From Atari To 2K: How T-Wolves Gaming’s Players And Coaches Got Their Starts

They’re professional gamers now, but one day T-Wolves Gaming’s players and coach were just kids who loved video games.

For coach Shawn Vilivens it was Atari, for IFEAST it was the PS2 and Nintendo 64. Hood_DC also had an N64. However, one thing was constant—competitiveness.

“A lot of my memories from my youth come from playing Nintendo, from playing ‘Mike Tyson’s Punchout’ and getting knocked out 400 times in a row before I finally figured out how to beat him,” said Vilivens.

“NBA was obviously my go-to when it came to Nintendo 64 but [my sister] was really good at Super Smash Bros and she used to always kill me,” Hood said. “I used to always want to be better than her, so I used to always stay up till 3 a.m. when I was like five years old to try and beat her.”

Compared to Hood and Vilivens, who both started playing competitive games at an early age, IFEAST’s journey was a little different. He started out playing games like Crash Bandicoot and Super Mario, but didn’t really start gaming seriously until high school, when he picked up Call Of Duty and 2K.

“I started realizing I was good at 2K and I could play 2K at a high level around NBA 2K16 about two to three years ago,” IFEAST said. “Not trying to brag but I knew that I could play. Then I had to play all the time to keep getting better, just knowing the mechanics, the animations, how to play defense, how to score, how to set backdoor screens, everything. I’d say about 2K16 was when I really started to think ‘Hey, I can really play this long term.’”

Hood started earlier, getting serious about 2K in 2015 when 2K tournaments started getting more funding, and more prize money. Now having gone through a rigorous combine process and a full season of competitive 2K in the NBA 2K league, both Hood and IFEAST are ready to bring their competitive spirits and love of gaming to the T-Wolves.