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Geek Fringe: Heroes of the Dorm offers a different version of Final Four

  • Heroes of the Storm offers team-based competitive play, with the objective of one team to dominate the other and win the match. (Photo courtesy Heroes of the Dorm)
  • Heroes of the Storm offers team-based competitive play, with the objective of one team to dominate the other and win the match. (Photo courtesy Heroes of the Dorm)
  • Heroes of the Storm offers team-based competitive play, with the objective of one team to dominate the other and win the match. (Photo courtesy Heroes of the Dorm)
  • Heroes of the Storm offers team-based competitive play, with the objective of one team to dominate the other and win the match. (Photo courtesy Heroes of the Dorm)
 

Geek Fringe: Heroes of the Dorm offers a different version of Final Four

04 Apr 2017

In the world of Esports, Heroes of the Dorm pushes the limits of what players expect in competitive gaming.

Heroes of the Storm offers team-based competitive play, with the objective of one team to dominate the other and win the match. Of the 64 original teams that battled through March’s Heroes of the Dorm, only four are left.

The Heroic Four includes LSU vs Kentucky and UT Arlington vs UC Irvine on April 8.

The champions win the title, but they also win college tuition money.

Adam Rosen, co-head of Heroes of the Dorm and one of the founders of TESPA, Blizzard’s collegiate Esports program, said he and his brother started a collegiate league in 2010.

“We kind of wanted to compete against other local schools to show we were the best,” he said. “And we were all playing StarCraft.”

After a couple of years, the student organization grew, and they were hosting large tournaments, securing funds and flying players in from around the world.

Rosen said by the time they graduated, other students reached out to them wanting to keep the organization going.

“We expanded TESPA nationally and brought in 10 national chapters. We started reaching out to different groups, and one of those groups was Blizzard,” he said.

Rosen said he and his brother both started working for Blizzard, and TESPA grew to more than 220 chapters in North America.

“If you put it in perspective, comparing it to a Greek organization,” he said, “as far as chapter, TESPA is the seventh largest in the entire world.”

Part of the story of online gaming is the teams and how they evolve.

“One of the more interesting twists of the bracket at the Round of 32 was the team from Kentucky,” Rosen said. “Kentucky was 13 seed out of 16 in their region. They showed up for their bracket beating the No. 4 seed in their bracket.”

Rosen said they kept winning until they got into the Heroic Four. It was completely unexpected, he added — everyone was expecting them to lose.

“Out of nowhere, this 13 seed Kentucky comes in and smashes the competition to the Heroic Four,” he said. “We had a lot of upset fans because Kentucky busted up their brackets.”

One of the misconceptions about college students playing Esports is that they are only playing games.

“Esports and gaming has this stereotype where people think you are a gamer playing 10 to 12 hours a day and doing nothing else,” Rosen said.

“What we have seen on college campuses, especially over the last couple of years, is that really, the opposite is true,” he said. “What we are finding is gamers on college campuses are playing games together as a way to interact as a social aspect.

“They are playing because it is a way to interact with their friends, with their classmates, co-workers when they go off after they graduate,” he said. “I think it is a really special thing.”

Rosen added that Heroes of the Dorm is a great way for students collaborate.

“If you are not working together, you are not going to win,” he said.

Geek Fringe is all about geek/tech/nerd culture. Everyone has a passion. Geeks just talk about it non-stop! Email Adam Messer at info@geekfringe.com if you have something geeky to talk about.

WATCH ONLINE

What: The Heroic Four

When: 3 p.m. April 8

Info: heroesofthedorm.com

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