Did you know that Diego Schwartzman has his own E-Sports team?

Off the pitch, the Argentine star spends a lot of time trying to improve Stone Movistar and give the team’s players the best opportunity to succeed. ATPTour.com caught up with Schwartzman to discuss it, how he sees the esports boom, the games he loves the most and more.

What do you remember from your childhood with video games?
Since I was young, video games have improved a lot. I’m the generation that was already born with a lot of video games, and I think over the last 10, 15 years, the guys who made it possible improved it in a crazy way. It is so good.

What do you remember from some of the first games you played?
At first we played Pro Evolution Soccer, it was the best. But now FIFA is much better. I’m the guy who started with PlayStation, PlayStation 2 with football games against people at home, friends or playing at my friends house. You have a good show on Netflix, a video game documentary. High Score is great.

How much do you travel with a console on tour?
Right now, a little less. I don’t play a lot. I have an E-Sports team, Stone Movistar, so I’m involved in that and trying to be a mentor. I don’t play a lot, but I try to help guys who want to become video game professionals, I want to try to make that happen [for them].

How did you get involved in your team?
We started two and a half years ago with the idea. We have a new league in Argentina that plays a few different video games. In Argentina, it starts slowly. The guys who had the league came up to us and asked if we wanted a spot there.

We started with my brother and a few other people trying to figure out if we wanted to do this and we started, slowly too. Every month we improve, every month we try to build the team. At the moment we have a great team, a great hall, a great playhouse. Everything is so beautiful at the moment. We have big sponsors in Argentina and I think all video games and everything around them are improving and trying to take the next step in South America.

What are the biggest games played by your team?
We have Fortnite, FIFA, League of Legends, Free Fire, Counter-Strike, Valorant, we have a partnership with a Free Fire team from Chile, Mineros, right now they are first in the league in South America. We try to have lots of games, lots of guys playing the games. It’s step by step.

If you were to face one of the players in one of these games, how would it go?
I wouldn’t stand a chance. No chance. They are professionals! I’m a hobbyist. It’s the same as tennis. If an amateur comes, he has no chance [against me]. We have no chance against them. They train all day, they are focused, they try to improve every day. They are improving every day. It’s a different game [for them]. It’s the same name of the game, but a different way to play.

You are an athlete of course and you have trained all your life to do what you do. What respect do you have for all these E-Sports athletes?
E-Sports, I think they try to be the new sports in every way. They try to be there at the big events and I know the guys we have [playing] all video games, they try to improve. They train all day, they watch their opponents’ games, they have a coach, they have a coach. They have everything to try to improve.

It’s good and that’s why it’s very similar to sports. If you want to do better in video games, you need to practice, focus, not just play. And not just when you’re in the office.

Have you played matches with any of the Tour players?
Many Tour players play, and for many hours more than me. Federico Coria, Guido Pella, they travel with their PlayStation, with a Nintendo, with their computer to play games. They have all that with them every week and they play much better than me. But sometimes I play against them.

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In the past, did you travel more with your PlayStation?
Yes, but right now I have a lot to do, so I want to relax, but in a different way. Now that I have a team, I prefer not to play, but maybe watch my players play. This time I sometimes use Twitch to watch the league, watch the players, watch the teams. It’s very nice work at the moment.

Do you like watching some of the content creators and people on Twitch?
Yes. I watch a lot because we’re not just trying to be a video game team, an E-Sports team. We want to have content creators and guys who create content for the team and the people who follow us.

During the confinement at the start of the pandemic you had more time. Did you play more games than to take time?
Yes. During the pandemic, I was playing 11v11 FIFA with my friends. Everyone was online. All countries have a league so we played against each other. I also did a benefit event, ChamPlay, it was very nice. I did it with [football player] Paulo Dybala and many players around the world.

If you had to choose your three favorite games, what would they be?
Age of Empires. When I was young, everyone played there. Then FIFA and maybe Call of Duty. Maybe also God of War. I think FIFA is by far my favorite and then I play the rest.