We interview Hashtag United FIFA player and Red Bull athlete Ryan “Hashtag Ryan” Pessoa about his sporting life outside of esports.
What sports or physical activities do you take part in outside of esports?
Outside of esports, I take part in football, swimming and also going to the gym.
When did you start these and how regular is it?
I’ve always been a very active person, I aim to go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week, whilst playing football on the weekends and swimming after 1 of my gym sessions.
How does doing this sport or activity affect your mental health? And would you say it helps improve your esports work in some way?
I would say it’s very important to partake in physical activities, especially as an esports player because my job revolves around me sitting at a gaming desk for long periods of time, so it’s good to do some sort of cardiovascular activity and get the blood flowing. In terms of mental health, it helps me focus on something other than esports, for example if I get a loss I will go onto my sports bike at home for a few minutes. I would say it helps to improve my esports work because I come back feeling refreshed.
What similarities are there between your esports work and sports activities, if any?
In terms of the gym, it is a nice feeling to notice improvements and that the hard work I input is resulting in those improvements. The same can be said about FIFA, for example with the new addition of timed finishing, I initially struggled, but after playing continuously, I am flawless with it so the hard work I put in resulted in improvements in my gameplay.
Also, with playing football, I play competitively so I want to win all the time, the same can be said about FIFA, and I feel distraught after I lose any game, regardless of the importance.
What would you say to esports fans who don’t currently do much physical exercise? What would you say to encourage or inspire them?
I would say that it is very important to partake in physical activity. Having a balanced lifestyle will help to improve overall health, even if its just for a couple minutes at a time. Gaming can be stressful and having exercise as part of a daily routine can help to focus on something else and improve mental and physical health.