Dealers are professional gamblers

Professional at the game console: Tim Latka from FC Schalke earns his money with e-sports

E-Sports Bundesliga as a medium-term goal

The industry is booming. It is estimated that e-sports turn over $ 750 million a year worldwide - and the trend is rising. In addition to the Gelsenkircheners, VfL Wolfsburg, RB Leipzig and VfB Stuttgart have their own departments for esports games. From the second Bundesliga, VfL Bochum and 1. FC Nürnberg are represented in gaming. Slowly but surely, the structures in this country are becoming more and more professional. Robin Dutt, former sports director of the German Football Association (DFB), predicts a promising future for esports. “This avalanche cannot be stopped,” says the 52-year-old, who works as a consultant for the Berlin agency E-Sports-Reputation.

The E-Sport Bund Deutschland (ESBD) was founded in Frankfurt at the end of November. "We have also set ourselves the goal of recognizing esports as a non-profit and as a sport," said the new ESBD President Hans Jagnow. “E-sports is no more or less sport than chess or Formula 1,” says Tim Schwartmann. "We just don't drive a racing car, we play a video game."

The Schalke pro is expecting an esports Bundesliga "in two to three years". "In the long term, it will probably be linked to the clubs, so the DFB and DFL will certainly come up with something," he is convinced. In other countries, esports has already taken this step, for example in France or the Netherlands. At the Asian Games in 2022 in the Chinese metropolis of Hangzhou, esports will even be part of the official program.

"Fifa" players are their best coach themselves

Reactivity, concentration, endurance, tactical skills - that's what counts for a top-class e-athlete. Tim Schwartmann has not yet had his responsiveness measured. “But I wanted to do that. I can very well imagine that it has to be extremely good. ”The top professionals don't have a coach. “We players are practically our own coach. In terms of play, there is hardly anyone at the same level who could help us - otherwise he would be a player himself, ”says the“ Fifa ”pro.

At tournaments, Tim Schwartmann doesn't push himself with cola or coffee - plenty of still water gets him through the day. Otherwise: “Nothing greasy at lunchtime so that the body doesn't get tired.” Muesli bars or bananas keep you fit. "Otherwise, any motivation comes from myself, from the support team, from Lukas, from family or friends who write to you again."

Xbox or Playstation - choice of game console is a matter of principle

His favorite opponent is Timo Siep (20) from VfL Wolfsburg. “Because we are very good friends in private too. But we don't play against each other that often because he plays on the Playstation and I on the Xbox. ”For e-athletes, the choice of console is a fundamental question. “Everyone can decide for themselves. There are hardly any differences in gameplay. I play on the Xbox because I like the controller more, ”says Tim Schwartmann. The field of 32 qualifiers at the World Cup is made up of half Xbox and Playstation players - each qualifying via their tried and tested platform.

The Schalke e-athlete does not play any other games apart from “Fifa”. “When my day of training is over, I'm also happy if I can skip the console. Then I do other things. ”Going out, doing things with friends - things that a young man his age does. To compensate, he plays football, of course. "Simply as a hobby on the football field."

More than 135,000 follow him on Youtube

On the street he is recognized more and more often as Tim Latka, has to serve for selfies, give autographs. “You notice the hype every day.” How big the hype actually is is shown by the number of his followers on social networks: more than 145,000 on YouTube, over 41,000 on Instagram, a good 20,000 on Twitter - and the number is increasing every day. "That makes you happy that you can inspire so many people with your content."

His next goal: to take part in the “Fifa 18” world championship, the “Fifa eWorld Cup”. He has already qualified for the first play-off final, which will be played as an offline tournament in January. EA has not yet announced the location. "In the qualifying months, the hobby of going to the stadium yourself has to rest", says the passionate Schalke supporter. But if it somehow fits, the season ticket holder stands in the north curve at the weekend and can also get a little inspiration for his "Fifa" game from the professionals on the lawn.