© Diego Schwartzman/Instagram

Diego Schwartzman helped lead the organisation of a celebrity video game charity event.

Schwartzman: 'We’ve Done Something To Help Entertain People In Their Homes'

Argentine has helped organise charity competition, which will include Thiem

Diego Schwartzman is both relaxed and electrifying at the same time; he is always thinking not just about himself, but also about others. From his home in Buenos Aires, the World No. 13 was unable to sit back and do nothing in light of the unprecedented situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

And so, he began to plan #LaChamplay with his footballer friend Paulo Dybala. What is it? Two FIFA 20 knock-out competitions that will include the participation of the two organisers and 14 celebrities, set to take place this weekend. All money raised will go to Red Cross Argentina, with World No. 3 Dominic Thiem among the stars competing.

“Paulo and I are friends and we normally play a lot of FIFA like any group of friends with other sportsmen, too. We connect and play online... and that’s how it came about,” Schwartzman told ATPTour.com. “We had the idea of doing something for charity and so we started to set it up.”


The tournament, which will be broadcasted by DirecTV and TYC Sports, will be shown for three hours per day on 18 April and 19 April. It will be produced and supervised by La Liga de Videojuegos Profesionales (LVP).

“The team in Europe is going to play on Saturday and us, in the Americas, we are going to play on Sunday. There will be quarter-final, semi-final and final matches,” Schwartzman said. “There will also be some surprise guests during the broadcast and some draws so that people join, donate and also have fun.”

“At first it was a pretty small idea, but then we started to see that we could get important and well-known people from around the world. It started to turn into something really nice,” explained Schwartzman, who has been settling the details for the past week, and doing Instagram Lives with various players to announce the pairings for the weekend. Were any of the stars more difficult to convince? “Luckily they all thought it was fun... some had things to do too, and they had to see if they could. We received a ‘yes’ quickly from most of them.”

Watch over 165 classic ATP Tour matches from the 90s

What led Schwartzman to take charge of this charity initiative with the hard work it requires in terms of organisation and attention to detail?

“I was seeing the things that were going on and during quarantine I saw athletes and the messages from figures that people look up to. It can be important for people that are at home, to support them and to act in solidarity,” he said. “This idea built from there, to do something to help everyone, entertain people who are at home and to have a good time. There is nothing more beautiful than being able to help.”

The tennis star, who has already decided that he will be playing as Real Madrid in the game, sees himself as one of the men to beat.

“I’m going to see what I can do,” he modestly told his friend Dybala before his opener against the Argentine singer Paulo Londra in his zone (Americas), which also includes fellow tennis player Juan Mónaco, singers René (Residente) and Maluma, the actor Chino Darín, and football players Filipe Luis and ‘Toto’ Salvio.

Meanwhile, the European Zone, led by Dybala, will include Dominic Thiem, footballers Sergio Agüero, Leandro Paredes, Chicharito Hernández and James Rodríguez, basketball player Facundo Campazzo and influencer Mariano Di Vaio. Several sponsors and companies have already committed to making donations and there will be a link during the broadcast so that the public can contribute.

Despite the good-natured friendship between all of the participants, as high-performance competitors, none of them will want to be the one to lose.

“To an extent it replaces the competition on Tour,” Schwartzman said, cracking a laugh. “There is adrenaline when you play on the PlayStation, but it’s very enjoyable and funny... the idea is that the charity event goes well, but we’ll all want to win.”