Alumni '18-'19E-Board

Senior Farewell: Aaron Landry

Now that everyone’s settled into the summer vibe, we’d like to take a look back at our wonderful graduated officers and thank them individually for all their contributions that have helped define Rutgers Esports!

First up is our very own Aaron “Aaron” Landry. In the 2017-2018 school year, Aaron simultaneously held the positions of Systems and Tech Director, Dota Club Vice-President, and Dota Varsity Captain. While he took a step back in this past year to focus on finishing his Physics degree, he provided invaluable support and selflessly sacrificed most of his free time to help our organization in the year prior. 

Aaron has spent the last four years as a prominent member of the Dota community on campus, helping fashion the culture and laying the foundations that led Dota Club to where it is today. Anyone who has spent any time on the 2nd floor of the SERC during our club meetings in the past few years is sure to have heard his raucous voice impressions and infectious laughter echoing through the halls.

When he wasn’t yelling Tusk voice lines or staying up all night working on OBS, he was participating in our CSL Dota teams under the very creative tag, Aaron. Below are his placings on these teams:

{2018-2019}    🏅  (Coach) Varsity Dota Team — Top 8
{2017-2018}    🏆  (Captain) Varsity Dota Team — Top 16
{2016-2017}    🏆  (Sub) Varsity Dota Team — Top 16
{2015-2016}    🏆  (Player) JV Dota Team — 3rd Place.

With a B.S in Physics and a Minor in Computer Science, Aaron now works as a software developer at Infosys. Thank you for your contributions to our community Aaron—we wish you the best!

...the committee didn't burn to the ground when I left, so I'd like to think that I was successful.

Aaron Landry

I felt like even though I wasn't doing everything perfectly, that I was still an important part in making that event run, and that together as an org we were really pulling something cool off.

Aaron Landry
Systems & Tech Director


When did you get involved with our community?

I got involved in the Dota club executive board around Fall 2016, but I didn’t really involve myself fully with Rutgers Esports until Fall 2017. It was about 2 weeks before Fireside Open 2017 [that] I was appointed Systech director.

What did you do in your time with us?

My big accomplishment in Rutgers Esports was essentially creating the Systech committee from scratch. I had some guidance from [Jacob Moffat] who outlined what duties the committee would have to fulfill, but it was basically just “gotta have internet at events and a working stream, glhf kid” for the start of it. That’s not to say Jacob and the board weren’t helpful, but I was kind of on my own to figure out how to delegate duties and recruit people. But hey, we had both of those things at the events I was Director for (no internet issues,  A T  A L L) and the committee didn’t burn to the ground when I left, so I’d like to think that I was successful.

Besides just running the committee I was responsible for setting up everything for the event streams, which I did largely on my own. That meant 12 hour+ shifts during big events, testing overlays and ad banners at 4 am with [Alice Balashova], configuring audio equipment, capture cards, PCs, and lighting, and overall managing a production team that at most consisted of myself and someone who wasn’t even in Rutgers Esports (<3 [Nicco Calabrese], best co-caster/audio engineer). Outside of events, myself and Kyle Frick put together the first iteration of which was kinda neat.

Dota Club was my other big commitment in the Rutgers Esports ecosystem. To this day I’m not sure if I was ever officially on the executive board, but at times I felt like a second President. I ran the inhouse league, ran at least half if not more of the meetings,  ran multiple 1v1 tournaments and other goofy stuff like Elimination mode, and helped to shape the culture of Dota Club into what it is today (and for that I apologize deeply). At the same time, myself and [Diego Corea] were in charge of putting together all of our CSL teams for the past 3 years. I played JV my first year and got 3rd, subbed for Varsity the next year, got Top 16 on Varsity as its Captain during the playoffs, then coached the team to a Top 8 finish on our last ride out into the proverbial sunset.

Also just so we’re clear, my time as Captain on Varsity coincided with my time as Systech Director and unofficial Dota VP. This isn’t to say I filled every role to its greatest capacity (far from it), its just to give y’all an idea of what my time in the org was like.

