The conquest of eSport and the passion for football of Raquel Martinho

A conquista do eSport e a paixão pelo futebol de Raquel Martinho

In the premiere episode of the BYMS Podcast Inspired by Legends , you will meet our first guest, a notable eSports athlete: Raquel Martinho. As an FC Porto eSports player, Raquel not only earned her place in the competitive world of electronic games, but also left her mark on the prestigious Museu Futebol Clube do Porto.

Before we move on to Raquel's inspiring journey, it is essential to understand the distinction between gaming and eSport or electronic sport. While gaming refers to the act of playing video games regularly or occasionally, eSport involves organized and highly competitive competition, whether individually or in teams.

Throughout the podcast, we will explore the highs and lows of her career, the challenges she faced and the secrets behind her success. Get ready for an exciting and inspiring conversation between Miguel Soares, founder of BYMS and Raquel Martinho, a true inspiration for all aspiring eSports players or for those who want to follow a dream, but don't know if they are capable.

Graduated in Biology, with a master's degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology and a PhD student in Biomedical Sciences. She was a professor at ICBAS - Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences, and was a consultant at the business management consultancy company Winning. She started competing in 2020, representing FIFA/EA FC, and has already played for several renowned teams such as GrowUp eSports, SC Braga, CD Tondela, until arriving at her current club, Futebol Clube do Porto, accumulated 4 national titles, was twice national women's champion of the Portuguese football federation, and once national champion for teams of the Portuguese Football Federation with CD Tondela and once champion of the Taça eLiga Portugal with FC Porto. In June 2023 she was in the top 4 when she represented Portugal in the FIFAe tournament.

Join us on this journey as we explore the incredible world of eSports through the eyes of a true champion. Her story is not just about victories and trophies, but also about dedication, passion and the tireless pursuit of success in one of the most competitive fields today.

Inspired by Legends with Raquel Martinho: The Conquest of eSport and the Passion for Football

Full Podcast Transcript

Miguel: If you believe in hugs, if you are proud of where you come from and if you think that a team is much more than colors, then this podcast is for you. I'm Miguel Soares , founder of BYMS , and I created this podcast with the mission of finding and celebrating today's legends.

Today with us we have Raquel Martinho , athlete from the Porto football club and eSports. Raquel is passionate about biology, she has a PhD in the area, but recently she has also dedicated herself to eSports. She is currently a player for the Porto football club and has already won several times at national level. It's an honor to have you here with us, Raquel. Are you all right?

Raquel: It's okay, Miguel. Thank you in advance for the invitation.

Miguel: Well, thank you for being here. Let's start. If you could talk to anyone, living or dead, who would you choose?

Raquel: This question is complicated, but the first person that came to mind, honestly, was Beyoncé.

Miguel: Beyoncé?

Rachel: Yes.

Miguel: Funny. But tell me right now if you're thinking about Beyoncé, what characteristics about her do you think inspire you or make you like her so much?

Raquel: I think the thing I admire most about Beyoncé has always been her work ethic, her resilience, being a black woman in America, I think she has always fought and continues to fight for the cause. And I think that's the thing I admire most about Beyoncé, I love her music and as a woman, that's why she was literally the first person that came to mind.

Miguel: Yes, I also really like their songs and I don't even know if she's ever had a song in a video game.

Raquel: I honestly have no idea, but I'm honest, I play Fifa with the audio and I don't listen to the music.

Miguel: Oh, and don't you listen to the songs?

Raquel: I listen even without any sound, because the music distracts me.

Miguel: Oh, really? Ah, yes, you also have to concentrate a lot, because we are already talking about a person who enters tournaments.

Raquel: Yes, it's practically there, in face-to-face tournaments it's the only time I hear more sound, because of the commentators and the audio from behind. But music, I'm not one of those people who plays with music because it distracts me.

Miguel: It's funny, when I always play with music, I actually have some memories of very funny songs, when I played when I was younger, so a lot of people also remember some songs.

Raquel: Yes, there are people who like FIFA and associate a lot with certain FIFAs, with certain songs, but I actually can't.

Miguel: Yeah, it's like me.

Miguel: And tell me, how did this opportunity to get into eSports come about? Was it something you already liked since you were a child or was it a passion that emerged as you grew up?

