Gamer: Maarten Jan Buurman
Daily state of being: Communication student
Favo Game: Hearthstone
Way of life: Single
You’re studying Communication, final year. What will your thesis be about?
If only that were the case;) I’m currently finalizing my majors and will be doing my internship after that. One of my options is working for the ‘Dagblad van het Noorden’ (newspaper called Daily magazine of The North) doing data analysis, which means turning information that will normally not be appealing for the reader into something they will want to read.
Why did you choose to study Communication and what are your career options?
Before I started I went to university, 6 months in computer science and 2 years of psychology. I found out the science part of it all wasn’t really my thing, but still wanted to use the knowledge I obtained during my psychology study, so I choose communication.
I have a lot of options, since almost every company has a communication department. I could go for marketing, company image survey, design, text writing, public education for the government and so on.
What is good communication all about, is there one particular formula?
The most important thing about communication for me is that it’s bilateral. Only spreading information without listening will not help reaching your goals. Engaging with people you want to convince will.
You’re a semi pro-gamer. What game do you play? Do you only play online or in tournaments as well. Which tournaments did you win?
I play Hearthstone, the online cards game by Blizzard. I manage the ECV e-Sports Hearthstone team as well. Fort the past say 3 years I’ve been playing on- and offline tournaments. My best achievement is third place at the Nvidia Pro/AM cup ($1500), third at The Party (NL LAN, +/_ € 200) and second at The Reality (NL LAN, €200). I’m consistently in the top 8 ranking in Benelux tournaments.
Why did you never make the move to become pro? Being semi-pro you have the potential.
I want too many things at the same time. Managing a team, being admin for tournaments, playing tournaments and becoming a pro-gamer takes too much time. Besides that there’s my education. Being pro means having to play full time, so at least 8 to 10 hours a day. I don’t want to put in that amount of time.
Is there one particular gamer that stands out for you and why?
The reason I’m somewhat involved in esports is Manuel “Grubby” Schenkhuizen. When I got into esports in 2010 I started modding his Twitch stream. He’s a super chill dude with loads of experience within the esports world, I’ve learned a lot from him.
Apart from Grubby, I’m a Tyler fan, one of Holland’s top Hearthstone players. He is the kind of person that lives the game. When he’s not sleeping, he’s playing. He’s the perfect example of becoming the best player through hard work.
Do you want to apply your study Communication to esports?
It’s my intention to combine my communication degree with esports. When I just started my study I thought of doing marketing at a big team, but now that I’m familiar with so many different organizations that all do their own thing within esports, I find it difficult to determine what to do and where. Let’s first get my degree and then see what comes my way.
How do you keep updated on everything, Twitch, Reddit?
Twitch and Reddit are undoubtedly good sources to stay up to date, but I’m a Twitter fan as well. On Twitter you find pro gamers expressing their opinion, which is a great way to stay informed.
How do you combine gaming with your study and social life?
Gaming is my social life. I’ve never been one for outdoor activities or hitting down town, I’m happy behind my computer. I have a lot of online friends whom I talk to all the time which provides in my social needs. My time off is basically spent on gaming.
Do you see a difference between female- and male talk in fora?
The fora I’m on mainly have male subscribers, so I can’t find a clear difference in communication.
You’re fairly active within the Dutch esports world. Are there things you miss and would like improved?
Above all, I miss long-term (large) tournaments. For instance, I really appreciate the idea behind the ESL Benelux Championship, however, the implementation leaves much to be desired. The same goes for the DCL (Dutch College League), apart from it being limited to only one game (League of Legends), the one I don’t play.
I don’t miss game bars or other places open to playing games, my home suits perfectly well. As far as umbrella organizations go, as it is now, organizations come and go simultaneously to the games they’re linked to. I’ve been working for the Dutch StarCraft League for a long time, but because StarCraft has gone down in popularity, the league is declining as well. I suspect this happens to each organization related to a specific game. But, the organizations do work because the people behind it are genuine passionate for that specific game. As far as I can see, organizations that are related to more than one game are more stable.
What would you advise to young potential gamers?
Play a lot and don’t be afraid to participate in online cups. If you really want to stand out, you’ll have to invest time, so at least 8+ hours a day. If you have the time but don’t know how to improve, join a team. Teams like ECV eSports, mCon eSports and Belgium’s Sector One all have the expertise to help you grow.
Who should be the next Random Randy?
Good question. I think Jeffrey Mechielsen, he’s been in esports for a long time, doing all kinds of things.