EDITOR'S NOTE: The inaugural eMLS Cup will take place April 5-8, 2018, live at PAX East in Boston and streamed on Twitch. Learn more
The Portland Timbers aren’t known for doing things halfway, and their dive into esports is no exception. The Rose City club had their eyes on over 100 potential candidates before they zeroed in on Edgar Guerrero, better known by his gamertag x_thiago_silva_o.
Given the amount of top-flight talent rising through the competitive ranks in the Americas, it’s no surprise that the hunt for the Timbers’ first-ever eSports signing was intense, but Guerrero’s background set him apart.
As accomplished as Guerrero is, his experience is a bit unorthodox. While eMLS Cup will be a 1v1 competition format, Guererro originally thrived as an 11v11 player on the PlayStation4, captaining one of the world’s elite online squads and ranking number one in the world individually.
Plenty of things have changed for Guerrero in just the last year, however, and adapting to this format won’t be something that fazes him. After all, the Timbers aren’t his first brush with the professional circuit. Guerrero signed on as the captain of Liga MX powerhouse Club América’s 11v11 team last Summer, with four First Division Pro titles, two Copa Pro titles, two Super Copa Pro titles, two Continental Cup titles, and a Mexican Championship title already on his resume.
Since then, he’s switched leagues, switched clubs, and switched competition formats. Now, let’s get to know the man who is switching it into high gear ahead of eMLS Cup.
Pedal To The Medal
Guerrero likes to score goals. If you like watching EA SPORTS FIFA 18 competitions, the fact that he’s in eMLS Cup is very good news.
“Games are never boring when I’m involved,” explains Guerrero. Way back in the day, when he first got his PlayStation2, Edgar and his brother played their first-ever game of FIFA – a 23-22 goalfest over 90 minutes of real time.
“What sets me apart is that I bring a fun, quick style of play that is fun to watch and typically brings high-scoring games.”
Hit The Weights, Hit The Road
“Working out helps me relax and clear my mind,” Guerrero reveals about how he spends his free time. Pumping iron keeps him sharp and focused, but it’s not the only way he keeps himself in top shape to compete.
“Going out for a walk or just doing something outside helps you refresh and relax your mind,” he says.
“I visit Southern California once a year, either in the summer or the winter. I have a lot of family down there so when I have 2-3 weeks off I go visit them.”
Keep It Clean
While everyone’s definition of eating healthy varies, it is important to stay disciplined when it comes to fueling up for the top levels of mental competition. Whether you’re vegan, a paleo warrior, or carbo-loading before a half-marathon, there’s no exception for nutrition.
For Guerrero, that means fruits, veggies, and lots of water.
“I typically like to eat a lot of fruit and drink water,” he says. “I don’t like eating greasy foods or anything that’s going to make me feel sleepy before a tournament or competition.”
That’s probably good, considering being sleepy makes it difficult to play the kind of high-octane style that Edgar thrives on.
Sterling Silver: Solid Gold
Just like NYCFC's eMLS Cup representative, Chris Holly, Edgar Guerrero has a secret weapon. No, it’s not El Guaje.
“Raheem Sterling will be coming off the bench for my team,” reveals Edgar. The Manchester City star has had a breakout season in real life, and in FIFA 18, his blistering pace, quickness, and dribbling skills fit perfectly into Guerrero’s style of play.
“He is a player that hasn’t been used much this year but he is one of the better players in the game due to his stats,” explains Guerrero.
It’s true, Sterling’s ownership has fallen off a bit this year due to the sheer amount of pacy, tricky wingers in the game. However, that doesn’t mean Sterling isn’t a killer option, and when a player knows how to use a player, there’s no reason not to stick with him.
Practice Makes Perfect
Guerrero has faced a lot of foes in his day, and as he continues his transition from 11v11 to 1v1 competition formats, his learning curve has required him to pass some tough tests. Even as we near the kickoff of eMLS Cup, he’s still climbing rungs all the way to the top.
“The toughest opponent I’ve played this year by far is xbleU,” says Edgar. xbleU is currently ranked just inside the top 100 in the Americas region, peaking up in the top 15 earlier in the year.
“He is from LA; I love playing him because I always learn something new but it’s always a challenge,” admits Guerrero.
“His style of play is very slow and he is great at keeping the ball. Patience is key when playing him. If you start to run all over the place trying to get the ball, he takes advantage and scores his chances.”