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Tespa (formerly Texas eSports Association) is a North American collegiate esports organization headquartered in the offices of Blizzard Entertainment in Irvine, California. Founded in 2012 as a collegiate gaming club at the University of Texas, Austin, Tespa expanded nationally in 2013 as an event support network for college gaming organizations. In 2014, the company announced an official partnership with Blizzard Entertainment,[1] hosting online leagues for Hearthstone, League of Legends, StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm, and Overwatch.

Collegiate esports organization
IndustryVideo Games
FoundedSeptember 2, 2013
Austin, Texas, United States
FounderAdam Rosen
Tyler Rosen
Chris Kelly
United States
Area served
North America
Heroes of the Dorm
Number of employees
~10 (2015)

Early historyEdit

Tespa was founded in 2012 by classmates Adam Rosen, Tyler Rosen, and Chris Kelly as the Texas eSports Association, an on-campus gaming organization at the University of Texas, Austin. After gaining national attention with its Lone Star Clash tournament series for Starcraft and League of Legends in 2012,[2] Tespa expanded first to other Texas gaming clubs, then nationally[3] to colleges like University of Nevada, Reno and University of California, San Diego in 2013.

Blizzard partnershipEdit

In 2013, Tespa announced an official partnership with Blizzard Entertainment to provide licensed Starcraft, Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm in-game rewards to college gaming clubs.[4][5][6] In early 2014, Tespa and Blizzard Entertainment hosted the $5,000 North American Collegiate Hearthstone Open series, culminating in a live grand finals event at the stage at PAX East and PAX Prime.[7]

Heroes of the DormEdit

In early 2015, Tespa and Blizzard Entertainment announced a $450,000 championship series for the unreleased Blizzard game Heroes of the Storm, offering a fully paid tuition for the winning college team.[8][9] Over 6200 players from 462 schools participated in the online bracket, culminating in a live grand finals event at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.[10] The tournament, named Heroes of the Dorm, was the first esports event ever broadcast live on a national television channel.[11] Heroes of the Dorm generated widespread controversy on Twitter and other social media sites, garnering vocal support and heated criticism from American sports teams, sports personalities, and news networks.[12][13][14][15]

On January 28, 2016, Tespa and Blizzard Entertainment announced a second season of Heroes of the Dorm, offering an increased scholarship prize pool and a return to ESPN's broadcast network.[16][17][18][19][20]

Compete Tournament PortalEdit

Compete is Tespa's proprietary tournament administration and support service, created in 2014 as the bracketing platform for the North American Collegiate Hearthstone Open.[21][22] Since its launch, Compete has evolved to support programs ranging from online qualifiers such as Riot's hallmark collegiate program, North American Collegiate Championship,[23][24] and long-form leagues including the Collegiate Hearthstone Championship.[25][26]


  1. ^ "TeSPA and Blizzard Entertainment Unveil the Membership Milestone Program". Business Wire. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  2. ^ Llamas, Ricky. "Texas eSports Association hosts second Lone Star Clash tournament". The Daily Texan. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  3. ^ Tucker, Whatley. "Texas eSports Association rebrands and expands to become nation-wide organization". The Daily Texan. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  4. ^ "TeSPA and Blizzard Entertainment Unveil the Membership Milestone Program". Business Wire. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  5. ^ Watts, Steve. "Blizzard and TeSPA Partner to Support College Gaming Groups". IGN. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  6. ^ Maiberg, Emanuel. "Blizzard esports initiative will support your college gaming club". Gamespot.
  7. ^ "North American Collegiate Hearthstoneâ„¢ Open 2". Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  8. ^ "Students Battle for Free College Tuition in Blizzard Entertainment's "Heroes of the Dormâ„¢" Tournament". Business Wire. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  9. ^ Molina, Brett. "Blizzard unveils "Heroes of the Storm" tournament". USA Today. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  10. ^ "Watch the Heroes of the Dorm Finals Live April 26!". Heroes of the Dorm. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  11. ^ Conditt, Jessica. "Watch eSports on ESPN2 for the first time ever this weekend". Engadget. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  12. ^ Tassi, Paul. "Was ESPN's Latest Run-In With eSports A Success Or A Failure?". Forbes. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  13. ^ Gilbert, Ben. "ESPN's Colin Cowherd blasts his own network with an angry tirade against competitive video gaming". Business Insider. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  14. ^ Lingle, Samuel. "TV needs esports more than esports need TV". Daily Dot. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  15. ^ Procter, Richard. "Why Heroes of the Storm Will Get Bigger In 2016". Forbes.
  16. ^ Molina, Brett. "'Heroes' eSports tourney back on ESPN for second run". USA Today. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  17. ^ Leslie, Callum. "Heroes of the Dorm to return to ESPN this year". Daily Dot. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  18. ^ Bryant, Jacob. "ESPN, Blizzard Returning Heroes of the Dorm eSports Tournament". Variety. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  19. ^ Erzberger, Tyler. "Heroes of the Dorm returns to ESPN in March". ESPN. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  20. ^ Dave, Paresh. "Blizzard's Heroes of the Dorm collegiate video game tournament returns with more ESPN2 coverage". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  21. ^ Knight, Shawn. "Blizzard files trademark for 'Compete' eSports service". Techspot. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  22. ^ Mueller, Saira. "'Heroes Of The Storm:' Blizzard Entertainment CEO Michael Morhaime On Grandmaster Rank, eSports, Gendered Skins, Solo Queue, MMR, Compete And More". International Business Times. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  23. ^ Smith, Carly. "Collegiate Teams Can Win Scholarships Through League of Legends". The Escapist. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  24. ^ Grubb, Jeff. "Collegiate League of Legends is growing, but developer Riot isn't sure what the future holds". Venturebeat. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  25. ^ Moser, Cassidee. "BLIZZARD AND TESPA ANNOUNCE $100K COLLEGIATE HEARTHSTONE TOURNAMENT". IGN. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  26. ^ Marks, Tom. "Blizzard and TeSPA announce $100k collegiate Hearthstone tournament". PC Gamer. Retrieved February 3, 2016.

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