Red Bull Campus Clutch – Interview with Oregon State University
The Red Bull Campus Clutch continues to chug along, with some countries having already determined the teams that will represent them. This time around we interviewed the boys from Oregon State University (OSU), the team that will represent the Northwest region of the US at the upcoming National Finals. If you missed our previous Campus Clutch interview, be sure to check that one out as well!
RunItBack: Tell us a bit about your team and how you guys came together.
Russell “Reo” Owen: We actually became a team at the beginning of this year. It all started back in the Fall term when I held open Valorant tryouts for a few weeks. From there, we selected almost everyone except for Dylan “NeoN” Trull. He came in later because he hadn’t found out about the tryouts until then. We checked out his VODS and saw he was pretty good so we let him in.
The thing that brought us together as a team was definitely NACL Road to Power PUGS. That was the first tournament we played together. It showed that everyone was willing to work together and had the mindset we were looking for.
RunItBack: What made you want to participate in the Red Bull Campus Clutch?
Reo: We really liked competing and we saw Red Bull Campus Clutch as an opportunity to grow our clout and make ourselves more well-known. Participating in an official branded tournament was also a great way to get recognition within our university and we believe that if we were to win nationals, it would get the university to pay a little more attention to us as a team and as a club. It’s essentially an avenue for us to grow. The structure was probably one of the best structures too, the way it takes us from a local tournament within our university to a national one.
We were also chosen for our state’s qualifier out of the other Oregon universities because of our performance at the Golden Coast Invitational, which was another Red Bull-sponsored tournament.
RunItBack: What was the hardest match you guys played?
Reo: If we’re talking out of all the matches we’ve played, then probably our CF1 match against Rutgers University. They did a pre-match interview with them where they called us trash and then we beat them 2-0. That felt pretty good. We take shit talking personally and I’m pretty sure it gives us a tournament boost. I’m convinced we live in their head rent-free because every time we play them, we win.
Jakob “Jakob” Jones: Transitioning from that to our hardest Red Bull match, we’d have to say the one against UC Davis. In the Northwest regional qualifier, we dropped one match against UC Davis and we were like “nah, never again” so we won.
Reo: I think that UC Davis was the hardest Red Bull match because they were really the only competition that’s close to our level. Everyone else in the pacific northwest qualifier besides them, SJSU, and us were just not very good.
RunItBack: How do you feel about representing the entire Northwest?
Jakob: It feels pretty great. I think it’s awesome because we came into the entire esports scene almost as underdogs but we’ve been quickly making our own name in the Valorant collegiate scene. It’s really great that we’ve proven ourselves and now we’re representing the northwest region in the nationals.
Connor “Dragonfly” Owen: I think Northwest was pretty easy to represent. Once we can represent the West Coast, that’s when it’ll be really cool because a lot of the really good California teams are in Southern California and we didn’t get to play them.
RunItBack: Is there a particular US university you want to face?
Jakob: I would say SJSU.
Dragonfly: Yeah, I’m always down to face SJSU. The last time we played them, we 2-0’d them because we were able to out-strat them. But I think, because the meta has changed with Astra, I’d like to see how they compete with the new meta and who’s the better team at that. I’d also like to face some East Coast or Midwest teams because we never played against teams from those regions.
RunItBack: Anything you want people to know that I haven’t asked you about?
Dragonfly: One thing we wanna show is that even if your school doesn’t give a shit about you, you can still become one of the best esports universities in the country. SJSU has staff and they still got bodied by us so it’s more about the players themselves.
Reo: I can definitely agree with Dragonfly that our success and the club’s success can be attributed to every single person on this team as a player. Our university didn’t support us, some other people in the club didn’t support our team, and I feel very strongly that we five have built up the standard for what a team needs to perform like to be at a good level.
Jakob: Okay so a quote-worthy thing might be more along the lines of “one of the reasons why we’re so strong as a team is each individual player has devoted tons of hours in trying to improve their individual and team play as a whole.”
Huge thanks to Red Bull for setting us up with another interview and to OSU for their time! Who knows, they might just represent the entire US at the World Finals. To make sure you don’t miss further Campus Clutch coverage, follow us at Run it Back and join our Discord for all your latest news, extensive guides, and exclusive interviews in the world of Valorant.
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