After the recent news that the New England Revolution signed a Massachusetts local to be their eMLS competitor, I reached out to John Oliveira – gamertag JKO1707, to ask him a few questions about his overall approach to esports, his upcoming tournament at PAX East, and how silence shows confidence.
AiPT!: You started gaming competitively after an ankle injury sidelined your real life playing. Do you feel your real life experience translates directly to the digital playing field?
John Oliveira: My real-life experience definitely translates onto the field. Playing in real life, I was always part of winning teams growing up and that helped forge the winning mentality that is crucial to have at the highest level of eSports.
AiPT!: Does that background give you an edge over other players who never played in real life?
Oliveira: It’s hard to gauge how much of an advantage that gives me over non-soccer players, but I would imagine that it’s hard to find that extra motivation you need when you are down 2-0 approaching the 70th minute if you haven’t really experienced that on the field for yourself.
AiPT!: Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions that you go through before a match?
Oliveira: Nothing too crazy. I like to listen to motivational music, something upbeat that makes you feel like kicking some butt. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem type of songs really get me in the zone.
AiPT!: Do you compete in any other games other than FIFA? Are there games you’d like to get involved in?
Oliveira: There are a lot of games I would love to get involved with. Overwatch, Fortnite, PUBG, and even Call of Duty is really fun. With FIFA, it’s all about you. With those other games, it’s more team-based, which is something I really enjoy. However, since FIFA is very time-consuming, my dog and girlfriend would absolutely hate me if I was to spend any more time competing in another game. I’ll stick to FIFA for now.
AiPT!: As a Massachusetts resident, do you feel that PAX East being in Boston gives you some home-field advantage?
Oliveira: I certainly hope so! I have never been to a PAX event, but I know that it’s going to be crazy. I have some friends that are going to be there making some noise and hopefully that will be contagious enough for everyone to join in.
AiPT!: Do you like to chat with your opponents, or unnerve them with silence?
Oliveira: This is a competition, but at the end of the day most of the guys I’ll be coming up against are friends that I’ve met competing in tournaments across North America. When we aren’t in “competition mode” we help each other out, give pointers, share ideas, etc. But as soon as you walk into the event, it’s every man for himself. I like to think of myself as a silent assassin. People don’t know if you are nervous or confident and I like that.
AiPT!: Whats the best formation that you use? 4-4-2? 4-3-1-2? 3-5-1-1?
Oliveira: The most solid formation would have to be the 4-2-3-1. It covers all the bases giving you width, defensive stability with the two defensive midfielders, and good link-up play with the CAM [central attacking midfielder], and the striker. If that doesn’t work, I usually go with the gung-ho style of the 4-1-2-1-2. Very quick passes through the midfield and the two strikers up top always cause defenders problems.
Attending PAX East? Want to meet up with AiPT! to cheer on our hometown hero John and grab a sticker or two? Drop us a line and we’ll see you on the show floor.