We are now three weeks away from the grand finals in Toronto and these teams are feeling confident. This week, I interviewed our two American finalists, University of Connecticut and Temple University. Both teams are feeling very confident, though they expressed their confidence in very different ways. Read on for some spicy memes as well as the players’ thoughts on the round of four.
University of Connecticut
Kevin “Hjax” Konrad will need go Super Saiyan to win it all in Toronto.
UConn’s current configuration consists of Christian “Rookwood” Carmellini, Kevin “Hjax” Konrad, Dylan “printf” Ramsay, and Daniel “TurkeyDano” Fernandes. Each player expressed confidence heading into the round of four. Ramsay stated the team has, at least, “a conceivable path to victory” among a chorus of “easy” from the rest of the team. I mentioned that I did not predict they would beat Temple and I was swiftly removed from the group call (only to be brought back in moments later).
The team was also quite confident that Universite de Montreal would beat whoever made it to the finals (at least from their side of the bracket). “If we played them in the finals, we’re not even a little bit favored,” according to Konrad. “Montreal’s team is insane.”
Carmellini echoed the sentiment, “I wish I went to that school so that I could just get a free ride to the finals every year.” Quite high praise for a team that wasn’t around last year.
In years past, the team hasn’t been so successful. Konrad mentioned that they lost to University of California, Berkeley in a match where he had to play Conan “Suppy” Liu. “Well, if I was there we would’ve won,” according to Fernandes, who joined this year. Expectations are higher this season. I asked about whether they knew they would make it this far and was answered with a resounding “yes”. Whereas, last year, they only had one Grandmaster-caliber player, this year they have three (Ramsay, Konrad, and Fernandes).
I collected their last remarks about the season and the matches ahead. Regarding Temple’s confidence, Fernandes opined, “Well, it’s fine for them to be confident, but when they lose…”
In terms of the two-versus-two match, Carmellini stated, “A game implies that there is a competition and that one person will win and one person will lose. We have already won, we are waiting for the trophy.”
Konrad more reasonably argued, “Temple’s roster is really good but if [Robbie “Tesla” Plata] loses it doesn’t matter how good [Jay “Raze” Whipple] is.”
According to Ramsay, the roster’s depth will bring them the victory. “I think our two-versus-two results speak loudly,” he said.
Meme Team Six.
Temple conveyed their confidence in a very different kind of way. While Jay “Raze” Whipple, Robbie “Tesla” Plata, Yuchong “CentaurWA” Wang, and Taylor “Heartbeat” Tredinnick have always memed, I’m not sure they’ve ever memed this intensely. Keep reading and maybe you can decipher it for me (you can also check out my last interview with them here).
I asked the team about what their thoughts on the upcoming match against UConn and the memes began to flow. “Uh. Easy,” replied Whipple.
“We don’t have any thoughts of it,” responded Tredinnick. “They’re not good enough for us to think about. Who’s UConn? [Kevin “Hjax” Konrad] and who?” Call it confidence or call it pride, this team has got it.
Plata offered a different angle. “We aren’t confident and won’t pretend to be confident,” he answered. “We are scared of [Konrad] and [Dylan “printf” Ramsay]. It’s the truth. And the spaghetti monster.” I believe that the team is equally afraid of the spaghetti monster and UConn (that is, not at all). But how warranted is this confidence? I pressed the team for a more serious take on the match.
When I mentioned that UConn believed they can win, the team laughed. Tredinnick responded, “We believe in them too.” Wang offered nothing but “we scared” and Plata, offering the same angle as before, stated, “UConn got me shook.” After I commented that the interview was taking a meme-y turn, Wang replied, “We share the same dream, we live the same meme.” According to Tredinnick, Temple is “Meme Team 6”. And with that, the interview ended.
In my opinion, the most beautiful moment of either interview came from UConn’s Carmellini. “We’ve been BMing a lot, but I do want to say that every team in the top four that has gotten here, has gotten here for a reason,” he explained. “It’s not just because of one person, it’s because their roster has been stronger than everyone else’s. They’re talented at what they do and it’s going to be a good competition.”
Next week, I will be interviewing the Canadian teams, University of Waterloo and Universite de Montreal. Keep an eye out for those and be sure to tune in May 12-14 on Twitch to catch the exciting Collegiate StarLeague StarCraft II action!
Tyler wants to you make sure that you don’t let your memes be dreams. Follow him on Twitter.