“We thought we’d do well,” says UB junior Robert Sands III. “But only in my wildest dreams did I think we’d get this far.”
Sands is talking about Heroes of the Dorm, the esports tournament in which collegiate gamers brawl it out in Blizzard Entertainment’s multiplayer online battle game Heroes of the Storm. He was one of five players on ImprobaBull Victory, the UB team that beat out more than 300 other universities to make it all the way to the Grand Final in Burbank, Calif. There, before a packed studio audience and viewers watching around the globe via Twitch livestream, UB finally fell, to Université Laval.
ImprobaBull Victory—made up of Sands, Jianyu Zhang, Allen Hu and grad students Marc Coiro and Justin Goo—went 16-2 in tournament play en route to the final, beating the likes of UC Irvine, Michigan and Cal Poly Pomona. Not bad for a team one Blizzard exec called “an insane underdog.”