Raquel: Since I was little, I always liked playing games, the first game I played was Pokémon .

Miguel: Pokémon?

Raquel: There was the Game Boy Color , the pink one.

Miguel: Yes, yes, yes.

Raquel: And there it is, I played Pokémon, but then I started playing, I played too, I even had that PSP , that PlayStation Portable.

Miguel: Yes, yes, I had one too.

Raquel: And sometimes when people ask the question, what was the first FIFA I played? In fact, it was actually more on the PSP, it was Fifa 9 that I played.

At the time, there were some nice touches, if I remember, on the PSP there were some nice touches, but when I really started playing, getting even more into the esports worlds , it was there in October 2019, when I had the monetary capacity to I bought my PlayStation 4 , I bought FIFA 20 , and it was the first FIFA I played, that is, 4 years ago, I started late, I started when I was 26 years old.

Miguel: Fire. You started so late and you've grown so much.

Raquel: I started at 26, which sometimes many professional FIFA and esports players, sometimes at that age they already retire, they are already tired because they start playing at 15 years old.

Miguel: Exactly.

Raquel: I started late, but I think I was still on time. I started there. The scenario here in Portugal started in 2020, we had a tournament at the time organized by TS Warrior , which was an esports organization , which held the first women's tournament. I lost in the first round, I was super nervous, my hands were shaking. But that was my first experience, it was also from there that I managed to join my first esports team , which still exists today, which is Grow Up Esports .

And from then on I always went up. I started there, as a casual player, the scenario luckily started there. Then we had our Portuguese Football Federation in 2021 organizing the first exclusively women's tournament.

I managed to win, luckily. Then there it is, I've been to Tondela , I've been to Braga , I've been to Rio Ave and more recently at this time I'm at Futebol Clube do Porto .

Miguel: Exactly. By the way, I was also addicted to video games when I was younger. In FIFA, for example, I played a lot with my friends too, but I never had the desire, maybe I was never good enough to get into that professional field either.

So I only played a bit when I left school with my friends to have fun on the weekend.

Miguel: Your routine? Tell us a little about your routine. If you train for a long time? How do you manage that bit?

Raquel: Over the years, my professional routine has been there, so to speak. Because FIFA is there, it's not my profession and it ended up changing depending on what I did in my life. In other words, my PhD, when I started playing I was already in my first year of PhD.

It was always difficult to reconcile. Then I taught classes. Currently also, more recently, I am working.

So there it is, it always depended on what I was doing and also the tournaments I had. I train more when I have tournaments, I'm able to train 3 or 4 hours a day, even if it's after work, so to speak.

I always end up training more. But there you go, make a routine. At least almost every day I play, even if it's just for an hour.

Because it's on FIFA and my own coach at FC Porto says that what matters is having quality in training and not quantity. It's more important to play, for example, 2 or 3 good games than to spend 3 hours there.

Games that last over an hour and a half, two. You're already doing things so mechanically that you're not training. That's why at least I'm there, every day I try for an hour. In other words, at least two games to keep me there. Because, for example, when I go on vacation and haven't played for a week, I unlearn. It's like a football player, you have to train almost every day.

Or go to the gym, that is, to maintain physical condition. We players too have to play. Or sometimes, if we don't play that much, we should watch gameplay from pro-players . For us to learn, to acquire mechanics that they do in games. I, for example, love FIFA, obviously, globally. And sometimes I'm on the weekend, I might not be playing, but sometimes I'm 2 hours away watching a competitive tournament.

And when I start playing, after 2 hours that same day, I'm already playing better. Or am I playing it cool, which they can play too. I buy it just by seeing it. There it is, the memory part I ended up acquiring. And then when I start playing, I play better. That's why my routine is sometimes a lot of playing. But also seeing people better than me playing.

Miguel: Exactly. As with everything in life, we always have to focus on the people who are better than us. So we can grow too. You've also explained how you prepare a little for tournaments, which is when you're more focused and spend more time with FIFA.

Tell me in these tournaments, do you normally participate more as an individual or do you have a team and do you play as a team?

