For Brandan Gonzales, gamertag: GONZO_SZN, joining the Rapids as the team’s 2020 eMLS player is a dream come true.
Gonzales is a Colorado native who grew up going to games and supporting the Rapids. Seven years ago, he started played FIFA, and, two years ago, he began playing competitively. Ever since, partnering with the Rapids has been at the top of his mind.
“I learned that the MLS is involved with the eMLS and that really excited me,” Gonzales explained. “I’m local, I’ve always come to Rapids games and been connected, so to potentially connect to the team in a different way was always intriguing to me. I was really happy it finally happened.”
Long before he signed his contract with the team, he’s been playing FIFA in the burgundy and blue.
“My favorite player to play as on the Rapids is definitely Andre Shinyashiki. He’s absolutely clinical.”
Outside of FIFA, Gonzales works as an elementary school teacher in Littleton. Becoming a teacher was a natural path, as he was raised with a mother who was a high school principal.
“I told myself that I would never be a teacher or in education because of (my mom), because I was always surrounding by school. But I did the typical college thing. I went for something else and ended up turning paths to teaching.”
Gonzales also took to teaching because of his passion for technology. He prefers when he’s working with student's on math and science, and his passion has led him to pursue additional information technology opportunities.
Right now, he’s taking advantage of a flexible schedule. He’s focused on substitute teaching and practicing FIFA, and he’s planning to return to IT once he has a handle on balancing his new eMLS responsibilities.
“Now that I’ve gone from a competitive level to a professional level, I’m very excited. Even over the last couple weeks, I’ve had a lot more time really to dedicate to the craft, and I’m excited to see where it takes me.”
While Gonzales has only been on the competitive scene for two years, his commitment to pursuing esports is evident. Gonzales is currently ranked 114th in the world for XBOX in EA Sports FIFA 20 Global Series. He even has a controller tattoo on his wrist.
“I’m most excited to just really represent the Rapids. I’m excited to grow not only my brand but to help grow Rapids fans. But my main focus is winning, and that is it.”
In addition, he wants to make Rapids fans proud.
“I’m very passionate for the club. I want to be a great representative.”
This past week, he competed in Philadelphia for League Series One presented by PlayStation, finishing 11th out of 25 players. This is the first of two League Series events, each with its own trophy lift and opportunity to win prizes. These tournaments will also allow eMLS players to accumulate points to determine seeding for eMLS Cup presented by PlayStation, which will take place during the second weekend of SXSW (South by Southwest) in Austin, Texas.
League Series Two will take place on February 15 in Portland.