StarCraft tournament features both professional, collegiate brackets

Shreya Banerjee

Protoss, Zerg and Terran factions waged a galactic war last weekend to gain dominance in the world of StarCraft.

The Lone Star Clash: Gauntlet of Champions was a tournament for the military science-fiction video game StarCraft II put on by the Texas E-Sports Association and their sponsors. The event was held Saturday and Sunday at the Student Activity Center. The tournament consisted of a professional invitational with a prize pool of $10,000 and a collegiate tournament with a prize pool of $1,500. The professional invitational featured 16 players from around the world, while the collegiate bracket consisted of 14 teams from other universities.

Adam Rosen, TeSPA co-president and aerospace engineering senior, said the organization aimed to invite the best and most popular players to participate in the tournament.

“There’s a hierarchy of players in the gaming world,” Adam said. “We look at the results from other tournaments, and we see who wins consistently and the people who are well-liked.”

Adam said TeSPA has held the tournament four times in the past two years, and the group has gotten better at organizing the event with time.

Jim Tai, coordinator for the University of Houston’s team, said he has seen obvious improvement in planning and logistics with each tournament held.

“We’ve come to this tournament every time it has been put on, and it has grown from an amateur competition to a highly professional one,” Tai said. “It’s gone from college students trying really hard, to college students being adults.”

Adam said he and his twin brother Tyler Rosen, fellow co-president and aerospace engineering senior, founded TeSPA in 2010 with the goal of drawing the gaming culture of UT together to share their love of playing, and the organization quickly grew in size.

“We soon realized that we wanted to do more than just talk about video games,” Adam said. “We wanted to transform into the premiere gaming organization in the state.”

TeSPA currently has about 600 members at UT, and this success has motivated organizations at other schools to grow.

“We have about 30 members at the moment, but we would love to become as large as TeSPA soon,” said University of Houston team member Eric Liu.

Adam said his involvement in TeSPA and passion for gaming has inspired him to consider pursuing an MBA and become involved in the industry.

“Our next project is to create a state-wide gaming board with UT, Rice and University of Houston,” Adam said. “I think the greatest thing about TeSPA is that we can put on tournaments similar to what professional gaming companies put on at a fraction of the cost.”

Printed on Monday, March 19, 2012 as: Professional, college StarCraft II players compete at UT event