09:54 AM

UST Esports Celt Ryan Gandee aka “Noctis” Is a National Contender

Ryan Gandee aka "Noctis"One of the nation’s top 100 college gamers is Ryan Gandee with the Overwatch esports team at the University of St. Thomas-Houston. Currently, he is rated No. 25. But only a month ago, he was at No. 13, his highest ranking yet.

Gandee Started in the Middle of Nowhere

The first-year business major says he grew up in Maryland “in the middle of nowhere.” Noctis is Gandee’s gaming name. It’s Latin for “night.” He chose it when he was 11 years old and had already been playing online games for quite a few years.

Persuading Parents with Facts

He won his parents over to his passion while in high school.

“I laid the opportunities out for them,” Gandee said. “I discussed the legitimate possibilities through esports that could last me all my life. And they said as long as I maintained my grades and social life, they would encourage me.”

The UST Advantage

Admittedly, though, his mom and dad were “a bit shocked” that he came all the way to Texas for his higher education. So how did UST manage to attract such talent?

“Good reasons,” the talented gamer explained. “UST’s Overwatch has a relationship with the Houston Outlaws, and that partnership is really attractive because you get connected to other businesses for internships.”

Tricks & Tips

When it comes to playing the game, Gandee says he works at it and has the right attitude.

“Anybody can get good at video games, so you have to have something that sets you apart,” he said. “For me, it’s the way I think about the game. I find a way to optimize anything I do to have a leg up on other players. For example, my role in Overwatch is that of Main Support, so my job is to enable the rest of my six-member team and set them up to execute some play. My setting them up in the perfect spot sets me apart.”

Like competitive athletes in traditional sports, serious esports players have to “stay in shape.” For instance, aim is essential for Overwatch—how quickly a player can move the mouse to track on the screen. But Gandee works out to avoid injury from the repetitive motion.

Gandee acknowledged, “Wrist injuries can be common if people don’t take care of their bodies. So I work out in the gym regularly. Also, I average six hours a day in front of screens, so I wear specially treated lenses to protect me from overexposure to blue light.”

UST Overwatch Team Members L to R:  Daniel Ibrahim, Ryan Gandee, Alex Weissman, Ivan Alizakhov and Andrew MackieAn Esports Community

Gandee shares a large townhome with his five Overwatch teammates, a smart arrangement that fosters a winning sense of community.

“The relationships between Overwatch players are crucial and require all six of us to be on the same page and know what everyone is going to do. Sharing a townhome brings us much closer than we would have been and makes us a better team. And, on the personal side, it’s made me a good cook!”

There’s no question. When it comes to Overwatch, Noctis is one of the names to watch.