“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.”

Mark Twain

Raised in a small and sleepy town in the mountains of Smolyan, Bulgaria, Yasen had an idyllic childhood filled with lots of football and skiing. But our Yasen was destined for greatness and soon took off seeking bigger challenges.

It was Bournemouth University where Yasen chose to study a computing course in Business Information Technology, the tranquil coastline cited as his favourite part of the city. During his course he covered a variety of topics including software engineering, systems design and programming, as well as a few practical business-applicable modules for good measure. He also took responsibility as the Computing Society’s events secretary, organising trips like the mandatory Computing Society trip to Bletchley Park, as well as trips to various Hackathons around the country - great places that ignited his love for applying his programming ability to tangible, real-world problems.

But we’d be doing Yasen a disservice if we didn’t mention his true calling in life, Counter-Strike (CS 1.6 by the way, not CS:GO as commonly presumed). The 2011-2012 season currently stands as the peak of Yasen’s young CS career. His team, mism (Made In Smolyan), rocked the local LAN cafe scene and was destined for bigger things. Talk grew amongst the underground as mism secured an invite to participate in a prestigious CS 1.6 tournament in Kardzhali. The resulting 3rd place finish for our plucky underdogs put them on the map (and the prize money even covered travel expenses!). This inspirational tale will be told throughout the LAN cafes of Bulgaria for some time to come.

As a CS player, Yasen counts his strengths as “In-game leadership, tactical decision making and coordination”, listing his weaknesses as “No weaknesses”. He brings this “No weaknesses” attitude to every account he works on here at Merkle. A key part of the Analytics team, Yasen specialises in delivering complex tracking solutions across a variety of clients.

Yasen Lilov, elite programmer, world-class CS player. Smolyan’s finest.