Gaining from the gaming

After playing League of Legends and Overwatch for six years, Timothy Wu has found his passion in gaming and now hopes to become a gaming professional.

The Diamond Bar High School junior specializes in playing League of Legends, a multiplayer game where players fight against each other on various battlefields, and Overwatch, a first-person shooter game where teams compete against each other. Wu has won $500 in an online League of Legends competition.

Wu began gaming in middle school and started to play competitively between freshman and sophomore year. He saw the rising popularity of eSports, which are video game based competitions, and began to compete for cash and in-game currency.

“I love gaming because it’s just fun to me. When you win something big it feels great because you practiced for it,” Wu said.

Wu is at the  master tier in League of Legends, ranked in the Top 800 in North America; he’s also ranked  in the Top 500 in North America for Overwatch.

 He is a part of a freelance team known as UKP or Unknown Player. The team used to consist primarily of Vietnamese players, but the team has now reached out to other countries to create a new roster. Wu had to reach a top rank just to try out for the team, which is only open to top-tier players.

“For me, being on [this team] will help build up my background, so if I do want to play professionally I have a competitive background,” Wu said, “If the opportunity presents itself I will try to go pro, but if I can’t get into a pro team immediately after I graduate I’ll probably go to a college and join their collegiate team.”

Colleges have already been in contact with Wu about joining their gaming teams. The majority of these outreaches have come from out-of-state schools such as Randolph-Macon College in Virginia and Central Methodist University in Missouri, but locally, he has been talking with UCI about becoming part of its team.

“I have gotten school offers from colleges across the nation. I’ve been talking to UCI to try and join. They said that my background was good enough. All I need to do is maintain my GPA,” Wu said.

 Wu is also a part of the DBHS League of Legends team, which has earned a spot in  the national tournament and is currently competing, and the school’s Overwatch team. Both the Overwatch and League of Legends tournaments are hosted by the High School Esports League, an organization that creates gaming tournaments for high school students.

“I prefer to play as a team because most of the games I play require a lot of communication, and [your teammates] can give you information and help you around the game,” Wu said.

Wu said he is spending his weekends practicing for the upcoming season of League of Legends. Since Wu is the youngest and only high school student on the team, his teammates try to adjust their practice game schedules according to Wu’s busy school schedule.

“When I joined the freelance team, it was cool because we would all have fun talking and hanging out with each other. My favorite part about gaming is probably how you [can] make new connections through it,” Wu said.