What drew you to Dota as an esport?

I actually didn’t like Dota for my first 100 or so games. My brother was super into it as were most of our friends, but I played League a couple years prior and thought it was boring as sin. I think what got me was when I started watching pro games during [The International]. It kind of opened my eyes to how deep the game really was and I never really looked back.

I’m also a huge fan of both SSBM and SSBU, Melee is mostly a spectator sport for me though (I’m bad). The history and context to the games make them super fun to watch outside of the pure mechanics, so even if I’m not super good I can have a good time.

What are you doing now that you’ve graduated?

I got a job as a Software Developer literally the day after my last final funny enough. So as of now I’m working over in Connecticut for a company called Infosys. Other than that, I play DnD twice a week and have been playing more Ultimate than Dota as of late. Pretty chill life all things considered.

What was one of the most rewarding parts of being a director?

I feel like I should say “The gratification after a job well done” or “A hard days work”, but Ima be real with you guys it was probably verbal gratification of others. I messed up a lot, but everyone in the org was always super supportive and patient with me the entire time I was there. During Fireside 2017 [Adam Baugh] told me, “Keep it up man, you’re carrying this event” and I think I’ve been living on that sweet sweet ego trip ever since.

What’s your fondest memory of your time with us?

I’ve mentioned it a couple times already, but it was definitely during Fireside 2017 for a number of reasons. So I left this little bit out so far, but when I was recruited 2 weeks before the event, I had never streamed before (maybe besides like 1 SC2 stream 5 years before using XSplit). I also had no idea how to configure any of our networking equipment, nor had I any knowledge of audio production. Mind you this 2 week period fell during Midterms and Thanksgiving, so whenever I wasn’t studying or eating Turkey I was figuring this stuff out. 

There were a couple almost sleepless nights, but by the end of it I figured out how to configure my computer such that a caster could cast, an observer had control of a mouse and keyboard, and I had a secondary keyboard for OBS shortcuts (that meant two people couldn’t use the keyboard/mouse at the same time, but hey it worked.) Because of all the planning, shopping for equipment, and general configuration work, I had to pawn the network equipment stuff onto my future replacement Kyle Frick, but that only made it ever so slightly less stressful.

Come event day, I’m the only one manning the stream setup. I’ve got casters, observers, and players coming in and out messing with the audio. I’ve got overlays that straight up don’t fit because I didn’t get time to test them all, and I’ve got volume level issues galore. Since there wasn’t really anyone whose job it was to tell me what the audio was like, I was straight up sprinting back in forth between the room the stream was going on in and the MPR. Even though I was there until around midnight the night before setting up, I showed up bright and early at 8 am sharp to configure more stuff and thus was completely sleep deprived. 

Oh, and did I mention it was a 2 day long event? Cause it was a 2 day event. So I had to do the same stuff the next day. And the special part about day 2 was that it was the day of the Dota tournament, which I was playing in and TOing. I remember starting the games, then sprinting back to the stream room while Diego drafted so that I could change some audio level, then sprinting back before the game started. Thankfully we won 3-0 so it didn’t have to go on for long, but juggling everything was certainly an experience.

What made everything memorable was how everyone treated me during the whole thing. I was stressed out yeah, but everything was still running relatively smoothly as far as collegiate esports events go (looking at you CSL), and the whole time everyone was giving me nothing but support. People would bring me Wendy’s from the food court because they realized I hadn’t eaten for 8 hours. No one got mad at me when SC2 didn’t have working audio for the first two games. I felt like even though I wasn’t doing everything perfectly, that I was still an important part in making that event run, and that together as an org we were really pulling something cool off. That event made me feel like part of the family, and to this day I play Smash on my overpriced Fireside Open 2017 Gamecube Controller even though the L-Button sticks like a motherf—r.

Which Dota hero do you associate the most with?

Tusk because he talks in a silly voice and has the ability to pull all of his friends into his bulls—t, whether they like it or not.