As of today, April 13th, 2023, I have officially parted ways with the HussonUniversityEsports production team on less-than-ideal terms. The main reasons for this separation include a lack of communication between the Assistant Esports Coordinator and the rest of the HussonUniversityEsports production team, a lack of leadership from both the Assistant Esports Coordinator and the captain of the Overwatch 2 Green Team, and a lack of respect from all parties mentioned above. However, I am aware that some people may not know what forced me to make this decision, so I will explain the events in order, as best as I can.
For those who do not know me, I'm Tristan, better known as Producer T on the HussonUniversityEsports broadcasts. I was in charge of creating the old overlays that were used on the official HussonUniversityEsports broadcasts, and the old outro tune for the end of the broadcasts. I was also responsible for the old Scene Collection, OBS management, tech support, and spectator camera for some of the broadcasts.
To make this post easier to read, I have included the different sections here.
In early February, the Assistant Esports Coordinator was in discussions with a designer in order to create new graphics for the official broadcasts, in an attempt to replace the Starting Soon graphic that I had created earlier that year. When I had asked why they were replacing the Starting Soon graphic, the Assistant Esports Coordinator stated that people were complaining that the background I had created was hard to see, and even gave some people headaches. Both of those were valid reasons to change the graphic, and so I agreed with this change.
The new Starting Soon graphic turned out to be at a lower quality than the previous graphic. When asking why they had opted to remove some features that were present in the previous graphic, such as knowing what matches were coming up and the timer used to notify viewers when the next match would start, the question was dodged completely. The Assistant Esports Coordinator simply stated that they wanted to focus the graphics more on Husson University itself. The Assistant Esports Coordinator had also stated that while I had done a good job with the graphics, they wanted the productions to be focused more around Husson itself. When asked what I could do to help improve the productions, I was not given a response.
Forced Removal From Production Team
On February 20th, 2023. Husson University competed against Loyola Marymount University, and lost their match. I had remembered that Loyola had cheated against Husson University last semester, on November 15th, 2022, and I had asked if those that had cheated were still on the Loyola Marymount team. When questioned why I had asked about that team, I had mentioned that I had banned the two cheaters from the time that we had caught them cheating last semester from our streams.
The Assistant Esports Coordinator then berated me for banning the supposed cheaters from the Husson channel’s chat. I explained that we had video evidence of these cheaters in-game, and that both myself and a person who had submitted our evidence had been told by tournament staff that Loyola was confirmed to be cheating. He claimed that the tournament staff now stated that although Loyola Marymount University had been caught cheating, since it was so late in the season, there was nothing that could be done about it.
The following is some of the video evidence we had submitted to tournament staff during the match last semester.
In this clip, the Loyola Marymount University player had aimed onto the Husson University player's head, and attempted to headshot them through the rock.
In this clip, the Loyola Marymount University had aimed, fired, and killed the Husson University player through an unbreakable barrier. (This piece of evidence is under contention, as there was the possibility that this may not be accurate due to the HussonUniversityEsports stream having no barrier in the round.)
In this clip, the Loyola Marymount University player had snapped onto the head of the Husson University player and had killed them in one shot. What makes this play suspicious is the crosshair stops in the location of the player's head after the flick, which made us suspect that there was some aim hacking in play. Despite the evidence and tournament confirmation, the Assistant Esports Coordinator stated that banning anyone who was suspected to have cheated was not allowed, and had proceeded to reinstate not only the Loyola Marymount cheaters, but everyone else on the HussonUniversityEsports ban list, some of whom were known problems in the past. When I discovered this, I tried to explain that because we were attempting to promote the HussonUniversityEsports channel, we should not allow anyone who was banned to chat again until given further review. At that point, I was removed from the esports production channel and from my moderator position. As far as I know, those who have been banned in the past are now allowed to chat in the HussonUniversityEsports channel once again.
Allowing cheaters and banned chatters back into a competition or community can risk calling into question the integrity of both the tournament and the HussonUniversityEsports program as a whole. Instead of taking this into consideration, the current Assistant Esports Coordinator removed me from my position without regard for the good of the overall program. I feel this does not represent the type of leadership needed to run a professional esports production. A leader should not silence others just because they have a different opinion than their own. Instead, a good leader must communicate effectively with the other members of the team in order to work together towards a common goal, instead of making decisions without consulting anyone else for their input. An effective leader should listen to others and consider the reasoning behind their actions, and follow up with communication in the case of any disagreements. None of this happened this February.
Mutual Removal from the Overwatch Green Team
Despite the production and player issues, I had decided to not let it affect me as a team player for Husson’s Overwatch Green Team. I put my focus into helping my team with their semester. However, during the semester, we have had numerous communication issues, and my Overwatch captain and I did not see eye-to-eye on playing strategies.
Early in the season, I had switched to a character that I believed would help our team in a practice match. When I was playing this character, I was able to warn my team about an enemy player behind us that was looking to disrupt our plan. After that match, I was yelled at by the team captain about how the character I had switched to had "no value." I had attempted to explain that if I had not switched to that character, we would have lost the fight to the player behind us. However, I was ignored, yelled at again, and the captain then made a rule that I was never to play that character again. Later in the season, he allowed me to play that character during a losing match.
During the semester, the captain insisted that we should not be learning other heroes, and only stick to the characters that we know how to play. Because of this, we ended up running a composition in most games built around one of the most easily-countered characters in the game. On top of that, nearly every week of the season, the captain had yelled at me for not listening to his plans, even though the rest of the team had agreed that some of those plans would not work. He stated that because he was the captain, everyone should be listening to only him.
Personally, I could not talk to the other captains of the Overwatch team about this, since all three of them were friends with each other, and I felt they would most likely ignore my requests for help with my captain. Eventually, on March 19th, 2023, the captains and I had a discussion, and we came to the agreement that since it seemed I would not be able to get along with my captain, I would be removed from the Overwatch team. I have not spoken to anyone else on the team since that day.
I do not hate anyone specifically on the Overwatch team. I enjoyed playing with most of my Overwatch teammates. However, I feel captains should be open to listening to their teammates, and not assume that just because they are in a position of power, that they can say or do no wrong.
As of writing, all of my assets that I have contributed to the production team have been removed from the streaming computer used to run the HussonUniversityEsports programs. The track that I had composed for the production team will be updated and remastered, and will be released on Bandcamp on a future date. Additionally, I will be refining and updating most of these assets, and turning them into standalone overlays, so that anyone can use them in their productions.
As far as I can see, I will not be working with the HussonUniversityEsports team in the future in terms of broadcasting matches and providing overlays, but I will be available as technical support in the event that they need any help. Additionally, I would like to apologize to anyone who I may have upset by speaking out in this post. Many of the students in the program are very nice, fun to play with, and are genuinely looking to make both the productions and games as enjoyable as possible. However, under the current management, I do not believe that it would be beneficial for me to return to the HussonUniversityEsports program.
If you would like to be notified as to when the updated standalone overlays are complete, or getting notified when the updated outro track is released, please consider following me on Twitter or joining my Discord server. I don't use them much, but important announcements will always be communicated through there.
Finally, some advice to anyone who is reading: Communication, respect, and leadership are all related to each other. In order for positive, effective leadership to occur, communication and respect must be a two-way street. If one side fails to communicate efficiently, or fails to respect their peers' opinions, then there is no leadership to be found, and the members of the team will be less likely to cooperate with their peers.