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Hashtag Ryan reflects on difficult FIFA 19 year & staying mentally strong

11:30 pm AEST 12/4/19
Hashtag Ryan
The Hashtag United player is likely to qualify for the FIFA eWorld Cup Playoffs but he believes he could have done much better

At the beginning of April Gfinity hosted the final FUT Champions Cup of the FIFA 19 competitive season, with Ryan 'Hashtag Ryan' Pessoa of Hashtag Untied putting in a strong performance to escape the groups with a remarkable victory.

Having been 4-0 down in the first leg, and after failing to score until the second half of the second leg, he was able to complete a full comeback and win the series 5-4 to reach the knockout stages.

However, in the round of 16 he was matched against his good friend Tassal 'FaZe Tass' Rushan. "It was a horrible thing facing Tass as we knew how important that tournament was for both of us," Ryan said.

"It was a difficult situation to be in. I ended up losing to him on penalties. It hurt because I felt like I'd done enough to win the game but it just didn't work out, unfortunately."

It was a familiar feeling for Ryan, who has had a difficult run of bad luck at events throughout the season. Sitting 19th in the Xbox Global Series Rankings, he isn't far away from automatic qualification for the FIFA eWorld Cup yet he isn't content with that.

"To be honest, personally I don't feel like I've had a great season," he added. "It's been alright but I've had opportunities that I haven't been able to make the most of.

"For example, I qualified for the first two FUT Champions Cups and at the first one in Bucharest I played horrendously and I didn't deserve to progress. In the second one, I feel like I played really well but again I lost on penalties twice. It's just narrow margins where I kept losing and that was starting to affect me mentally. I began wondering if I was ever going to get a bit of luck on my side."

With so many events in one year, Ryan's frustration grew and grew until he eventually self-destructed while representing Chelsea at the ePremier League. "I let that take its toll and affect the way I played. It happened at the ePremier League too which was probably the worst performance I've ever had.

"I went into that tournament knowing that it was a group stage and I had the group of death on paper but I was pretty confident, I'd beaten everyone in that group before and I was first seed. I had to win my first game otherwise I'd be playing catch up but I lost that opening game on penalties again, this time against my team-mate Shawrey. Again, he's a fantastic player but I felt like I had done enough to win that game.

"After that, mentally I just thought 'whatever' and didn't really care anymore which was a bad way to look at the tournament. If I played like my best, I would've easily had enough to advance but I just gave up and didn't care after that."

His reaction to that tournament was the wake-up call Ryan needed and he feels like he's finally returning to his normal self. "Cup six last weekend, I went in with a clear mindset, tried to play my best FIFA and not complain about anything and it worked out - I was just unfortunate to lose on pens.

"It just makes me feel a little bit stupid, because if only I had the same mentality I had last week for the other two big tournaments I'd be in a much better position than I am now. Past that, I just have to look forward to the next qualifier and the next tournament and just try my best.

"I just need to focus and when I'm focused, I'm calm and confident - that's when I play my best FIFA. I'm in a good position, it's pretty much just in my hands now and I have to perform."

Hashtag Ryan was speaking following his participation at the FUT Champions Cup April held at the Gfinity arena in London. To catch the action from the next tournament follow @EAFIFAesports on Twitter.