Left to right: Wootton High School players Jon “Yami” Yang, Martin “White” Kwan, SeungKoo “Bustidice” Cho, Matt “Positivity” Yang, Andy “Arsi” Zhang with their High School Starleague 2015 Grand Finals Trophy
Tomorrow on April 23rd, the University of Maryland plays against Robert Morris University in the semifinals of the uLoL Campus Series (previously known as North American Collegiate Championship).
Maryland’s uLol general team consists of five former HSL players Yami, White, Bustidice, Tahx, and Arsi from Wootton High School, four of whom are on the University of Maryland player roster.
The boys at Wootton High School claimed first place in the High School Starleague 2015 Grand Finals against Temple City High School.
They took home the $10,000 of the $20,000 prize pool in college scholarships that they would use for their admittance into their dream school, the University of Maryland. The team has been able to continue playing together in collegiate level competition.
Schuyler Winter of Loleports praises, “[Being the 2015 High School Starleague Champions gives] them about as good a competitive LoL pedigree as any collection of freshman could possibly hope to achieve.”
Since graduating from high school, Andy “Arsi” Zhang, former top laner and team coordinator for Wootton, is no longer on the player roster but has instead risen to the position of team coach and analyst for University of Maryland.
While Zhang reviews in game performance, Sri Talluri, team manager and teacher, handles the out of game needs of the team.“He’s the best. He buys us food.”
While Maryland’s opponent, Robert Morris, has an excellent esports program to support their team, Zhang states “Compared to RMU we have 0 infrastructure. We play from our dorms with our own equipment.”
In order to keep up with the intense competition in uLoL, the Maryland collegiate players have had to improve their picks and bans, communication, and individual skill. He reflects, “I wouldn’t say it’s changed that much though. We play the same style as when we were Wootton HS.”
Much of the team’s success can be attributed to the natural synergy between the Thomas S. Wootton alumni. Through participating in the High School Starleague tournaments, the team has gained many hours of invaluable practice.
“Other universities have to try out players for their team and make sure they work well together. We came into uLoL with loads of experience already playing with each other because of HSL.”
With University of Maryland being the dream college for every one of the boys, carrying on their team identity and friendship through competing at a higher level together is a dream come true.
Written by Brian “Crusader Kitten” Truong | Edited by Cindy “CindyPenguin” Wang