Meet The Student Head Coaches for the Comets Esports Teams Fall 2020

Posted by Eric Aaberg June 15, 2020 in Team News

Hey, Comets!

A few weeks ago we announced applications for our new Student Head Coach positions for the Comets Esports Program and have been working this past month on diligently picking the future student leaders of our program to help lead our teams for the 2020-2021 athletic season. Well, we are excited to finally announce the Student Head Coaches for each of our Esports Teams (Overwatch, League of Legends, Smash Ultimate, and Rocket League)! Without further ado, please welcome our new Comets:

Meet Ivan “King” Payne – Student Head Overwatch Coach

Ivan has been with the Comets Esports Team & Program since Day #1. Transitioning from originally being a student-athlete to an analyst and now the Student Head Coach for the Overwatch Teams, Ivan has helped grow our program exponentially.

Our focus is in excellence, by building great players success will follow. With the amount of amazing players that have shown interest, this next year will be the best one yet for UTD. – Ivan Payne

Feel free to follow Ivan’s updates about the UT Dallas Esports Team on his personal twitter @KngPayne.

Meet Jonathan “Texas” Baadsgaard – Student Head League of Legends Coach

Jonathan has been a part of the Comets Esports Team & Program since Spring 2019, originally serving as an analyst for the League of Legends team and then becoming a student-athlete in Fall 2019. Jonathan will now serve as the program’s Student Head Coach for both League of Legends teams and help lead their competitive strategies for the 2020-2021 athletic season.

Transitioning from being a player to Head Coach for UTD is really exciting and I’m ready to take the program to the next level. – Jonathan Baadsgaard

Feel free to follow Jonathan’s updates about the UT Dallas Esports Team on his personal twitter @Novabottt.

Meet Chaynen “Sun” Casas – Student Head Smash Ultimate Coach

Chaynen has been a part of the Comets Esports Team & Program since Spring 2019 when we launched our 3rd Official Esports Team: Smash Ultimate. Chaynen served as the Smash Team’s only and lead analyst for the first year and led the student-athletes as they won the university’s first-ever National Championship Title at Shine 2019.

Our debut season was very interesting. It was the first season for CSL Smash Ultimate, and with the release of the game happening in December, the 1st season wasn’t spread out across a full school year (only lasting one semester, ending in August with Shine 2019). I joined the team as an analyst mid way through the season (sometime before Momocon 2019) and thankfully I was familiar with everyone on the team, so building the team chemistry wasn’t hard. Surprisingly what I found difficult was giving a good amount of meaningful advice. The team was full of proven local/regional tournament threats, so I couldn’t give them a books-worth of “tips and tricks on how to win in smash bros”, I could only point out somethings here and there. They were experienced, smart, and hungry to improve. Our greatest strength was our communication. From top to bottom, Greg, the team, and I all scouted potential future opponents; what characters they play, strengths, weakness, habits, and lineup patterns. We discussed strategies and built lineups to counter who we felt was the biggest threat. All that work paid off when we ended up taking the whole thing. It’s still surreal to think about it. On our debut season as a team, for Ultimate’s debut season in CSL, we won.

Unfortunately, our second season got cut short because of the pandemic. We continued to succeed placing 1st in the local and regional qualifiers, although the competition was more fierce. I feel like winning CSL Smash Ultimate season 1 put a big target on our back. Outside of Texas nobody really thought much of us, which is fair considering a large portion of the Texas smash scene doesn’t travel to national events. But after the “upset” victory we had a Shine, the team and I wanted to prove it wasn’t a fluke. We wanted to prove that we didn’t just win cause nobody had any info on us or that we got lucky, we wanted to prove that we won cause we were just better. With that being said our competition isn’t making that easy on us. We’ve faced off against longhorn gaming in the winners finals/finals in both the local and regional qualifiers this past season, and barely pulled off the victory with 1 stock both times. One small change could’ve giving us our first non-1st place finish since debut. Which is another reason I was sad the season got cut short, I wanted to see that rivalry continue deeper into the season.

Moving forward it is still unknow if CSL Smash Ultimate will have a competitive season this coming semester. We don’t know if they’ll move it to online. Regardless, we will continue to work together to improve and continue building on the success we’ve had so far. My goal for now is to work on rebuilding/strengthen our team chemistry from this hiatus we’ve had. Our team has seen some of it’s strongest and most important members graduate, while the remaining members of the team have stepped up to fill their shoes. We’re also on the look for new members to ensure our program has a promising future. I want to make sure that the whole team old and new are on the same page and are striving for the same goal, to win it all, together as one team. – Chaynen Casas

Feel free to follow Chaynen’s updates about the UT Dallas Esports Team on his personal twitter @BtB_Sun.

Meet Brenden “LuckyMick” Strenger – Student Head Rocket League Coach

Brenden has been a part of the Comets Esports Team & Program Fall 2019, serving as a team analyst for the Rocket League Team. From originally being a part of the Rocket League Club at UT Dallas, he joined the program when we announced & launched our 4th Official Esports Team: Rocket League.

I am proud to see how much the Rocket League community has grown since the founding of the Rocket League club and how much the varsity team has improved over our first semester of being an official team. We are only improving moving forward and working to make UTD a household name in the Rocket League collegiate scene. – Brenden Strenger

Feel free to follow Brenden’s updates about the UT Dallas Esports Team on his personal twitter @Lucky__Mick.

The Season Ahead…

We are super excited about bringing on these highly passionate Comets into new leadership positions in our program, and we have a strong feeling that this year will be the best year we’ve had yet. Our Esports Program has truly grown to make a name for ourselves within the first few years, and we’re even more excited (and built) for this upcoming year.

I am extremely excited for what the future of UTD Esports holds and these student coaches are truly going to take us to the next level. – Greg Adler, Head Director of Esports

Be sure to stay tuned for what the Comets will be up to this season why following our Twitter, Instagram, Facebook pages and joining our Official Discord!