Name: Ronald Ly
Date of Birth: April 30th, 1995
Hometown: North York
Occupation: Toronto Esports Head Coach
Favourite game: Overwatch
Favourite character: Ana/Zenyatta
Ronald “Renanthera” Ly is an OeSL Alumni, as well as the current Head Coach of Toronto Esports competing in the Overwatch Contenders division. He was the former team captain for the University of Toronto’s Overwatch team, and a finalists in the Tespa Championship Series of 2016-2017, winning $22,000 in scholarships across the whole team after taking second place. He is currently living his dream of working within the eSports landscape, and continues to strive towards eliminating the stigma on gamer culture.
Hobbies outside of gaming?
If it’s not video games, it’s table top gaming for me. I love board games and trading card games. If they carry it in my local hobby shop, and it catches my eye, I’m going to try it. I’m going to pick it up and tinker with it. For me, every game is a challenge waiting to be conquered, a new experience or world to explore.
How would your friends describe you?
I’d like to think of myself as someone who is goal-oriented, self-motivated, and a charismatic leader. Though I think my friends would probably describe me as demanding, opinionated, and overconfident at times.
Favourite place you’ve travelled?
Honestly, I can’t think of a better place than my own backyard. Toronto is where I’ve grown up all my life, and I can’t think of many other places I love more. This city has given me everything I have, and its shaped me into the person I am today. I love that Toronto prides itself on its themes of inclusivity, diversity, and commitment to open-mindedness.
Next on your travel list?
I’d love to fly overseas to Korea, and experience their culture first hand. Korea prides itself on having incredible high standards for what’s considered acceptable work ethic, and are strict on being accountable for your actions. Both of these things I feel are extremely important for those pursuing a career in the growing esports industry, and I think it is this difference in Eastern and Western cultures is why Korean teams are often so skilled in the esport world.
Go-to music to listen/party to?
Rap music appeals to me most. The beats are great for riling me up, and I like to think of rap artists as spoken word poets. It’s hard to listen to Kendrick Lamar and not be infected by his lyrical mastery on the mic. For him, every syllable serves a purpose, may it be to deliver a message, or make you dance to the rhythm.
Who did you game with growing up?
I played mostly alone until early high school when I joined an online gaming community – a clan for a game called “Combat Arms.” It was a free militaristic shooter, and the group of roughly 5 or 6 of us were on at any given time out of the couple dozen of players who wore our stripes. I played mostly with these friends I’ve met over the internet for almost all of high school. I’m still in contact with quite a few of them today.
What did your parents think of your gaming?
I am the first-generation Canadian in terms of my personal family tree. As an only child born in a determined traditional Asian household, my parents were very much opposed to my love for video games at a young age. I managed to compromise with my parents in middle school, that so long as my grades didn’t suffer from the time I spent playing video games, they would continue to allow me to dedicate time to it as my primary hobby. In a way, video games promoted me to work hard on my academics, because otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to play the games I loved so much as a child. Today, seeing what it’s done for me, my parents are open to the idea. In fact, they play mobile games on their phones and tablets more than I do!
Most memorable gaming memory?
Without a doubt, my trip to San Diego to participate in Tespa’s first ever Collegiate Overwatch Championship final. Sunny SoCal was beautiful, the weather was amazing, and the people there are diverse, expressive, and creative. It’s where I’ve met incredibly talented individuals who’ve helped guide me along my path in working within the esports field. It was my first time playing in a sophisticated stadium, live in front of a roaring audience, knowing tens of thousands more were watching from home. I can confidently say that my experience in San Diego changed my life, and it’s a memory I’ll never forget.
Advice to your 15-year-old self?
To take losses less seriously, but do take them to heart. Remember that everything you do, you to do learn, you do to improve, and that winning and success is a by-product of that growth. I would tell my 15-year-old self to not let failure deter him or scare him from chasing his dreams, because hard work pays off. I want him to stay hungry, and motivated, and be more confident and take risks, because regret makes you feel much worse than just losing.
Gamer Tags (IGN, Blizzard, XboxLive, Riot, etc.): Renanthera (Blizzard)