Four teams will fight for the title of StarCraft II Tespa Collegiate Series Champion at this weekend’s Collegiate Esports Championship.
We asked the players of UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, University of Chicago, and the University of Waterloo a few questions, so you can get to know the teams better.
University of California Berkeley
- Nicholas “Silky” McNeese, Computer Science
- Ryan “IntuitioN” Quick, Political Science
- Jason “RexRequired” Nguyen, Bioengineering
University of California San Diego
- Joshua “Flume” Chan, Economics
- Kailash “Liqht” Jayaram, Computer Science
- Yunhao “DragonGod” Xu, Computer Science
University of Chicago
- Brian “Airplaneman” Choo, Public Policy
- Kevin “omgabanana” Yu, Economics
- Trevor “Pancakes” Moore, Mathematics
University of Waterloo
- Run Tong “THERIDDLER” Li
- Eugene “YenFu” Lu, Computer Engineering
- William “Sidus” Stewart, Environmental Engineering
Who is the best player on your team? Why?
RexRequired, UC Berkeley: Silky, he's a pretty well-known WCS player and has been at the top of the collegiate scene for awhile.
Pancakes, University of Chicago: omgabanana. He is very good, and we can almost always count on him to win at least one map.
Liqht, UCSD: DragonGod is probably the best player on our team. He is very good at executing well thought out timings and has strong macro play.
Flume, UCSD: Yunhao "DragonGod" Xu. His knowledge of the game is impressive, his macro mechanics are close to perfect, and his work ethic is incredible. Even though his playstyle is easy to read, he's still difficult to shut down. That's an indication of a strong player with good game knowledge.
DragonGod, UCSD: Probably me
What is your favorite race to play? Why?
Silky, UC Berkeley: Zerg, I've been playing it since late 2011.
Liqht, UCSD: My main race is Zerg. Originally I played Terran, however, my brother was the one who got me into StarCraft and he played Zerg. At the time he was diamond and I was bronze, so I would ask him for help. He pretty much told me that he wasn’t gonna help unless I switched to Zerg. So here I am 9 years later.
RexRequired, UC Berkeley: Terran. I started out Terran from watching pro matches. They seemed like the race that always had tempo throughout the game, so I wanted a similar style.
IntuitioN, UC Berkeley: Protoss. So many different units with unique abilities. Plus, laserz.
DragonGod, UCSD: Protoss because it is cool.
Pancakes, University of Chicago: I like Protoss because the structure of the tech tree and the mechanics of the unit production makes it feel like I have a lot of different options for different orders. This is important for me because I like to play unconventionally and surprise my opponent.
omgabanana, University of Chicago: Protoss because I’m a dirty cheeser :v)
What is the highlight of your esports career?
Pancakes, University of Chicago: Qualifying for this event is the highlight of my esports career. I've never played live in front of an audience before. I'm especially happy to have made it this year because two of our best players are graduating this year, and it's unclear if we will be able to field a team again next year. It may be my last chance to compete in esports since the skill level needed to compete seriously in 1v1 competition is so high in StarCraft.
Silky, UC Berkeley: Qualifying for WCS Valencia in Spain and also coming second in WESG USA Nationals.
Liqht, UCSD: Honestly my experiences playing in different team leagues and in the community back in high school were probably some of the best moments of my StarCraft career. My best tournament achievement was probably beating Nathanias and then barely losing 2-1 to KoMa (who was top 16 GM at the time) in the WCS NA qualifiers in 2016.
omgabanana, University of Chicago: Taking a game off of TRUE at Cheesadelphia before I was known in the community and weeks before he won WCS America.
What challenges have you or your team overcome?
Liqht, UCSD: Most of our team’s challenges have to do with balancing school and the tournament. The past two Tespa finals happened in the middle of our finals week because we’re on the quarter system :'(. We did not have the ability to prepare as we were focused on school. All of us are pretty busy in general so it is difficult to find time to practice and prepare for our matches.
Flume, UCSD: Not too many challenges, probably because we've been taking StarCraft lightly up until now. We're pretty tight knit, and we understand when we have other responsibilities. But when push comes to shove, we're all cooperative and understand it's time to play some competitive StarCraft.
RexRequired, UC Berkeley: I think our hardest challenge is just finding time to watch replays with each other. It's easy to hop in a game, but living so far apart makes it hard to time our schedules.
IntuitioN, UC Berkeley: Sometimes Silky is asleep when he is supposed to be playing so we have to wake him up. It’s our greatest challenge as a team.
Silky, UC Berkeley: None, we're the best!
What would you do if your team won the event?
Liqht, UCSD: We would be super excited to win the collegiate championship for UCSD in our last year together as a team. It would be great to bring home a championship to the UCSD LAN, Triton Gaming Expo, which takes place only a couple weeks after the Houston finals.
Pancakes, University of Chicago: I don't have any particular plans, but I would be extremely happy if we won.
omgabanana, University of Chicago: I’ll do a backflip on stream
IntuitioN, UC Berkeley: Korean BBQ
Flume, UCSD: Give DragonGod the trophy and convince him not to graduate as a sophomore so we can come back next year.
DragonGod, UCSD: Finish the homework for that week XD
Catch the action live starting at 2:00 p.m. CDT on May 11 at www.twitch.tv/blizzard.
About the CEC
Tespa and ESPN are excited to team up for the Collegiate Esports Championship! Schools from across the U.S. and Canada will compete live in Overwatch, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and StarCraft II at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, from May 10–12.
Tickets to the event for Tespa Members can be purchased here.
As our exclusive PC and monitor partner for the year, ROG’s Strix GL12CX and ROG Strix XG258Q will be powering all of the on-stage action at the event. In addition, teams will have access to more ROG products in the official player practice area.