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USA and China's best collegiate 'StarCraft' teams to battle next week

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The college esports scene is gaining so much momentum in North America that international matches are already starting to become standard fare.

Next Monday, the Collegiate Starleague, the largest collegiate esports organization in the world, is pitting the best Chinese and American StarCraft 2 sides against one another. They’re calling it “USA vs. China: The Collegiate Showdown.”

Representing the CSL and North America will be last year’s champs, UC Berkeley. Led by Conan “Suppy” Liu, a member of the professional gaming team Evil Geniuses, Berkeley won $40,000 worth of scholarships. Liu, who took a break from school this year to compete in the Taiwan Esports League, will be returning to play with his team for the special showmatch.

Their opponents, however, will be no pushover. China is fielding TianJin University’s team, the winners of their own collegiate tournament. TianJin’s ace player, Zhou “IA” Hang, is a member of Invictus Gaming, one of China’s strongest esports organizations.

Both Liu and Hang competed in the North American World Championship Series Challenger League last year—and the two ended up tied with 50 points each.

The showmatch format will have two 1v1 matches and two 2v2 matches. If the two teams are tied after those, the winner will be decided in an ace match featuring the best 1v1 StarCraft players the team can field. Hang and Liu are already scheduled to open up the showmatch in the very first game, but they’ll likely get the chance to play against each other again if the teams end up tied.

Last year, UC Berkeley was pushed to that ace match against the Korean team from Chunnam University. Liu was put into the ace match, where he managed to pull out a win. Will he be able to do the same against TianJin?

Image via Collegiate Starleague