PUBG Esports pro players are striving for survival, and for glory. The “PLAYER_X” interview series has returned for the “PUBG NATIONS CUP (PNC) 2022,” to take a deeper look into the life and dreams of pro players. The fourth player PLAYER_X met in Bangkok was Pedro “sparkingg” Ribeiro of “PUBG CONTINENTAL SERIES (PCS) 6 AMERICAS” runner-up team, YAHO, and of Team Brazil for PNC 2022. Keep reading to learn more about sparkingg’s life.
※ This interview was done before the PNC 2022.
Nice to meet you! Could you introduce yourself to the readers?
sparkingg: Hello, I’m sparkingg and my real name is Pedro Ribeiro. I’m from Brazil and I’m 20 years old.
I can see a gorgeous tattoo on your left forearm. Could you tell us what it means?
sparkingg: That’s a new one, actually. Here’s a Mini14, which is my favorite gun, and my nickname.
When we talked to the PUBG Esports pro players who participated in the previous international competitions like “PUBG GLOBAL INVITATIONAL.S (PGI.S) 2021” and “PUBG GLOBAL CHAMPIONSHIP (PGC) 2021,” many of them picked you as one of the most sociable and most friendly people. What’s your secret to keeping yourself upbeat and joyful when it’s so natural to feel nervous before such a major tournament like the PNC 2022?
sparkingg: Well, I feel really confident in myself when I’m playing offline. And look around! I’m in Bangkok in a five-star hotel in Thailand, playing for money and playing with my friends. So how would I be sad? I understand if it’s like after a bad day in the tournament, I would be frustrated. But before it happens, I’m just enjoying it, being happy, and living the present.
What do you aim for as a pro?
sparkingg: My biggest goal in my career is, of course, winning major tournaments. And I want to show how good Brazil is. My goal as a pro player is to be successful and feel happy doing what I love. I literally cannot imagine myself doing anything other than playing games. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and think I’m doing nothing in life. I play this game every single day, but I don’t feel it’s work. When I wake up in the morning, I feel happy that I’ll play in a tournament, happy that I’ll play scrims.
You don’t have to become a pro player if your goal is just to enjoy. Still, you’ve become one. What made you decide to play as a pro?
sparkingg: I’ve been playing games since I was like two years old. When I learned how to read and speak, I played games, too. Also, everyone in my family loved video games.
Before I became a PUBG Esports pro player, I was trying to be a professional soccer player. And I was playing scrims and going to the soccer practice at the same time. And one day, I told my dad that I don’t want to be a professional soccer player anymore and that I want to be a professional esports player instead. After that day, I started grinding to be a PUBG Esports pro player. And now here I am.
Did your parents support you when you decided to be a pro esports player, instead of a pro soccer player? Did you have any concern when trying to be a pro?
sparkingg: Yes. When I told my dad I was going to be a pro esports player, he supported me. And my mom did too, of course. Not everyone in my family supported my plan. But my mom and dad, are great parents. If I told them I wanted to sell some stuff on the beach, they would’ve supported me. They only want to see me happy.
The most struggling part for me when I was trying to be a pro player was to wait to be 18 years old. Due to the age rule, you cannot play as a pro if you’re under 18. Although I knew I could play at the professional level when I was 16, I still had to wait for two years. It was very difficult.
Being a professional esports player, how is it recognized by young people in Brazil?
sparkingg: In many other countries, people want to be doctors, lawyers, or engineers. Some people even think you’re not successful in life if you do anything other than those professions. But it’s changing in Brazil. We love esports and it’s changing a lot of lives. There are a lot of people getting famous, and a lot of people getting rich. We have one of the biggest viewerships in the world in most of the games, too.
What’s the most impressive memory for you as a PUBG Esports pro player?
sparkingg: The most memorable thing in my career was the PGI.S 2021 when my team and I, Meta Gaming, finished in seventh place. In the last match, we made it to the second and almost won the week. WICK2D, who was playing with us at that time, did have a heroic play that weekend. That’s my best memory in my career for sure.
What kind of person you are when you’re not playing games?
sparkingg: It’s hard to describe myself as a person aside from gaming because games are a part of who I am. I like to travel, to get to know people, and to learn different cultures. I like to stay outside my comfort zone. And I love the adrenaline. When I’m not playing PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS, I do crazy stuffs. I love skateboarding, I love surfing and I love a lot of sports that make you fuel the adrenaline. I just love all sports in general.
What makes you happy the most, except for games?
sparkingg: My friends, my family, my dogs, playing sports, skateboarding and taking photos. I love to take photos. I like to make video content. I like to show people how I see the world.
There’s a reason why I have my in-game nickname as “sparkingg.” Spark was the name of a dog that we had 10 years ago. My family and I were always taking care of a dog, a street dog to be more specific. We were not able to keep him, but we gave him food and some care. And one day, he suddenly disappeared. I put his name into a nickname to remember him. And “kingg” is like a compliment that I added.
The names of my dogs are “Spark” and “King.” I didn’t choose it. My family did. They told me “You have to name them as ‘Spark’ and ‘King.’” They’re always with me when I’m practicing, streaming, and playing. They’re my best friends.
Do you like animals in general?
sparkingg: Of course, I love animals. I really like dogs, cats and especially monkeys. Monkeys are so funny, and I like watching monkey videos on YouTube.
What will be the word that can best describe you as a PUBG Esports pro player?
sparkingg: I think it’s hard to describe myself as a pro player. But I’m sure I’m a player who plays for his team. I don’t care if I have the best stats or not. I know I have the potential to make the best stats, but I just want to win the tournament. And I don’t care If I am the worst of my team. I’m always playing for my team, and I always trust my teammates 100 percent. When you trust your teammates, and when you feel good about your teammates, everything just happens naturally. My main goal as a pro player is just to be a good teammate.
What do you think makes a great PUBG Esports player?
sparkingg: One of the most important things as a pro player, not just in PUBG Esports, but also in all the other games, is to be professional and respectful on your social media. I understand that sometimes people do trash-taking in the game. But outside the game, it’s totally different. I think we all should be respectful to everyone we work together, especially to the other players.
What kind of player do you want to be remembered by your fans when you retire?
sparkingg: If I retire one day, I just want to be remembered as a player that never gave up. No matter if I’m in the bottom or the top, I always try to be better than yesterday. That’s why I’m here. And I try to be better no matter which position I am. I want to be a player with talent, who understands as well that it needs hard work to stay on the top. Hard work always pays off.