Former Overatch pro Joobi joins Maryville University

Former Houston Outlaws player Enrique “Joobi” Triana has signed with Maryville University, marking his return to collegiate esports after... Benjamin Mock | 5. June 2022

Former Houston Outlaws player Enrique “Joobi” Triana has signed with Maryville University, marking his return to collegiate esports after a two-year absence.

Joobi made history as the first player to be signed to an Overwatch League roster directly from a collegiate team when he joined the Houston Outlaws from Harrisburg University in 2020. After leaving the Outlaws at the end of 2021, Joobi is back in the collegiate scene, joining Maryville University.

Joobi returns to collegiate Overwatch

Unlike traditional American sports such as American football and basketball, esports has never had a direct pipeline from the collegiate level to professional play. Given how young many players are when they first enter esports, many choose to forgo university in favor of a professional career in their chosen game.

However, Joobi was a trailblazer in the world of Overwatch. After playing for a number of minor teams, Joobi joined the Overwatch team at Harrisburg University in Pennsylvania. His time with the HU Storm was successful, never finishing outside the top four in the tournaments the team entered.

However, his time at Harrisburg was brief. After four months, Joobi received an offer to join the Houston Outlaws in the Overwatch League in December 2021. Joobi made his debut against the Dallas Fuel on April 16 and went on to play in 14 matches across the 2021 season.

The Outlaws failed to make the 2021 playoffs and Joobi was one of seven members of the roster to leave in the offseason. Joobi briefly played a number of informal teams for the rest of the year.

Maryville University, based in St Louis, Missouri, announced Joobi’s signing on June 4. They also announced the signing of DPS player Rene “k1ng” Rangel.

Collegiate esports are not governed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, like a majority of collegiate sports in the United States. This means that collegiate esports are not subject to the amateur status waiver rule. Typically, college athletes must forgo any remaining collegiate eligibility in order to sign contracts with professional teams. However, without that limitation, esports athletes are free to transition from the professional level to the collegiate one.

Maryville has proven to be a source of talent for the Overwatch League, with several players from the university team currently serving on the rosters of OWL teams. Maryville are the current collegiate champions, having defeated Northwood University at the 2022 Overwatch Collegiate Championship in April.

The next step for Joobi, and Maryville University, will likely come in a few months’ time, when American colleges return from the summer break to begin the 2022-23 academic and athletic year.

Header: Maryville University, Blizzard