Supporters’ Shield in 2020, Eastern Conference runner up in 2021 and Eastern Conference Champion in 2022. I have no doubt that this winning trend will continue, and I firmly believe that the best clubs are meant to be represented by the best players, so I am very honored to be able to represent the Union and the people of Philadelphia in the 2023 eMLS season.”
What are your expectations for your debut season?
“I expect nothing less than the eMLS title for my debut season. I know this can sound like an unrealistic goal for someone with no experience in eMLS, but I also know that if I don’t believe in myself, no one else will. To be honest, I like not being one of the favorites, because they don’t expect it, and you are able to surprise them. FIFA 23 has been out for a month or so now, and even though I have been working very hard already and I truly believe I have the level to compete with the best players in the region. I will keep grinding to hopefully keep up to my expectations at the end of the season.”
What made you want to become a professional FIFA gamer?
“What made me want to become a professional FIFA gamer is simple: my big passion and competitiveness for the things that I like. When I was little, I hated losing, so I was extremely competitive in almost everything, from the soccer matches during recess, to who had the best grades at school. Of course I grew up, and I shifted my desire to win to the things that I like, which are mostly soccer, FIFA, and math. However, just desiring to win in something doesn’t automatically mean that you will win, that’s not how life works. If you want to improve and become good at something you have to work hard for hours. You can become good at anything that you want as long as you put in the grind. I still remember how I was an average FIFA player 3 or 4 years ago, but my constant desire for improvement and work over time brought me where I am today.”
What is your playing style and how does it give you an upper hand in the game?
“I have a very direct play style. I enjoy going forward because I get bored holding the ball at the back, but to be honest I do not think it’s my playstyle that gives me an upper hand in the game, but my mentality. Certainly, you have to be comfortable with your playstyle and control the mechanics of the game, but at the end of the day FIFA is a game where you have to read your opponent defensively and try to surprise him offensively. I consider myself a very smart person, capable of reading my opponent’s mind and able to know how to control the important moments in games.”
How has your connection the game in real life helped you when it comes to the virtual pitch?
“I truly believe that a connection with the game in real life is crucial for all FIFA players. Even though playing soccer in real life is very different from playing FIFA, I think that to really improve in the virtual pitch you have to love and have a big passion for the game in real life. To this day, I haven’t met a single FIFA player that doesn’t like soccer. Of course everyone’s connections are different depending on experiences that people have had in the past. For example in my case, since I am a goalkeeper and I don’t get to score goals in real life, I have a good time scoring goals in FIFA, and I celebrate them with a lot of passion. In addition, my father is a professional soccer coach, so I always try to implement the tactical concepts that he teaches me to maximize and perfect my way of playing FIFA.”