This year, on Oct. 5, the University of Waterloo’s Valorant Gold team played their first game of the season with ConferenceOne Esports (CF1), a third-party organizer for college varsity esports, against Ottawa University, a private university based in Ottawa, Kan. While the organization is based in the United States, CF1 allows Canadian universities to participate in the league as well.
The team pulled off an impressive reverse sweep after losing their first game, winning their best-of-three series with a 2-1 score. Timmy “Kip” Tram, the in-game leader for the UW Valorant Gold team, shared some of his thoughts on how the match went the following day.
“For the first [game] we were caught a little off guard because we thought we were going to win. We practiced a good amount on that map and thought we would sweep them and do really well, but they said otherwise and we decided to just bounce back and play for the next two [games],” Kip said.
Being down a game early in a series is bound to happen, even to the best of players, but Kip and his team have learnt to remain confident even in suboptimal situations.
“We weren’t really fazed when we lost the first game…There wasn’t really much pressure or anxiety when it came to the second or third [games], it was just more of how fast or how well we can pick ourselves up to win the next one,” Kip said.
Even with the pressure to perform in their first game of the season, Kip and the team said they can’t help but look forward and continue to prepare for what’s coming next, showing absolute dedication to their craft.
“We weren’t really as excited or ecstatic [about] the win…We immediately started talking about what we could improve on and what we should do next to prepare for the next game,” Kip said.
The UW Valorant Gold team itself is almost entirely new this term, with four out of five players being new recruits. Kip himself serves as the in-game leader, in charge of calling the shots and leading the team’s overall strategy throughout the course of each game.
“I would say it’s pretty cool. All of the guys on the UW Gold team are pretty nice, pretty cool, and very cooperative. They’re not very hesitant to tell me if I’m doing something wrong or not. I’m very glad that I’m the in-game leader for this team,” Kip said.
As with any varsity-level athlete, Kip has to manage his esports career with his academics, especially as a first-year health studies student. On top of competing in the CF1 League, the UW Valorant Gold team is also looking to join the OPSE league’s inaugural Valorant season, which starts on Oct. 18.
Balancing commitments from two different leagues on top of regular schoolwork is no easy feat.
“I was already expecting to already be overwhelmed with school work but that doesn’t stop me from doing the things I love to do, which is playing Valorant competitively. I’ll probably just take things slow and go with the flow and enjoy it,” Kip said.
“[There isn’t] anything specific, just expect us at the grand finals in the next few weeks.”
With files from Chauvin Zhou