Raquel: We at Futebol Clube Porto are 2 girls. We have 5 members, 3 boys and 2 girls. We most recently had an eLiga tournament in Leiria in January, which Futebol Clube Porto won. And there were two of us, but the tournament was individual. In other words, for example, I was going to play against Portimonense and my colleague in the next round was going to play withFarense , from the same group. In other words, even though there are two of us representing the same club, it is 1 to 1. Because this year the sport itself is only 1 to 1. But for example, last year, we had a 2 to 2 tournament. FIFA 's competition also encompassed the 2 to 2 competition. In other words, it was two people against two more people.

In other words, I actually miss the 2 for 2 a bit. Because it really ends up encompassing the team itself more. And it even ends up being a funnier way. But by chance, the competitive part this year, there was a separation, FIFA working with EA and in this EAFC , because the game is called EAFC 24, there was a separation between FIFA and EA and EA ended up opting for the competitive part from 1 to 1. For me it's a shame, it may be that in the meantime they go back to 2 to 2. Yes, because 2 to 2 ends up forcing teams to have more people.

Because you have to have at least 3 players, because you think something could happen to a player or the coach has more options. That's why I always think 2 for 2 is more advantageous. Even in terms of the public, sometimes they like to see it more like a 2 for 2.

Miguel: Exactly. Now that you've touched on 2 for 2, what is the characteristic you think is most important to have in order to do well in collective work? Do you think it's communication, perhaps?

Raquel: Communication and feeling responsibility. Mainly, we were even talking about Futebol Clube Porto, I think you really have to feel the club you represent and have the work ethic to get the results we deserve. And when we prepared for the Leiria tournament in January, which we won, we prepared a priori, obviously, for the tournament. And luckily I have a coach and a teammate who have the same mentality that I have and that the club has, which is to win and work for it. The most important thing for us to have is to have a winning mentality, but also to work towards it. Because if we don't work, we don't earn either.

Miguel: Exactly, this is the most important thing. And do you have any tips you would like to share when you are preparing for tournaments and even when you are playing 2 on 2 or even playing individually? Any tips you want to share to be better or what do you think makes you better, deep down? Do you think it's more about training or, as you said before, seeing better-known or better-ranked players play?

Raquel: There you go, you have to have the... Embeddability is the trainer component.

I think that's it, when you're training to become better, you obviously have to put hours into the game and train to do so. Seeing people better than you playing, playing against people better than you.

Because there you go, sometimes I play against a teammate of mine. I take 5 in a game. I win in the first, second, third game, but maybe in the tenth game I'll only win 2-1. I'm saying this because I'm speaking from my own example. Mainly giving this advice to people who are starting out.

Fortunately, our women's scene is growing more and more and we have newer players who are still starting out. I always say that you have to compete, in more amateur tournaments to feel the pressure. Knowing how to feel the pressure, because you may have a lot of talent playing the game, but if you don't have good mental capacity you will never be able to win.

For me, I think what distinguishes a good player from a champion is mental capacity, especially in an esport . Because if you have a weak mentality, there are many players who are losing, they are much lower and sometimes they are much superior to the opponent in technical terms. But in mental capacity the other is superior.

The things I sometimes say, like my colleague who is just starting out, train, but above all also train your mental capacity and get used to feeling the pressure of being in person. That's why sometimes it's good for us to compete in more amateur tournaments. Because many of them sometimes say that when they start they feel their hands shaking, which is what I felt when I started.

And today I still feel that anxiety like that. But this is something that needs to be worked on. When Raquel started, she was shaking her hands, now she doesn't shake her hands.

Therefore, this mental capacity is something that can also be acquired through work. You have to train the game, but that mental part also has to be worked on a lot. Nowadays there are teams that, in addition to having coaches, also have psychologists, for example, to work with sports psychologists .

Miguel: Exactly, I believe. Because I completely understand you because I still play football. And even after 15 years of playing football and playing competitively, every time I step onto the field I feel that chill.

Raquel: That cold, yes.

Miguel: Exactly. And it's good to know.

Raquel: I think it's one of the best feelings. Feeling like you're here, I'm going to compete. There are people who sometimes think why am I acting so nervous because it's just a game? But there it is, it will never be just a game. Even the federation's slogan, it will never be just a game . They launched the campaign two years ago.

Why? Because I think that anyone who plays this game really feels like it's not just a game. It is also part of our life. In good times, in bad times. And that's it.

Miguel: Exactly. By the way, I've seen that you handle pressure very well.

