State on StarCraft: Tyler Rosen Talks TeSPA
How big of a role do you think the collegiate and high school communities will play on eSport’s continued growth in America?
I’m confident that working to develop eSports communities on every campus — college and high school alike — is fundamental to ingraining gaming into modern culture. Taking a look back to the rise in popularity of traditional sports like football and baseball, most began in the academic setting. I think we’re in a really unique position to make a difference by not only raising eSports to the same heights, but by working to establish key entrepreneurial skills in our leaders which will inevitably enhance the quality baseline for events and place a renewed emphasis on innovation.
What sort of support are you offering to help these students’ dreams become a reality?
We’re approaching support in three primary categories, and we hope this will work to ease the barriers that a lot of fledgling groups face, which prevent them from growing as quickly as they would like. Firstly, we offer network support by facilitating collaboration between groups in similar regions and connecting them to groups which otherwise may be inaccessible, such as game publishers and media. We’re also committed to promoting knowledge transfer, both from us to each group and within groups between generations of leaders. To do this, we’ve essentially created a comprehensive how-to manual which offers step-by-step documentation about everything from hosting your first meeting to overcoming the technical challenges of producing the next Lone Star Clash for yourself. We’re also offering infrastructure and event support by providing free solutions for things like a customized website, newsletter platform, event equipment inventory, and direct sponsorships.
Why haven’t we seen organizations like TeSPA in places like California and New York, where there are even larger populations of gamers?
I think we’re seeing more and more regional collaborations pop up as of late, but our approach was really to think big and try to imagine the long-term results that we’d like to see. Just like with Lone Star, we’re putting everything we have behind trying to establish something that has never been done on a similar scale before. We’re really big believers in iteration, and this is definitely the next logical step for us. It just so happens that we reached it a bit before other groups.
Where do you see TeSPA five years in the future?
[Laughs] It’s hard to believe that we are only just now three years in from our official start. With how quickly this industry is developing it’s almost impossible to tell what the future holds, but I’m confident that no matter how we evolve, we will have made great progress toward achieving our vision and be working hard to continue on the global stage.
Where can people go to learn more about TeSPA and how can students get involved?
Good question! We’ve entirely redone our website, www.tespa.org, so I’d really encourage anyone interested to check it out. From there, students can connect to local groups, and local groups can get in touch with us for support. We’re also pretty active across most social media platforms at @TeamTeSPA!
I was really happy to talk to Tyler about his experiences and the future of TeSPA. I’m also very excited that Lone Star Clash will be back in 2014! Next month, I will be at IEM New York City, which takes place at the New York ComicCon from Oct. 10-13. If you want to attend, you can purchase tickets to the event here. As always, I’ll be tweeting updates leading up to the tournament.
This week’s replay pack includes my games from the IEM New York qualifier. See you next week!
Check back every week for a new State on StarCraft post from Ryan “State” Visbeck!