wide: "I had the choice to invest the little time I have into the game or spend it with my family and friends. Of course, I chose the latter."
How do you feel now, that you’ve been away from the PES competitive scene for a few months? Do you miss the competitions?
"At the moment I honestly have too little time to think about PES and the whole environment. But when big events like the eFootball.Pro final or the PES League World Finals are coming up, I switch on the livestream occasionally. I'd be lying if I said I don’t miss the competitions, they have always left beautiful memories and have been a part of my life for a long time."
How do you view the fact that professional football clubs get involved in esports?
"It's a very good sign that professional clubs are interested in esports at all and I think the trend continues to be for more clubs to play a part. What I lack, however, is that the clubs are still too little involved into it. Especially the professional clubs have knowledge and structures, which you could bring in more to professionalise certain competitions like the PES League. eFootball.Pro is a good example of how it can work."
wide: "Without my brother Matthias I would not have experienced all this. He always supported me wherever he could, sometimes even to his own disadvantage."
After the first season and from a distance, what is your opinion on the appearance of the eFootball.Pro League in the PES competitions’ scene?
"The idea of bundling professional organisations in a league is a great one and that should be the way to go. The professionalism with which this competition is approached is truly impressive and I hope it will be maintained. However, I believe that this should not be limited to football clubs. There are many great esports organisations like mousesports or SK Gaming whose participation would be good for the popularity of the league. A good example is the League of Legends European Championship, where FC Schalke 04 is also one of the participants."
What are the most memorable moments in your long career as a professional PES player?
"I could now say "winning this title..." or "this specific game...". Trophies are just tin that get dusty in the cupboard sometime, but the really memorable moments were the journeys and stories I experienced with my brother and my friends and meeting all the wonderful people from all over the world. We all came from different countries and cultures, but we had the same passion in our hearts. Experiencing this and being a part of it was really a gift for life. I could easily write a book about all this, maybe I will even do it one day when I’ve got the time."