Raquel: I have days.

Miguel: If not, you wouldn't be a four-time national champion. In that aspect, do you feel fulfilled with your titles? Can you step outside of Raquel for a bit and see what you have achieved so far and what you want to achieve more?

Raquel: The woman who started playing, because the girl is there. When I started at 26, when I started playing casually, I never thought about getting to where I am and winning. I've won the federation title twice, three times and most recently the Liga Portugal . At national level, fortunately, I've already managed to win everything there was to win. For example, the fact that I'm at Futebol Clube do Porto, which is my favorite club, and the fact that I won my first team title with Futebol Clube do Porto, just makes me want to win more. A person can win the titles they want to win, but I don't think they ever get tired. Cristiano Ronaldo , Pepe , has already won the Euro, has already won the Champions League . They never get tired of wanting to win, because to do so, it's best to put our boots together, put our heads together and be in our corner. I think that when a person wins, the more hungry they are to win and if they have that mentality of being a champion and...

Miguel: Exactly that, I also admire you a lot, it's that mentality in you, Ronaldo , Pepe , in several players, it's that mentality of a champion who has already won almost everything or everything there is to win and yet they continue to wake up with the same mentality, the same hunger and the same ambition as always.

Raquel: Yes, for example, Cristiano Ronaldo 's ethics may have the qualities and defects he has, but the work ethic he has... Ok, now he's playing in Saudi Arabia , but the work ethic he has , when he's on vacation he posts photos in the gym training, the work ethic he has at 38 years old, the years he already has, and even Pepe himself at 41 years old, the performance he made the other day against Arsenal , that man looks like he has batteries that never run out.

Miguel: It's true.

Raquel: For most of the 41 years, Arsenal's Arteta has been a coach for how many years?

Miguel: It's true.

Raquel: Your work ethic and above all your resilience, because I think you also have to be very resilient to continue, especially at the highest level, whether in football or esports . You also have to be resilient because you will have ups and downs.

Obviously, we in esports also feel this, there are less good seasons, there are seasons when you feel like you've reached your peak, because the hardest thing is to maintain consistency over the years.

That's why our references, for example, from FIFA Nacional, Tuga 810 , Rasta Artur , who are players who have been there practically since the beginning, SOMOSNOS too, are players who have had their highs, their lows, but they are players who are very consistent and have already won a lot of titles and continue to excel today, because I think the word that defines them is also their resilience and work ethic.

Miguel: At international level, is there a tournament that you have in mind or that you think you could reach or that it was a passion of yours to represent Porto, for example, at international level?

Raquel: Fortunately, last year FIFA organized a tournament in Switzerland, the Famer Her Game , it was like a bootcamp, it was called the World Cup, let's say, I made the Top 4.

Miguel: Spectacular!

Raquel: I made Top 4, it was an excellent result. I made Top 4, at the time I would like to represent Rio Ave. Obviously I would like to go out there again and represent Porto.

For me it was a dream. In that tournament in Switzerland I was representing Portugal. I have the jerseys on my wall and I have the esports team jersey , which is really a specific esports jersey , which was also something I always wanted to do, was to represent our team.

So, for me, Switzerland was in June last year, for me it was making the Top 4, obviously the Top 4 against the odds, I didn't win, but it was a unique feeling for me, representing the national team, I've always had that dream, I never thought. I still thought Porto is capable, but Portugal and internationally, I would love to be able to represent the national team again, and our country, but the Porto football club, obviously, representFC Porto , wherever that may be, honestly.

Miguel: That's a feeling, representing the national team, it must be an incredible feeling. Do you think that was the peak, at this point, so far of your esports career ? Or do you feel like there was another peak of happiness you had that was greater than that?

Raquel: As much of a patriot as I am, honestly, the peak for me in my career so far was this most recent title, in January of the Liga Portugal , because I always wanted to win a title. I had the ambition of that eLiga tournament, which I lost last year, against football against Porto, that is, we were two-time champions this year, and I had already told my colleague last year, when she won, I was in Rio Ave, he said, I'm going to win next year, and I won with her this year. That's why I really had this ambition of winning the eLiga, and obviously representing the Porto football club, and winning this title, which was what I lacked here in Portugal. For me, that moment was really the best for now, I think we will be able to win more titles, and I always wanted to win a team tournament, for football against Porto.

