Hertha reinforces eSports team with local fans

Preparations for the new season aren’t just under way on the training pitches at the Olympic Park in Berlin, but on the console to. The Hertha BSC eSports Academy are delighted to welcome two young talents and diehard fans Leroy Richter and Christoph Strietzel to the club. Their recruitment is the next step on the club’s journey to bringing in talented gamers from the city to prepare for the challenge of the Virtual Bundesliga. We sat down to talk with the new eHerthaner. 

Leroy and Christoph, we heard you are both Herthaner from birth…
Leroy Richter: Yes, you could say that. I’ve been a Hertha fan my whole life, my father took me to the Olympiastadion for the first time as a three or four-year-old. I actually go to almost every home game. It usually takes something special to keep me away. 
Christoph Strietzel:  That’s true. I come from Berlin-Spandau and have always been a Hertha fan. It’s special to be a part of this club. Before I was just a supporter, now it’s a different feeling to be a part of the club. My whole family are Hertha crazy, which makes it really special for me to sign a contract here. 

Who are your favourite players?
Richter: Right now, Matheus Cunha is my favourite player because he brings a new dimension to the game. Back in the day it was Marcelinho, but I also loved Ronny. When I was 12, I met Ronny and Adrian Ramos at a play centre. (laughs)
Strietzel: My favourite player was always Ronny. He had an extraordinary left foot. 

You’re about to start gaming for Hertha BSC. What were you doing before?
Strietzel: I played at Hannover 96 and then again at Hamburger SV. To now be at Hertha BSC is a dream come true. The project, working with young players, was enough to convince me. 
Richter: Three years ago, I came second at a Hertha BSC scouting even and finished under the top eight in the Virtual Bundesliga Grand Final on PlayStation. I’m delighted that our paths have crossed again and that now I can play for my favourite team. 

How long have you been playing? How would you describe your playing style? 
Strietzel:  I first played FIFA on the Nintendo, from FIFA 2008 I moved onto the console. I like to play offensively and try to get into shooting positions with as few passes as possible – to achieve a lot with as little as possible is my aim. I like to play single player or co-op, but in single player mode you have more control.
Richter: I started playing from FIFA 2008. I am known for my pressing and I put a lot of pressure on others to force mistakes – not many do.

What are your goals for the upcoming season?
Richter: To be in contention for as long as possible is the most fun. The goal should be to improve on the previous season.
Strietzel: That’s true. I would like to compete in the VBL Grand Final again and at qualify for at least one international tournament.