On Friday March 15th the first Roland-Garros eSeries by BNP Paribas’ national final took place.
Eight players, qualified through an online tournament held two weeks before, faced each other in BNP Paribas Madrid’s headquarter in a tournament that lasted the entire afternoon.
The winner of the Roland-Garros eSeries by BNP Paribas’s 2018 edition, Carlos Che, won the national final after a tight final match against Adrián “PXRXZ92” Pérez Jiménez (0-3 / 3-0 / 11-9.) The match ended in Super tie break, at the end of which Carlos Che prevailed.
The winner of the Online Qualification Mesa “Melo15” Ivan still won the third-place play-off and got on the podium!
As the winner, Carlos gets a 300 € cash prize and his ticket to the International final, held in Roland-Garros stadium on June 8th and 9th, where he will compete against 11 players, each of them representing his/her own country. Being the winner of the previous edition, he will certainly be the one to beat.
Carlos “Che” comes from Lanzarote, in southern Spain, in the Canary Islands. He is 27 years old and is studying sports sciences at the University of Las Palmas. Last year, he won the Roland-Garros eSeries by BNP Paribas, even though he had never participated in a competition before. This year, his challenge is different: while he had nothing to lose in 2018, in 2019, he must defend his title.
Below, Carlos Che’s interview just after his victory:
How are you feeling?
I am very happy now, more relaxed. I lost the first set 3-0 and I was pretty sure I was going to lose. But, I don't know how, I managed to win the match.
How was the final, especially compared to last year?
This year, the level was much higher as only the top eight from the online tournament were qualified for the final in Madrid. The level really has increased a lot.
The final almost gave me a heart attack! I did not expect it to be so difficult, but it was a great game and I am very lucky to have won it.
How do you see the international final in Paris now?
Now that I have seen the final here in Madrid, I guess it won't be as easy in Paris as it was last year. I dreamed of going back to Roland-Garros and I am thrilled that this dream is coming true. I know that the level will be very high, I know that there are very good players in France, but also in the United Kingdom or Germany.
Which country are you most afraid of?
They are the ones who will be afraid of me.
How will you prepare for the final?
Now I am going to rest, I am not going to play for a while. When I have about a month left, I will play again and I think I will get a group of players together to help me train and improve. I am thinking of asking Melo (who won the final online).
What do you think is positive about this kind of video game tournament?
Technology is there on a daily basis and we have to live with it. Traditional sports is very good, I love it (I am a sports coach, a physical coach) but it seems to me that it is important that Roland-Garros, as a leading global institution, considers esports seriously, especially with a price like the one it offers. I think this is positive for both sectors.
Do you think it is important for "traditional" sports federations like the FFT to take an interest in eSport or is it a little strange?
It is not strange at all: they are pioneers, they are innovators! I would love to see a virtual circuit at the same time as the real physical tennis tournaments all over the world on the ATP circuit. Probably in a few years, that will be the reality. Thanks to Roland-Garros and BNP Paribas we may get there.