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Experiencing PES 2020 in Munich

Growing up, we all were asked what we wanted to be when we "got big." Nobody ever really took in consideration the ever-changing landscape of the workforce, and the effect it will have on what type of work would be available when it was our turn to be adults. Nowadays we have futurists helping to forecast what the world will look like in 10, 15, 20 years. Back in the day, people didn’t think in that way. The world moved much slower. Our parents spoke about our future as if it would be the same as their present. And our answers reflected that.

Nobody responded to this question in a way that truly represented what they wanted to be, the responses generally were representations of what they were told they should be, or even worse confined to what they could be. Mrs. Craddock’s third-grade class is the first time I remember being asked this question. I said I wanted to be an architect. I actually wanted to be an artist. Well, I wish I could go back and tell that kid who lied about wanting to be an architect that all he needed to be when he grew up was hisself. And even though that may not have led to a lifelong pursuit of the arts, it would lead to him being flown to Munich, Germany, by Konami to play PES against some of the best in the world at FC Bayern’s stadium. He might not have believed me, and honestly even after experiencing it, I have a hard time believing it happened myself.

MUNICH, GERMANY - JULY 11: Serge Gnabry of FC Bayern Muenchen, CEO of FC Bayern Muenchen Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, president of Konami Digital Entertainment Masami Saso and Konami senior director brand & business development Jonas Lygaard (L-R) pose after a press conference to announce their partnership at Presseclub Allianz Arena on July 11, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexandra Beier/Bongarts/Getty Images)

There are 195 countries and roughly 6,500 languages in existence, and I have visited five and speak only one language. Even by American standards I am only moderately cultured. So, this entire experience was mind-blowing. I touched 900-year-old buildings that seemed equal parts art and architecture. I rode in Ubers on the autobahn that drove like Formula 1 racers. I drank abnormally delicious beer after abnormally delicious beer. I had a ball. But this trip wasn’t just about Munich. This was about Konami revealing to the world their collaborative effort with FC Bayern. And FC Bayern is not just any soccer club, it’s the most dominant soccer team in Germany and one of the best on the entire continent. They’ve won 29 national titles, 19 national cups, and have the fourth-highest earnings of all soccer clubs on the planet. They’re more than a big deal, they’re a religious experience to many of their fans. So, them teaming up with PES is a big deal for for both Konami and Bayern Munich.

Media outlets from all over the world came to witness this event. They had a news conference with last year’s player of the year Serge Gnabry, along with past Bayern legends. They even let us walk on the pitch of Allianz Arena, which is one of the most beautiful soccer stadiums in the world. And that’s not my opinion — that is a fact. Most important, they let us play the game in advance. The graphics are insane. The gameplay is very realistic and just as fun. They even brought some of the game’s top-ranking athletes who travel the world competing in PES to show us how fun the game could really be if we were actually good. They allowed us to even play with a couple of them. Overall, it was just a great experience. I not only left a fan of PES, I left a bigger fan of the sport as whole — and fan of Munich’s culture as a whole.

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