Whoever wants to go far has to overcome resistance. FIFA world champion ‘MoAuba’ knows that too. The eSportsman spoke to us about obstacles on the way to success, as part of his involvement with a sports campaign.
This path began for Mohammed ‘MoAuba’ Harkous six years ago: “In 2016, a small FIFA tournament took place at my house. There were already some very good players in it. In the course of the tournament, I beat a few professionals and only just lost out to ‘Dr. Erhano’ in the final. “
Old hand becomes an explorer
The same Erhan ‘Dr. Erhano’ Kayman then advised Harkous to try his luck in the German Championship. No sooner said than done: “That’s what I did and I was able to win the qualifier first before even winning the German Championship a week later.”
Despite this overnight success, however, the future FIFA World Champion, who still called himself ‘MoAubameyang’ at the time, had to overcome a few hurdles before he could take off as a professional eSports player. “I think the biggest barrier was explaining to parents that you invest your time wisely and don’t go straight to university or start an apprenticeship after graduating from high school, but concentrate fully on eSports,” ‘MoAuba’ said.
After all, his parents didn’t know much about eSports at first, which is why Harkous had to show some commitment: “Especially in the early days, I fought to be able to continue practising my sport, eSports. If my parents had been even stricter back then or if I hadn’t been able to assert myself, I would never be where I am today.”
On a professional level, too, there have always been obstacles: “Of course, you sometimes face difficult decisions, for example adapting your content, or go through periods when things aren’t going particularly well in terms of sport.” Phases that require “personal responsibility and self-discipline”, but also external support, to overcome.
Because, according to ‘MoAuba’, “it’s enormously important that you have people you can trust, who motivate you and say the right things – even if you might not like to hear it.” Specifically, the eSportsman names “family, friends, management, or the team” as contacts. This support is “the most important thing to overcome any barriers” and to use (e)sport in its full range.
Today, the Bochum native has found his dream job in eSport: “You can sleep in and do whatever you feel like.” But he also knows: “In the end, you are responsible for your success and the effort behind it.
(e)Sport as a social component and balance
It is the breadth of sport that Harkous wants to bring to life through its cooperation with its namesake sports retailer under the motto “Einmal Sport. INTERSPORT.”: “It’s about showing that sport is of central importance for people and for society.” The social component is particularly important to the FIFA professional, as “sport unites”.
In addition, the activity “can be a balance to a stressful everyday life” and can be used to “clear your head and get other thoughts.” That’s why Harkous is committed to making (e)sport accessible to all, wants to break down barriers and strive for a change of perspective: “Barriers shouldn’t stop you, but motivate you to do even more. “
For ‘MoAuba’, however, it is important to find the right balance: “My recommendation is not to force anything,” he tells aspiring young athletes and gamers, adding: “The most important thing for young people is not to neglect school and social contacts. If that doesn’t happen, you can invest the rest of your time in improving yourself. “
This dual approach is more relevant than ever, especially in the ever more demanding world of eSports: “Of course, the competition is much bigger now and you have to grind more, but that’s exactly why it’s important to give yourself another leg to stand on.” A plan that will pay off as soon as it works out on one of the two sides: “At the end, you know it was worth it. “