Demien ’22 Reflects on Esports Career

Dawson Demien

From the very beginning, Dawson Demien was captivated by the magic of video games. Now the senior plays a crucial role on the Overwatch Shield team.

“Growing up my dad had a Playstation One. That was really my start, playing Crash Bandicoot,” Demien said. “I fell in love with the fact that you could be in a new world away from your own.”

He worked his way up playing Pokemon on a Gameboy and eventually Demien got his own console and discovered Overwatch.

“I started playing Overwatch my sophomore year in high school on console,” he said. “I found myself in love with the day-to-day grind of playing competitive with random people.”

Four years later, Demien was finally able to leave random teammates behind and join a consistent team at Valpo. He first heard about the start-up program through his job on campus.

“When esports started my sophomore year and I was working with Tristan at the fitness center.” Demien said. “He talked with me about the opportunity and we were both excited.”

In his sophomore year, the program started small and didn’t offer Overwatch as an esport. Demien instead played League of Legends that year, but instantly swapped over in 2020 when Valpo opened up an Overwatch team.

“The first year was very different from what it is now, it was very student-driven,” he said. “In my junior year they started Overwatch and I switched over because I thought it was a much better game.”

In a match, he takes a unique role anchoring the team and letting high damage teammates stay alive.

“I play support, so I’m like the backbone of the team that keeps everyone up,” Demien said. “I’m a jack of all trades really, so I can play any support character depending on who the other support is.”

Outside of the game, Demien stays busy as a double major in Computer Science and Japanese. He also helped start the Japanese Student Association to spread awareness about the culture he is passionate about.

After this semester he has a job already secured in information technology.

“I have a job lined up at Notre Dame in the Office of Information Technology for application development,” Demien said. “Right now I’m working the job part-time as I finish my degrees and then I’ll move to full-time.”

Throughout his time in esports, Demien feels he learned a lot about teamwork and built quality relationships on the team.

“Since it’s not physical, it’s much more of a mental game, you have to play more as a team,” he said. “I keep coming back because of the great group of friends that I had here.”

Demien is in awe of how much he helped the program grow in just three years.

“I feel like people have grown to respect the program more,” he said. “It’s just amazing to see how seriously it is taken now.”