Miguel: Exactly, spectacular. And do you think that, you told me that there are both female and male teams, do you think that at the moment there is any discrepancy, either in terms of salary or in terms of conditions, any inequality between the male and female sides?

Raquel: In terms of conditions, honestly no. Fortunately, since 2020 until now, the teams have invested more, and this investment also comes from the Federation and the League, also investing in us, and holding more tournaments, it ends up being a cycle, obviously. Of course, in terms of salary, there is still a difference. Saying it like that, I only know two, three people, maybe female players who can make a living out of this.

But it's also quite a bit, of the male professional players, you might have 50, we are at the moment, maybe 15, 18. There's still a difference, and the clubs still don't invest as much in us, in terms of salaries, because The tournaments, despite existing, still do not have the same prize, the same prize pool , as the men's tournaments. You have our tournaments, for example, with a prize pool of 2 thousand, they have prizes of 10 thousand euros.

It's completely different. You have players here in Portugal receiving 2 thousand euros per month. But that's the top organizations, obviously, not all the players. There are players who receive, perhaps, even less than me or not at all.

Miguel: It depends on the situation.

Raquel: It depends on the situation. Therefore, even on the men's side, it's not all rosy either, and they also have their quirks. But there it is. In terms of salary there is still this difference.

Few of us do this for a living. We always have to balance it with other work. But I hope in 10, 15 years, things will evolve. And, honestly, I'm still part of it, because I don't think I'll stop playing anytime soon, as long as I can balance things. I don't see myself being able to... And enjoy competing. Because a lot of people sometimes leave esports because they lose that one, or it's because they're tired. Or they even lose that taste. I've already spoken to some people who, sometimes, left. And you can really see that they lose that passion.

And sometimes, when they ask, but they miss competing, I say no, I think it was the right decision to stop competing. For me, in my case, at least for now, I hope to be present in 5 years to see, I hope, see the evolution.

Miguel: Exactly. You mentioned the competitions now. In competitions, we are also talking about inequality, have you ever felt any type of prejudice in any competition? Do you already have an episode you want to tell?

Raquel: In competitive terms, no. And even with the male community, here in Portugal, they are quite receptive even when we are there, because, for example, our women's competitions, sometimes, are on the same day as them.

And we are there in a great environment for everyone and they support and also enjoy watching our games. Sometimes they even say, sometimes the top players, like Tuga or Rasta , say that sometimes they even like watching our games more because it gives more excitement, more excitement. Because we don't have those boring mechanics, those meta plays that they do.

They say they think it's more funny, but they are super receptive. There it is, but the community in general, FIFA is a male-dominated game.

Miguel: Mostly male.

Raquel: Mostly male, dominated by men. When I started in 2020, in 2021, I also started streaming . And sometimes on Twitch there would be some comments, like “go to the kitchen”, or “your place is in the kitchen”. And man, at the time, obviously, I wasn't a great player when I started, but those were some comments, sometimes a little unnecessary. And even online, sometimes I received certain insults and everything, but nowadays the community itself, I think, has also grown. Sometimes I get comments, for example, in English, but I'll say in Portuguese, for example, good game bro and I'll say, like, I'm not a bro, I'm a girl. And people say, like, great game anyway, you play really well, I didn't know about girls playing at this level.

And they are people who sometimes, like, suddenly, sometimes even follow me on Instagram, it's happened to me, like, with 3 or 4 boys, they, like, recognize that I played well, and then follow me on Instagram and start to follow.

Miguel: That's really cool.

Raquel: Because, obviously, they always think it's a man who is behind, but then they manage to recognize, okay, I lost against this girl, but, like, I'm going to follow her and then they start following the female competition.

This is brutal. And 4 years ago, 5 years ago, man, no... But I think that in FIFA there has been this openness, unfortunately there is some criticism, especially in League of Legends Valorant , sometimes I hear things, women suffer in a way that is super... But, by chance, in our feminine scene things are fortunately. And also, this year, the UFC included women in the game, in the Ultimate Team mode, which is the online mode that is the main mode.

