Christopher: “If I think I have no chances, it's not worth going to London”

eFootball.Pro interviews Boavista FC player Christopher before he plays PES League World Finals in 1v1 mode


Christopher (Surenses, France, 1989) is a French-Portuguese player from the Boavista FC squad. He led the Portuguese team of the eFootball.Pro League during this first season, competing together with TioMit (the team has a third member, Bounti27). Christopher has been one of the top goal assistants of the Regular League and when it comes to passes, one of the players with more passes made and more successful ones completed.

With Christopher, the path of Boavista FC has been quite regular during the whole season, with a correct performance that, unfortunately, didn’t render enough match victories for the team to qualify for the Finals. Nevertheless, Christopher and TioMit won one match day (against FC Schalke 04) and three games, among which the one against league champion AS Monaco stands out. On that occasion, TioMit scored a hat trick including a goal in the minute 92 which earned them the game victory. Christopher assisted his teammate after a good control while being covered by two Monaco defenders.

But beyond his performance this season, Christopher is one of the best known Pro Evolution Soccer players. In fact, he did win the first edition of the PES League, in 2010, and has been an active player in the PES scene, even creating and managing his own esports club. Thanks to his qualification for 2019 PES League World Finals in the 1v1 category, eFootball.Pro interviews him.

Christopher: "In the first two matchdays we thought we could play tiki taka, but then we realised that we couldn’t. Hence we had to find alternative tactical solutions. We couldn’t improve as much as we wanted but we did give everything we got."

eFootball.Pro: After the first season, how do you value the appearance of the eFootball.Pro League in the competitive PES scene?

Christopher: "For us, PES professionals, it’s been a very interesting competition. It gave us visibility and has been innovative because it’s the first professional competition with professional football clubs. The staff did a very professional job and we players are happy. There are things to improve but it’s been the first year and I’m curious to know what changes there will be next season."

You already knew both TioMit and Bounti27. How has it been to compete in the same team with them?

"It's a pleasure to play with them. They're very serious, professional and know what they do. TioMit is one of the best players in the world and Bounti27 is one of the best in Europe and France. We haven’t had problems, quite the contrary. Although the result did not turn out to be as expected –no question we aimed for a better one– we gave it our best shot."

In the eFootball.Pro League we saw, over time, a positive evolution in Boavista FC’s performance. Do you have the same impression?

"Throughout the competition the problem was that, unfortunately, the PES Boavista team is very different from the rest. All have strengths and weaknesses, but in general our team had much more handicap than strengths, and we didn’t understand it at first. In the first two matchdays we thought we could play tiki taka, but then we realised that we couldn’t. Hence we had to find alternative tactical solutions. We had a very slow defense, players who couldn’t control the ball well and also missing players to finish the plays. But we improved because we had the ambition to get good results and the responsibility for representing the club. It's a pity that we didn’t qualify for the semifinals, I think we deserved it, but it was decided on the small details. We have to be satisfied with the work we did and the time we spent on finding solutions. Although we couldn’t improve as much as we wanted, we did give everything we got."

Christopher: " I always say that the reality of esports is offline, not online. To me it’s the best training because you find yourself in many different situations where you have to look for solutions under pressure."

Do you think that if the league had had more matchdays, you would have finished in a higher position?

"Probably, because you know that the championship is longer and you have more time to both work on your tactics and better analyse the opponents. But objectively our team in-game was the weakest of the six and, in a competition with top-notch players, the margin of error is very small."

How have these weeks between the eFootball.Pro League Finals and the PES League World Finals been?

"I'm trying to play as much as possible and prepare the tactical details as well as figure out what may happen in the tournament. I’m preparing myself both mental and physically because those factors are very important to me. I’m aware of how old I am and I know that now it’s different from eight years ago when I could play without being in the best physical condition. I try to work on that aspect in order to be 100% on Saturday, June 29, put up a great performance and, God willing, be the best in the world."

In both eFootball.Pro League and the PES League World Finals there is a significant presence of French players. What do you think is the reason?

"In fact, this started some years ago. Back in the day, there were many offline tournaments in France, at least two per month but sometimes up to five or six. I always say that the reality of esports is offline, not online. To me it’s the best training because you’re always playing in situations of pressure; you find yourself in many different situations where you have to look for solutions under that pressure.

So, when you compete in major tournaments like the eFootball.Pro League or PES League, your mind is more prepared and you have many more automatisms at the most decisive moments. Also in France we are lucky that many players live nearby and we can train offline. The level now is more even, between France, Spain and Brazil. Putting Asia aside, those are the strongest countries in PES to me."

Christopher: "I have different weapons from those I had eight years ago. Back then I had more freshness and a slightly different style of play. Now I have expertise and the mental factor."

Have you had enough time to prepare both PES League and the eFootball.Pro League this season as they both take place at the same time?

"The calendar has been very complicated and I hope that the organisations can find a solution for the next year. It hasn’t been the best way to prepare the competitions but we did it anyway. We organised ourselves in the best way possible as we are professionals. I like doing things well. Otherwise, I’d rather not do them."

Currently there are two players who have been world champions twice: Usmakabyle and ETTORITO97. You won PES League in 2010. Do you think that this year you can do like them and get your second title?

"If I think I have no chances, it's not worth going to London. I have different weapons from those I had eight years ago, when I took part in my first two World Finals. I was younger, had more freshness and a slightly different style of play. Now I have expertise and the mental factor, which is very important.

I have powers of observation, I like to analyse my opponents tactically. It’s logical that ETTORITO97, Usmakabyle and also GuiFera want to be world champions again, and it’s the same for me. It will be very difficult. After the draw it’s time to prepare the competition, but I’m ready for the tournament."

What do you expect from the eFootball.Pro League for next season?

"I hope there will more teams and more locations, as we expected for the first season. But the most important thing is that the competition has visibility. The players, the clubs and the organisation deserve it. I hope it will be more successful than this year, that good work will have a continuity. And I, as an athlete, hope to have the chance of visiting other countries and also that we have a good competition format. I know that the organisation understands that the format has to be interesting for both players and fans, and that it can also give a good image to the Pro Evolution Soccer game. And of course I hope there will be good prizes."