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Tom Cadwell (also known as Zileas) is currently Design Director on Riot Games's League of Legends after having been a major player in the Real Time Strategy scene for the last decade.
Involvement in StarCraft
Zileas is often pointed to as the father of modern RTS strategy, making concepts such micromanagement and small concentrated attacks popular. He published an influential strategy guide early in StarCraft's history, and promoted several key ideas including:
- Human concentration as a resource, and the notion that effective strategies disrupt your opponent's concentration while using minimal amounts of your concentration.
- The importance of basic formation tactics like deep encirclement, meat shields, etc.
- The idea that good execution of unit micro-management can prevail against a simplistic macro-management approach.
Prior to his success in StarCraft, the overall approach to the game was to out-build your opponent, focusing on trying to get 10:1 odds and having massive battles. Zileas used this strategy to eventually win the StarCraft: Brood War Beta Tournament, and placed highly in the first StarCraft PGL.
After graduating from MIT in 2001 with a BS in Computer Science, Zileas was hired by Blizzard Entertainment to work on Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne as the play balance lead. He continued at Blizzard working as a designer on World of Warcraft designing the much of the core talent system and refining many elements the new player experience. Eventually he left the company to pursue an MBA at The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Tom was hired by Riot Games to lead the game design team. His official title is Design Director. He lives in Los Angeles with several plants and some consumer electronics.