And the men themselves who play a game, like Alexia Putellas , Megan Rapinoe , play with these players and end up following the players in real life. It ends up being a good synergy and even we, the esport players themselves , end up having... We even feel a safer environment, because we also see women in real life, in football, in wing football, also in have more recognition, because people also recognize more. For example, I'm going to see Alexia Putellas play for Barcelona today .

And they also end up including women in the game itself, in Ultimate Team mode , for me it was one of the best things EA could have done. I just hope... EA, by chance, doesn't have an exclusively female competition, but this year, with the break with FIFA, is being a year of transition, it would be extremely positive, as there are women in the game, from In real life, in the game, with us women in command still having exclusively female competitions, it would be excellent, or at least to have a mix between men and women. We have, like, me playing with Rasta Artur, who is my teammate, for example, me being able to play mixed with her, I think that would be, like, even the first step for the women's scene to evolve as well, which we have there is a synergy with men, mixed competitions, I have already said this immensely.

Miguel: That was excellent.

Raquel: For me, I think it would be a good way for clubs to invest in us, because if there were mixed competitions, you have to have a female squad.

Miguel: Exactly. So, by giving ideas yourself, whether playing or giving ideas, you feel that you are contributing to this evolution of the female world, at least in Portugal.

Raquel: I think the contribution, I think sometimes it's a bit boastful when I say this, but I started in 2020, we were few, there were 10, many left, new ones started. Unfortunately, sometimes on Instagram, sometimes a story from a girl I followed, like, you play, you want to play competitively, there's a WhatsApp group with the FIFA girls here in Portugal, if you want to come.

For example, only this year I think I managed to invite other girls to start. That for me is like... Because I always think, if I don't call too, I'm not saying it's my role, but if I don't also contribute a little bit to the new girls who are starting out, feel like they have a safe environment to be in, because we didn't have one when we started in 2020. If I don't contribute to this either, the scenario won't evolve either, we have to evolve alone.

We are women, we are less. We all have a WhatsApp group in which the professional FIFA players here in Portugal have this group. Sometimes I invite the younger girls to come, to feel comfortable, to get to know them, and from then on the girls also evolve, because I think, I could be in my corner and do nothing.

But then the girls leave, and no new talent appears either. This is important. Because if I also let that happen, I let myself be in my field, the scenario doesn't evolve and then I even let whoever I play against too.

Miguel: Exactly, and I also do this a bit when I receive some messages, a little outside this area, people who want to start a clothing brand or want to start an entrepreneur who come and ask me, because I also make videos about my journey , and people come to ask me, and I'm happy to answer, because when I started, unfortunately, I didn't have anyone to help me and advise me.

Raquel: It was the same thing as me, exactly.

Miguel: And I often thought about giving up. I don't know if you have any story, or if there was a time when you also thought the same about giving up esports .

Raquel: Yes, I already have. I've had the lowest moments, but the background of people supporting me also ends up not allowing me much of that to happen.

Miguel: Exactly, that's right.

Raquel: And also when you think more about the subject. Making decisions when you're down doesn't make any sense either.

Miguel: I agree, I agree. But do you feel like there is a defining moment for you that makes you give up? Or were they always little negative things that happened and you thought, can I get over this?

Raquel: No, they were small negative things. I think the most negative moment was last year, when I failed to qualify for the finals, to support the national champion. Because I was two-time national champion, that is, I'm not very used to losing in the final stages. And it was like that for a moment lower.

But it was also a wake-up call to realize that I obviously can't always win either. And nowadays I lose, obviously. I get upset, but no... But then I think, like, after an hour or two, I have to work to earn money again.

Last year I didn't manage to win any titles. I made that top 4 in Switzerland. It was my best result, I didn't win any titles. In other words, in terms of titles it was my worst year. But...

Miguel: But the performance was brutal, going to Switzerland...

Raquel: Yes, it was good, but it's like my coach from Porto. Last year he didn't work with me, but I already knew him and got along really well with him.

But he said, “Raquel last year you were in the top 4, but you didn’t win. That to me is not a bad result.” And I'm really right. Because he says, what matters are the titles that go to the museum.

Migue: Yes, that's true.

Raquel: And that’s the truth. Just a few days ago we opened, FC Porto opened the esports space at the museum. There are the cups that the club has already won, my cup and the cup I brought, inclusive. AND...

Miguel: Missed Switzerland.

