Two UW students place 4th at 'surreal' international gaming competition in Spain

Team Canada at the Red Bull's Campus Clutch in Spain. (Source: @Mewnlight on Twitter)

Two University of Waterloo students are back in the region after being flown on to Spain to compete in an international gaming competition.

The two-day tournament, Red Bull’s Campus Clutch, featured the game Valorant.

Valorant is a new game released in 2020. The goal is to take out the other team by planting a bomb while defending your own side and avoiding detonation.

“Valorant is a much slower pace, more strategic game. It falls under the category called tactical shooter,” said Damian Reiter, a local gamer who took part in the tournament.

Out of 12 teams from across the world, the Canadians placed 4th.

A once on a lifetime experience in the past week. Now finally flying home with some unforgettable memories and new friends from around the world.��

Thank you @redbull and @RedBullCanada for everything and looking forward to next years' #RedbullCampusClutch �� pic.twitter.com/daFLXngW5V

— Moonlight (@Mewnlight) July 21, 2021

The local gamers said they walked into the competition with a positive attitude.

“This is such a unique opportunity that we have. Regardless of what happens during the actual competition. I already feel like a winner,” said Reiter.

Reiter said his favourite part of competitive gaming is the strategic thinking behind it.

“I’ve been playing games competitively for almost 10 years now. So literally almost half my life,” Reiter said.

Reiter said going up against tough competitors around the world was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“Competing, seeing my friends and family back home cheer me on as I’m halfway across the globe,” Reiter said.

One of the other competitors, University of Waterloo student Tommy Pham, said he had a great time in Spain.

“It was pretty insane. It was really surreal. Every time I walk on the stage. In my head I’d be like 'woah, I’m actually here,'” said Pham.

Playing in front of a big crowd was not what they’re used to, the players admitted, but it was also exhilarating.

“The crowd is unbelievable. They will push you to kill those nerves and play your best,” Pham said.

While this season is over, the team said tryouts will take place in late August and early September for the next competition.