Highlighting and embracing a wide variety of UK esports talent is something that we constantly strive to do at British Esports.
Recently, we spoke to Tom (aka Furious) about his experiences competing in the British Esports Student Champs, taking the esports BTEC, and LGBTQ+ representation in the industry.
Getting to know Tom:
Tom is a student at Queen Mary’s College in Basingstoke, and is part of the QM Samurai Zeta Overwatch squad that competes in the Student Champs.
“So, I’m on one of the QM Samurai teams, but sadly we did not make it to the playoffs. However, Alpha did – so it’s just going to be really nice to watch those guys play!” Tom said.
However, his gaming journey has not always been in the competitive realm – with Furious being introduced to Overwatch through a friend.
Furious said: “Overwatch has always been my main game, but it was actually my first ever FPS game as I used to play Minecraft, so a big difference! I was just on my console and Overwatch was on one of the free weekends, and my friend was like ‘yo there’s this game called Overwatch you should play.’
“I played it for the free weekend, and I absolutely fell in love with it, to the point where I could not stop playing it! So after the free weekend, I saved up the money that I had and I managed to get it – and that was really my first introduction to FPS and fast-paced gaming,” they added.
The Student Champs and BTEC:
Having been part of the Student Champs for a little while now, Tom has had many experiences in the tournament alongside his fellow teammates.
“Honestly, I think Champs has been one of the most fun and learning-driven experiences I’ve had in terms of esports. Being formed into a team, learning how your team clicks and develops. If I compare footage from try-outs to now, I have come such a long way and so has my team. It’s about learning to adapt, learning what we’re good at, and what we can run in games.”
As well as being part of the Student Champs, Tom is also studying the esports BTEC – of which he has made significant progress in all areas.
He explained: “The BTEC is just a lot of fun! Honestly, I could go on a ramble about the course and the facilities, but the units are fun, interesting, and we’re learning what we need to learn to get an understanding of the industry.
“My favourite unit so far has to be one we’re doing at the moment – which is all around live streaming and broadcast. It helps that I’ve been streaming for two years, but it’s been fun teaching others. Similar to that, the shoutcasting unit is also great, with us getting to learn how to properly cast over matches. It’s really helped me with my confidence!”
Streaming on the side:
On top of studying and competing, Furious also does a lot of streaming – playing a variety of games and creating content for their audience.
He said: “I’ve been doing content creation for about two years now, coming up to three. I started off with just basic streaming, and then advanced into editing videos and things on TikTok, and I’m normally active on Twitter and Twitch most of the time.”
Furious’ online presence has led to a lot of exciting opportunities – including a recent partnership with SweetCabin (a UK-based sweet shop run by HotDrops Head of Socials, Nathan Edmonds).
Taking part in these various aspects of esports has inspired Tom to narrow down what he would like to specialise in as a career – which has ended up being in the realm of broadcasting and social media.
“The dream goal is to be working in broadcast, preferably on the social media side looking at things like community management. I want to work with people like Sneak Energy, SweetCabin, and London Spitfire – but also I want to try and do more stuff with the team who run Team GB for the Overwatch World Cup. I worked a bit with them back in 2018 as a volunteer, and that was a really great experience.”
Getting his foot in the door has not always been as straightforward as it seems, and Tom has pushed himself to the limits to get to where he is at the moment.
“I was super shy, and I kind of forced myself into a place where I was like ‘right, I’m going to get familiar and used to these things’. You need to be developing your confidence and just putting yourself in these places will make a world of difference,” he said.
Esports is one of the most inclusive and diverse industries in the world, and there are many people within the field who identify as LGBTQ+. Tom has embraced his gender and sexuality to further boost his confidence, and inspires others in the industry with his work.
He said: “Recently I sort of discovered myself, and I identify as gender-fluid. Being a queer teen in esports, it’s all about role models and learning to accept yourself. Seeing representation through Overwatch League and Valorant esports is just very nice to watch.
“Just seeing people going against gender stereotypes like painting nails and whatnot, that is huge to see – and it makes me so happy to see that people can be like this in these positions.”
Want to know more about Tom, and the work he is doing? Keep your eyes peeled for the full interview coming soon to the British Esports YouTube channel.
You can also follow Tom’s Twitter and Twitch to stay updated with his latest content.