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Mia White

Dec 13, 2023

Player Spotlight - Nick Torstenson

Nick Torstenson (he/him), 22, is currently going through his second year of an Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) Transfer program at Madison College. He is planning on transferring to the University of Wisconsin-Madison or the University of Minnesota for ISyE this upcoming Spring. Originally from Saint Paul, Minnesota, Torstenson moved last Fall to attend Madison College.

“I love the campus and facilities that I have access to. I have great professors and tutors who want me to succeed,” said Torstenson, “I am looking to pursue a degree in industrial and systems engineering. I really enjoy trying new workflows and integrating technology into my life.”

Torstenson spends a lot of his free time playing Valorant on the Madison College esports team. Although last Spring he was also playing Overwatch.

“The reason I opted to only do Valorant this Fall semester was to focus more on developing the main roster (Team 1) and set up a system to have a secondary roster (Team 2) be a developmental team. I still play Overwatch from time to time with my buddies from back home. I also enjoy playing management games like Factorio with my friends and the annual Minecraft playthrough is still going strong,” said Torstenson.

Do you have any special roles on your team?

“I think of myself as kind of a showrunner of the Valorant team; keeping things moving through the hiccups to reach our main goal of success. I run VOD reviews of our games for both Team 1 and Team 2, we really learn a lot from each other during these meetings and we both grow. In-game I'm less of an {in-game leader} and more of an information gatherer,” said Torstenson, “I'm constantly asking my team what they are hearing or what they are holding and as the team starts talking more to each other ideas for how to play the round end up coming out.”

Torstenson explained that finding the esports team at Madison College was completely by chance. 

“I had just moved to Madison to start finally taking school seriously after some failures in the past. I just happened to sit down in the hallway outside of the door to the esports lab and saw the blue lights coming from the room. I went over and instantly was like ‘How can I participate in this’ (nobody was in at the time so I couldn't ask directly). At home that night, I did some research and emailed the head coach, Joe; he got back to me right away and told me that tryouts for Valorant were the next day so I quickly got all the paperwork figured out and got back to him with it. I showed up to tryouts and the rest is history,” said Torstenson.

To improve himself in-game, Torstenson watches a lot of pro play and pro analysis but credits a lot of his improvement to his buddies MrCrocMan and Tawngay. When he first played Valorant in the beta he said he was not impressed, coming from CSGO there were a lot more angles to clear and he didn't know how to use utility at the time to do so, so he gave it up. A year later MrCrocMan reached out to him and asked if he wanted to get back into it. Tawngay had recently started to play with him and they wanted a trio.

“These two pushed me to be better and I did the same to them. We climbed the ranks and grew as players the whole way, learning our own playstyles and strengths eventually ending up where I am today,” said Torstenson, “I rely on my friends and acquaintances to push me to be better and I love seeking out and new things to improve my current situation.”

How has it been to be a part of a collegiate team?

“I love being a part of an organized team as well as the Madison College organization. I am so lucky to be so heavily involved in this program. All the people I've been able to meet and the friends I've made have made it an incredible experience. I'm happy that a league like the NJCAAE exists to give esports from 2-year schools a platform to compete. Sometimes those 4-year colleges just have a lot more to throw at scholarships and have the student body to find some really strong players,” said Torstenson.

What is your gamertag and how did you decide on it?

“My gamertag is ToastEmUp, I came up with this because I wanted something unique and personal. The reason for Toast (besides me liking toast) is because of my last name (Torst)enson. When my dad was at a soccer event in college, the jersey he had was just the first 5 letters of the last name and the capital R in the font looked like an A so his buddies called him ‘Toast’, I added ‘EmUp’ because Toast seemed kind of boring and ‘EmUp’ adds a bit of like "you just got toasted" I guess,” said Torstenson.

Are there any stereotypes about gamers/esports that bother you or you think are untrue and why?

“I mean obviously the ‘stinky gamer’ stereotype is still there but ever since Fortnite in 2018 and Covid-19, the gaming boom, - gaming is more mainstream than ever. After interacting with the other student-athletes at the events organized by the athletic department, they were genuinely interested in what we were doing with esports,” said Torstenson.

Torstenson would like to shoutout players on his team, RCS, Nol, Banshee, and faynuh; Team 2, Amaryllis, Generic, BUDZY, HOLLO, Balynce, and NoblHydra. 

You can find Nick below:

Twitch -

YouTube -

NJCAA Esports Alternate Logo

National Junior College Athletic

Association Esports

8801 J.M. Keynes Drive - Suite 450.

Charlotte, NC 28262

(719) 590-9788

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