The Gfinity Challenger Series is a competition for everyone. Some enter for the fun of it, others to test themselves in online competition. Some players are highly skilled, professionals looking to keep their skills fresh or showcase their talents for potential new employers.Then there's the players looking to prove themselves worthy of a spot at the highest level of competitive esports. The ones looking for an opportunity to sign with a top-tier team and make their professional breakthrough – whilst still having some fun in the process.YogaPatate falls into the latter category. At time of writing, he sits 3rd in the Challenger Series SFV rankings. He’s just behind two Elite Series veterans (Hurricane and ImStillDaDaddy) and just ahead of two others (Shakz and JonesArcade). As it stands, YogaPatate is the highest-ranked player in the competition not currently signed to an Elite Series team. In an SFV leaderboard packed full of talent, that's a big statement of intent from the 19-year-old Frenchman.With that in mind, we had a chat with him about his goals for Challenger Series and advice to fellow players – starting with his introduction to Gfinity competition, by way of a former Method star...'I didn’t know anything about Gfinity during the first season. I didn’t watch the Elite Series either because of the FT1 format, which I didn’t consider a very interesting idea. But when my homie Nasty Nas got drafted in Season 2, I followed the Elite Series and started to understand what the point was of the unique Gfinity team format. Then I waited for Season 3 of the Challenger Series with excitement!'
For YogaPatate, the Challenger Series is a chance to have some fun competing against a varied mix of SFV talent whilst earning decent prize money and potentially putting himself in the spotlight of the big teams.'Playing a daily eSport league with the best players in Europe is awesome, but having the possibility to make some money out of it is also a nice touch.I’m having a lot of fun in the Challenger Series thanks to all the great players in Europe, and having the opportunities Gfinity offers is also awesome.'He has some experience in tournament play and being signed to a team. Hypothetically, should he be drafted by an Elite Series team, he has some idea which he'd like to compete for:'I’ve been part of a French semi-professional esports team called Cwol for about a year. I did a few tournaments with them and I really understood what being part of a team means, it taught me a lot. I didn’t renew my contract yet, since I started Challenger Series… I am really interested in the three new teams. I have a LoL background, so I cannot forget Fnatic’s Season 1 World Championship title. It would be an honour to play for them as a titular player. Even if I really like Fnatic, I can’t choose between Team Vitality and ARES Esport (because I’m French too!) Vitality also has a world title with Rocky and ARES’s sports background is so impressive.'Time will tell if he catches the eye of any of those teams. In the meantime, he has some advice for fellow Challenger Series players looking to climb the rankings:'For me, playing a lot is not necessarily the key to getting stronger. Playing regularly helps way more than locking yourself up in a room with your PS4/PC to play 16 hours straight. I play Street Fighter on a daily basis, for about 1 or 2 hours in the evening after work. Having a nice 1 hour training session is better than playing too much and being on tilt by the end.'Trying to have goals that you can reach is motivating. But having a goal in the Challenger Series does not necessarily mean winning the whole thing or getting the number 1 spot as quick as possible. 'I want to get Top 8', 'I want to win this tournament' or 'Next time, I want to beat this player' are sane goals. Because wanting to always be first is the hardest thing. It becomes more demoralizing each time you fail. Instead, working with a step-by-step approach seems better. If you are good enough, improvements, performances and then results will follow.'Wise words from the man currently studying for a university degree involving a mix of law, economics, marketing, accountancy and finance, all whilst finding time for SFV AND playing the drums in his spare time. And he has one last piece of advice for those Elite Series squads looking to recruit players:'About the Elite Series, I would advise teams not to focus too much on having offline players at all costs. There are a lot of talented players online. The Gfinity website already posted a list of the best players that came from the Challenger Series and they were considered some of the most impressive guys in the Elite Series. Season 1 and 2 showed us that having offline players does not guarantee free wins!'But will having YogaPatate on your team guarantee wins? Only one way to find out! In the meantime, he'll be battling away to stay at the sharp end of our Challenger Series leaderboard. Fancy doing battle with him and other talented SFV players? Register and start competing in Challenger Series right now, here!