SB Nation was granted access to attend the taping of FOX Deportes’ Gamers Elite, where professional footballers play FIFA against FOX Deportes on-air talent Rodolfo Landeros and Mariano Trujillo. In this edition, Landeros and Trujillo were at Estadio Corona TSM to first play Santos Laguna President Dante Elizalde and Santos and Uruguay winger Brian Lozano. John Laguna was there to give a play-by-play and ask questions of the players.
Lozano was joking the entire time, with Santos teammate and fellow Uruguayan Fernando Gorriarán also throwing in some jokes and support. Elizalde and Lozano’s Santos Laguna (naturally) defeated Landeros and Trujillo’s Querétaro 4-3 thanks to a golden goal in added time.
Something that doesn’t always come out when watching a soccer match is a player’s personality. All too often it becomes easy to think of players solely by what they do in 90 minutes once a week, or worse solely as as controllable sprites in a game. It becomes easy not to think about who they are as people.
Watching Brian Lozano and Fernando Gorriarán playing FIFA against Landeros and Trujillo, their personalities were able to shine through. Brian is warm and personable but naturally competitive. He is also always sipping on maté, the ubiquitous South American drink, sharing it freely with the FOX crew. “Gorri” is hysterical, with a quick wit that keeps everyone laughing throughout the tournament. John Laguna’s questions were the perfect setup for answers that were at times insightful and at times humorous.
Then it was time for Gorriarán and Lozano to play as Uruguay against Landeros and Trujillo’s Mexico. The Uruguayans started out with a 2-0 lead, but gave up three straight. With time waning, they were able to score one just before the end of 90 minutes, much to the delight of Lozano and Gorri.
The matches were for more than just bragging rights. Promoting Santos’ social responsibility program Guerreros de Corazón, Trujillo and Landeros wore pink Santos jerseys to help raise money for a local cause in support of the #PlayPink initiative, which seeks to help raise awareness for breast cancer. The duo gave away pink jerseys before the game to children in the stands, including two young children whose partially deaf father always attends Santos games.