Manchester City's latest announcement means that the hottest free agent on the esports market, Ryan Pessoa, is no longer up for grabs.
We had the pleasure of meeting Ryan at the Red Bull Gaming Sphere to chat about his latest move and his aspirations going in to the new season.
Is there anything you miss about the Hashtag team?
"I guess I miss the relationships I built up with people like Harry, Shawrey, Wes, Yani, Spencer and everyone behind the scenes that contribute to Hashtag.
I’ll always miss that because they’re good mates of mine."
How does it feel to be joining the Manchester City team?
"It's exciting - I’m good friends with people involved in the City setup.
Shellzz (Shuan 'Shellzz' Springette) is one of my biggest, if not my best friend on the scene, so it’s good fun partnering up with him.
I feel like it’s a good move for me."
OBLIGATION TO BUY: Ryan with teammate Shellzz whilst on loan to Man City last season
What are your targets for this season?
"FIFA 20 is probably the best I’ve ever felt.
On FIFA 19 I was ranked highly in the world but I didn't feel that good at it.
Success in FIFA 19 required a lot of crossing and I never cross the ball.
This year there’s more variation in attack - but, if they get rid of lower depth it will suit me more.
People just sit back online and it’s hard to breakdown.
So, my plans for the season are obviously to win a trophy and to do well in eClub World Cup with Shellzz."
What are your aspirations for the eWorld Cup?
"Last year I missed out narrowly by 40 points, which was one placement off qualification - that was heartbreaking!
But on FIFA 19, I don’t think I deserved to be there if I’m honest - I wasn’t good enough.
FIFA 18 I was definitely good enough I should have been there and I could have won it in my opinion.
This year the aim is obviously to get there (the eWorld Cup) and it’s always going to be the aim to win it, no matter what, always.
What's it like being a Sponsored Red Bull athlete?
"It’s amazing, I think the combination of support from Redbull and City will be pivotal going in to this season."
BIG BRAND BACKING: Ryan is a Red Bull Sponsored Athlete
You represented Chelsea in the ePremier League last season, what happens now?
"I’ll be City."
Is that by obligation or loyalty?
"No I’d probably have to do it anyway, but I’ve chosen them."
How are you feeling ahead of the ePL?
"In the ePL last year you had to use a full team of PL (Premier League) players - at the time my team didn’t have one PL player!
So what I’m going to do this year is just learn how to play with them (PL players), using the likes of Aguero, Aubameyang, Salah or Sterling."
Do Premier League players feel different to other players then?
"Shooting is so different with different players - shooting with Sane is so different to shooting with Messi.
Some players can’t score from certain situations - their power specifically varies."
FOR THE BADGE: Ryan has signed for Premier League Champions Man City
You've been trying 4-2-2-2 recently - will you use this setup in the ePL?
"It depends, because things can change over time - there could be a patch that makes other formations more powerful.
My plan is to use this formation for now and get used to it - I’ve only been using it for one weekend now!"
What formation were you using before?
"On FIFA 20 I've used 4-4-2 and 4-2-3-1, which are good formations, but I don’t like playing with one striker.
As I've said, I’m not great at crossing, so I used to use 4-1-2-1-2 narrow, but this year it’s not so effective."
It seems like patches can be a problem for FIFA pros?
"Patches are probably the toughest aspect of being a pro player.
You can get used to one thing and get amazing at it, but then a patch drops changing that aspect just before you have to go in to a qualifier - it hits you like a ton of bricks."
ALL SMILES: Ryan is excited about his career with Man City
Have you been caught out by a patch?
"Last year yes - I qualified for three events in a row and they changed the meta and it took me ages to adapt to it.
By the time I adapted they’d done another patch!"
How was it balancing uni with being a fifa pro?
"Thankfully I graduated in the summer.
I had to miss an exam because of a clash, so it’s tough. I wasn’t allowed to reschedule, so I missed it.
It comes with my sports career - I knew that was going to be the case sooner or later, so it’s just one of those things."
Keep an eye out for our article on how to play like Ryan Pessoa, coming soon!