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Guerrero turns video game talent into role with Timbers

By - Apr 05, 2018

By Garrett Otto/for The Sporting Nation

The inaugural eMLS Cup is under way in Boston, and the Portland Timbers are represented by 23-year-old Edgar Guerrero.
Major League Soccer  announced the new league January 12 in New York. The president and managing director of MLS Business Ventures, Gary Stevenson, said the move was a “key component to promote deeper engagement and connections between MLS supporters and the millions of FIFA players.”
Nineteen of the 23 MLS clubs have signed gamers to participate in the event, including the Timbers. Portland signed Guerrero from McMinnville, Oregon, which is just an hour away from Providence Park.
Guerrero was originally going to start working on his doctorate in psychology after receiving his degree from Western Oregon University, but then he got the call. “It was really exciting, and it’s a great opportunity,” said Guerrero about getting picked by the Timbers. 
While many people may not view playing a video game as hard work, Guerrero has to put in lengthy hours to refine his skill, playing upwards of 40 games every weekend. Each game can take at least 12 minutes, adding up to a minimum of eight hours each weekend. 
When he isn’t putting in time on his Playstation 4, Guerrero will help in content creation for the Timbers.  Guerrero participates in interviews and plays FIFA with  Timbers players, ways he can connect with fans, said Timbers Digitial Editor in Chief Brian Costello. 
Costello said that the Timbers knew they “definitely wanted to be in on this” when the eMLS league was announced. The Timbers had seen the rising popularity of eSports and felt it was an opportunity to connect with more fans all around the world. 
Guerrero started playing FIFA when a friend of his introduced him to the game after they finished playing soccer for their local team. He started playing in competitive leagues back in 2012 when he graduated high school. Guerrero then started his professional eSports career when he signed with the Mexican giant Club América in 2017.
Guerrero has won four first-division titles amongst his array of accomplishments in the game. A win at the eMLS cup guarantees a berth into the FIFA 18 Global Series Playoff, with a chance to eventually become the FIFA 18 World Champion. Guerrero said the opportunity to make the playoff would be “a great opportunity to play against the best.” 
While Guerrero is currently ranked as a top 20 player in the United States, he will face some stiff competition come April. Giuseppe Guastella and Chris Holly, representing LA Galaxy and NYCFC respectively, are some of the top FIFA players in the world. 
The cup will start with 20 preliminary games on April 5 and 6 before moving into knockout rounds on the 7th. The event culminates on April 8 with the eMLS Cup final. 
While this is just the first event of its kind in the league's history, Costello feels that the “potential is really exciting” when it comes to the future of the eMLS league. Guerrero had similar feelings, saying that eSports are “really starting to take off.” 
With viewership expected to be in the hundreds of thousands, it’s no doubt the pressure will be on when Guerrero takes the stage, but he can count on having the city of Portland behind him. “It would be amazing to be able to represent the city of Portland,” said Guerrero. 


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