Inside the CEC continues today with an interview from Maryville University’s head coach, Tristan “TW1STan” vanWieringen, who is also a coach for an NA Contenders Trials team, Wave Check. Maryville had a great run at this year’s CEC, in large part due to the work of TWISTan. Despite losing in the semifinals to the champions, Harrisburg University, TW1STan had great things to say about the event overall and what it means for Maryville and collegiate esports overall.
First off, looking back, what was your favorite part of the event?
My personal favorite part of the event was the fact that it was my first live event that I’ve coached at. The environment, all the setup, lights and crowd really made it a fun, but definitely stressful, event.
On the flip side, what was the biggest challenge or what pushed you the most?
The biggest challenge for me was keeping control of the guys. All of us are young kids who’re around 20 years old. Keeping track of them and making sure they got to the event on time was… quite the task.
Having spent much of your collegiate esports career likely playing and representing the team remotely, what was it like playing and coaching in front of a crowd and right next to your opposing team?
For me, up until my time with Maryville all I ever did was online events, minus a few small LAN events here and there. This helped me, personally, because I love the environment but I also think it makes it easier to bond as teammates. Coaching right next to the opposing team was something new to me, for sure. Also, having to be careful of what I say and when I say it was a challenge.
What has this experience done to bond your team? What does it mean to have made it to the final 8?
The experience definitely brought me closer to a lot of the team. Everyone is grinding and working hard and it finally paid off as we got to the main stage. At this point, it was all our hard work right in front of us. All we had to do was take advantage of it.
What does this event mean for collegiate Overwatch, and esports in general, moving forward?
I personally think this event was one of many stepping stones collegiate esports needs to take. The match between Maryville and Harrisburg was quite the battle, something that many will remember for years. Although it didn’t end the way Maryville would have liked, it still was something to show that the collegiate scene is growing and becoming more and more competitive.
Lastly, any parting words or people you want to thank?
I want to thank everyone involved in the Overwatch program at Maryville and some people who don’t get noticed behind the scenes. Big shoutout to DJ who has helped us throughout the year with things the team needed or had to do. Also to Shiplee for being a great videographer and photographer for the team, making some really nice videos and great photos for the guys at the event.
To keep up with Maryville’s esports program, you can find them on Twitter and Twitch. Otherwise, stay tuned for continued coverage from the Inside the CEC series here, at The Game Haus.
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Featured Image Courtesy of Rutgers Esports
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