Raquel: No, because...

Miguel: No, but that's good. This also happens a lot in football, because, as you probably know and follow football, people, teams, sometimes play well and don't always win. And then what people say is that what matters is the 3 points.

Raquel: Yes, what matters is winning and then winning the titles. Titles that go to the museum. That's history, isn't it? Make a top 3 finish or qualify for the Champions League . That's what remains. It's pretty and all. Sometimes you win a second place medal. Stay at home, but that's it.

Miguel: But the museum only has the cups.

Raquel: Yes, you keep the best medals.

Miguel: Exactly. And you feel that this support, now that you are at Porto and that you are winning titles, that support from outside is growing. How do you see this interaction with fans and your community, since you also stream on Twitch ? What is this relationship you have? Do you have a close relationship or would you like the relationship between fans and you, in this case, to be even closer?

Raquel: By chance, Futebol Clube Porto has one... I even get along well with some fans and sometimes I've been to an event and they even asked for photos, something I wasn't used to, honestly.

I have already represented some clubs, but obviously they are clubs of a size, not unworthy, but of a smaller size than Futebol Clube do Porto. And when I went to an event, I think it was in December, I think. At a federation event, a fan came to ask me for a photo. I'm not used to it, I was like that for a while, so the interaction with the fans is always brutal, especially when they recognize you.

Miguel: Exactly.

Raquel: I think it is there. Fans are extremely important and then, when we have tournaments, they are there in the Twitch chat to support,

Miguel: Supporting, that's incredible.

Raquel: That's brutal.

Miguel: I'm also there with my videos too. Sometimes too…

Raquel: And sometimes they send messages later on Instagram and such.

Miguel: That's incredible. As things happen, the thing that fills my heart the most is when I receive messages from people who tell me “Look, you are my inspiration, you started when you were young, I too want to start seeing a lot of your work” and I think which is what remains.

Raquel: I received this message exactly yesterday, because yesterday I had a tournament final that was unofficial, more amateur, a final that I lost. And a professional colleague of mine, she is representing Farense. She sent a message and said, “Raquel, for me, you continue to be the best, you are my inspiration.” It was one of the girls that I go to a lot, I said that I even pulled her to come and play and she sent this message and like...

Miguel: Fill your heart

Raquel: It fills my heart, because I really see that at least the work I'm doing is being done well and I can continue to inspire her and want her to do better. That for me, that and I feel like it's there. Like, she's a much younger girl than he expects and in a few years, she'll be at a much higher level.

Miguel: And right now, if that girl is watching us, what advice would you give her to follow in her footsteps as an esports athlete? What do you think she should do to reach your level?

Raquel: I already know her, that's why I know that her mental capacity is the worst thing she has at the moment and it's what betrays her the most and her nerves. There it is, I think that, above all, the mental part is what you have to work on, you can be losing 1-0, 2-0, 3-0 and always think that you can do it.

Can you get around it, for example, I had a coach in the past who worked with me, I'm also saying things that happen to me. Sometimes I'm losing 1-0, 2-0 and I always think, I'm not going to turn it around anymore. My coach last year said “Raquel, all you need to do is make one good attack, 2 good attacks and you’ll equalize again”. And today I still remember when I won the tournament in Leiria. I conceded a goal in the 90th minute and we went to extra time and I remembered him there, I have my coach from Porto, but it was a different coach who worked last year and I remembered him saying “Raquel, a good attack is enough” and it was the good attack I made at 118 and won. I won and managed to win the title for us. That's why I think it's there. We can be down in the game, but always feel like we can turn things around and really try to stay calm, because then we get into a spiral.

Miguel: Negative.

Raquel: Especially when kids who are just starting out and even in tournaments that are not official, amateur tournaments, participate in as many things as they can to feel the weight of competition, it may not be an official thing, but to feel that weight of what they are competing for. .

This is really a training that will put on those nerves and improve your mental capacity so that when you are winning you can manage the game and when you are losing you can turn it around. Because this is also something that can be trained.

Miguel: And you believe that both eSports and sports mainly include football, which is what is considered sport, the king sport today. Do you think it has a positive impact on society or do you think the impact it is currently having is negative?

Raquel: eSports?

Miguel: Yes.

