By Lexi Lin, Staff Reporter Professionalism in any field requires great amounts of hard work and time commitment. For freshman Kiran Stanislaus, this is no exception, as he is currently a professional Overwatch player. For those who are not familiar with the game, Overwatch is a five vs. five-person multiplayer action shooter involving 30 unique...
By Lexi Lin, Staff Reporter
Professionalism in any field requires great amounts of hard work and time commitment. For freshman Kiran Stanislaus, this is no exception, as he is currently a professional Overwatch player.
For those who are not familiar with the game, Overwatch is a five vs. five-person multiplayer action shooter involving 30 unique characters, each of which have different abilities and their own respective weapons.
Stanislaus has profession- ally competed in various competitions all over the world, both online and in person. Some of his notable achievements include peaking at No. 3 in Overwatch 1 and No. 5 in Overwatch 2 in North and South America.
Stanislaus’s journey as a pro-gamer started around seven years ago when he first began playing Overwatch, but it only took off seriously around two years ago.
“I realized I was good at Overwatch when I hit top 500 in North and South America on my main role (Tracer) back a year (ago) to go on Xbox
servers. And then I moved to PC eventually where I am now playing professionally,” Stanislaus said.
In order to maintain his skills, Stanislaus practices in a professional environment ranging from one to three hours daily. When competing, he mainly engages in online competitions, as in-person tournaments are more difficult to attend. Prize pools of these competitions vary greatly, ranging from $500 to $50,000. Currently, he is practicing with his team for the Inaugural North America Open Division Tournament.
In addition to competing in prestigious competitions, Stanislaus enjoys the community aspect of Overwatch. He considers himself lucky to have such great teammates.
“I’ve been signed to a team with a lot of players that I’ve really looked up to and admired for years now. And getting to play with them has been a big accomplishment,” Stanislaus said.
However, being a professional gamer at this age comes with its obstacles, as Stanislaus faces discrimination due to how young he is. Because of this reason, many people avoid signing with him and often doubt his credibility or find his level of skill hard to believe. As a result, they accuse him of cheating.
On the brighter side, Stanislaus feels that his competitive journey has brought forth many positive and enjoyable experiences allowing him to encounter new people and culture, especially during in-person tournaments.
“There was one recently called the Will English IVitational 5 LAN. (There were a) lot of cool people I met there; a lot of friends (I) have met online and over the years,” Stanislaus said.
For other Overwatch players who are eager to improve their gaming skills, Stanislaus suggests reviewing one’s gameplay and game plan.
“Analyze the mistakes you made and try and improve. And definitely seeking professional coaching helps a lot,” Stanislaus said.
In the future, the pro gamer hopes to reach No. 1 in the world and play with an even more professional team. More importantly, he wants to extend his career and become more of a notable player in the Overwatch community.
Lexi Lin can be reached at [email protected].
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