State on StarCraft: Tyler Rosen Talks TeSPA

State on StarCraft is a weekly column on Game Front by Ryan “State” Visbeck, a pro StarCraft 2 player. Each week State brings you his unique perspective on all things StarCraft, including tips, tricks and stories from the front line of competitive play.

NOTE: “State” is officially sponsored by Game Front.


Hi, everyone!

This week I sit down with Tyler Rosen, President and Co-Founder of The eSports Association (TeSPA). I first met Tyler Rosen at TeSPA’s Texas StarCraft Showdown in 2011. Since then, Tyler has become well-known in the eSports community for his dedication to developing the scene.

TeSPA was created in 2010 to bring together StarCraft 2 players at the University of Austin. It has since expanded into a nationwide network of top collegiate talent in eSports and gaming. In 2012, the organization became internationally recognized through the success of the Lone Star Clash tournament series. A wholly American enterprise, Lone Star Clash was the first-ever major tournament organized and run by college students.

Formerly the Texas eSports Association, TeSPA has officially rebranded to reflect its nationwide expansion. As part of its new expansion, the eSports Association is providing new ways for students to get involved. Gaming communities at campuses across America can now apply to join TeSPA, receiving the support, knowledge and experience necessary for their communities to thrive.

I spoke with Tyler about the future of TeSPA, the role of students in eSports, and what TeSPA is doing to help gaming communities succeed.


Hey, Tyler! How are you?

Hey Ryan; I’m doing great! This last week since our big announcement has definitely been keeping us busy, but at the same time has been really exciting. We’ve been really impressed by the reception all around so far.

That’s great! When I first met the TeSPA crew back in 2011, you were kicking off your second tournament ever. TeSPA has grown so much since then, hosting premier events such as Lone Star Clash and now undertaking a nationwide expansion. What has it been like raising a grassroots eSports group into a nationwide phenomenon?

Growing TeSPA from inception has been a really special experience! I’m really grateful to have had such a talented and creative team to work with these last few years. We’re all definitely excited about moving forward with this next big step and continuing our work to develop the eSports scene, collegiate and professional both.

What has been your favorite experience so far? Any good stories you’d like to share with us?

It’s hard to pick a favorite moment, but I think one of my favorite experiences so far was the first Lone Star Clash. Although our team put a ton of effort into developing the concept and preparing for the event, we never dreamed that we would be met with the kind of community praise and viewership that we were. The event stands out to me because for the first time it proved to an international audience that grassroots passion and a creative approach were more important to success than big budgets or professional experience. It definitely did a lot in terms of inspiring our team to think big and forget about traditional “collegiate” limitations.

That was a really great tournament! I know that you’ve got your hands full, but is there any chance we might see another Lone Star Clash anytime soon?

We definitely love producing the Lone Star Clash series and I am happy to say that it will return stronger than ever. Right now, we’re focusing a ton of energy on developing our infrastructure and solidifying our base so we can provide as much support to our new nationwide network as possible, meaning we’re looking at early 2014 for the third iteration of the event. We’re planning on some really cool new twists to the event, too!

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