It’ll be the Arizona State University Real Dream Team versus the University of Texas-Arlington Dark Blaze in the Heroes of the Dorm Finals tonight at Seattle’s Century Link Event Center. The ASU team is known for its confident style, and that confidence is certainly in place today as the team prepares for this evening’s five-game series. That said, UTA is also ready to go and expecting a win.

Heroes of the Dorm is a college esports tournament that pays out big scholarships to the winning team: $25,000 per year per team member (for up to three years of undergraduate study). Teams compete in Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm, a five-on-five “hero brawler.” Prizes for other winning teams include high-end gaming PCs. Blizzard says, “In total, more than $500,000 in scholarships and other prizes are up for grabs.” ESPN is hosting live coverage, which will stream on ESPN2, Twitch, and YouTube.

Yesterday, ASU squared off with UConn and beat them 2 matches to 0, while UTA beat the University of Tennessee team 2-0.

Today the final two teams sat down to talk about the tournament and how they balance the time it takes to be a top player with the life of a college student.

The players acknowledge that it’s difficult to maintain balance when you’re competing in esports at this level. They play and practice many hours every day. “I needed more balance in my life. If I want to be sustainable in esports, if I don’t want to burn out…I need to be doing multiple things, so that’s the main reason I went back to college,” said ASU’s Michael Udall.

“I struggled with what I wanted to do in life,” said Austin “Shot” Lonsert of ASU. “The thing I was really passionate about was competing in general…I fell in love with esports. I’m the most competitive person I know and esports has definitely given me a direction.”

Heroes of the Dorm

Austin Lonsert of ASU talks about playing esports.

For the most part, the players’ families seem to be supportive of the esports life.  “I’ve sat down with my mom and we’ve watched tournaments and I’ve explained play-by-play what’s happening,” said Lonsert. “As a spectator she knows a lot. The only thing she struggles with is…is this an early, mid-game or late-game-type map. That’s all she asks.” Other players said their families may not understand the game all that well, but they definitely cheer them on.

The ASU players are known for their confidence—some say egos. The team says the posturing and trash talk has its place and gives them an edge going into matches, but it’s not an issue during matches. “We don’t sleep on anybody, we play them as hard as we can…ego is out of the game.”

“Other teams just talk about us a lot…just the fact that they’re talking about us means that they’re a little bit afraid of us…Confidence is a game in itself,” said Lonsert.

The UTA team hopes ASU’s confidence will be their downfall. “With ASU they’re all trying to be the star player…they all want to be the big shot…and we’re all about the team.”

Both teams predicted sweeping the series 3-0. I guess we’ll just have to see who’s right, today at 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT. You can catch the action here.


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Linda learned to play video games as a way to connect with her teenaged kids, and then she learned to love video games for their own sake. At Pixelkin she wrangles the business & management side of things, writes posts as often as she can, reaches out on the social media, and does the occasional panel or talk. She lives in Seattle, where she writes, studies, plays video games, spends time with her family, consumes vast quantities of science fiction, and looks after her small cockapoo. She loves to hear from people out there. You can read more about her at her website, Linda or her family foundation's website,