Raquel: Honestly, I think it's positive, it's a positive impact. A while ago I spoke about the Federation’s “It will never be just a game” campaign. I was invited by the Federation at the time to be the face of the women's side because I had been two-time national champion of the Federation. And I think, there is the slogan “it will never be just a game” and the advertising was on Channel 11 and there were posters. Nowadays, people can really recognize that eSports are not just a game, they are very important, very important for us like football is important, esports are important for players and players, eSports, FIFA, Call of Duty and CS are also important to us, because we live the sport a lot and those who only watch Twitch broadcasts or go to in-person tournaments see what we feel. For us, it's a sport, it's not just a game, we really feel it. Yes, we live this and it is our passion as football, as handball is for others.

Miguel: Exactly. So I had a phrase for you here that was “Football or eSports”, but I already saw that it was going to be eSports.

Raquel: What do I like most?

Miguel: Yes.

Raquel: Esports for me, FIFA has a special place for me, but it's different for me. For me football, I'm from FC Porto, for me the way I experience FC Porto is not always healthy. But eSports are also the same thing. I already see a lot of parallels, the way I feel about esports, even when I see my FC Porto colleagues competing, I suffer for them in a way that is also not very normal, which is the same way I support football Porto club, of real football.

That's why I honestly think that football and FIFA converge in a way that I can't separate either, they really are a passion,

Miguel: That's good. Do you feel that eSports for you, even on bad days, can be a refuge, do you feel that there are people who also see this sport as a refuge and to feel better and even the way to gain a strong community and create a strong community within themselves as well? It's great, because they don't all need to get together in a field, they can all be in their own home. Do you think this is also good?

Raquel: Yes, many people play FIFA casually, as an escape from life. Of course, competitive players also think that a little bit, but we often don't get that much fun out of the game because part of the training and the competitive part also have to be said. Then the mental part, but many times yes, I am also training, but for me it is also an escape on a sometimes less good day. I'm there in my training session and like, I'm not, I'm not thinking about anything else.

Miguel: I have a sentence for you, to finish this, which is “what sentence would you say to your best friend right now”, anything imagine that you called now, that you had to call now and tell him something, what would you say ?

Raquel: Honestly, it’s “thank you for all the support you gave me”.

Miguel: That's excellent.

Raquel: It's because it really works for everything.

Miguel: And we also have to…

Raquel: Be it eSport , be it a professional or academic career. I've always been a person like that, that people... There are two who have supported me the most.

Miguel: That's excellent

Raquel: Thank you for the support you have always given me.

Miguel: I think people sometimes forget to be grateful to these people too…

Raquel: And the family because I can bring friends there, but my family has also always given me extraordinary support. Everything in my life, including eSports. Sometimes eSports the family part doesn't always understand, but today, more and more, parents are also able to understand and support young people who are starting out, so the support you have from friends and family is always extremely important. Also to be better, to also do something that your family doesn’t support…

Miguel: It's complicated,

Raquel: It's complicated, but luckily I have this background . Which is extremely important for everything, for everything I do in life.

Miguel: That's the most important thing, because sometimes we start and many times we also go down, because there we also lack that support behind us that many people don't have and I'm happy in this case that you have it and they were also obviously one of the pillars for your journey so far

Raquel: Yes, they really were.

Miguel: Raquel, thank you very much for this incredible moment.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming.

I won't forget this conversation for sure and as for you, get ready for the next episode of Inspired by Legends .

Big hug.

Throughout this exciting episode of the Inspired by Legends Podcast, we discover the world of eSports through Raquel Martinho's unique perspective. From the values ​​that inspire her, to the competitive scene, every moment shared about what it means to be a successful eSport athlete. In addition to sharing her journey, she also provides practical tips and advice for those starting their eSports journey.

We explore important issues, from female inclusion in the gaming world to salary discrepancies and still visible gender inequalities. Raquel not only faced these challenges, but also actively worked to create a more inclusive and equitable environment for future competitors.

We remember the positive impact that eSports have on society, including on each person's life. It's an arena where passion, dedication and skill converge to create moments of pure excitement and camaraderie.

Let us be inspired by Raquel Martinho’s words and pursue our dreams with the same determination and courage. May this episode motivate us to embrace challenges despite the difficulties and to always believe in the transformative power of eSport .

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