In a league of their own



Seniors Collin Satawidinata, left, and Shaun Chen are among the six students on the League of Legends team who won scholarships in a competition.

Samyuktha Vellaiyan, Staff Writer

League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team members never knew they could transform their hobby into a scholarship-winning experience.

Both teams, consisting of DBHS and Walnut High School students, took first place in the first-ever Semester Series national video game competition.

Each participant won $500 in scholarship money. The inaugural season featured 64 different teams, all competing in either the  League of Legends or Counter-Strike division, with an entrance fee of $5 per individual.

“We were able to create this experience through our nationwide competition followed by thousands of dollars in scholarship prizing,” event organizer Justin Jia said via Facebook.

Six students make up the League of Legends team, while five are part of Counter-Strike. According to senior Shaun Chen, a Counter-Strike player, there are some differences between the two divisions.

“I would say that League of Legends is more team-oriented while Counter-Strike requires more individual skills,” Chen said.

Before the competition, neither team had been actively competing, as video games were something they played during their free time.

“We used to play just for fun as friends. Joining in this competition is definitely a change that I will never forget,” League of Legends competitor senior Collin Satawidinata said.

Though winning the championship required hours of effort and practice from each person, the teams did not practice together at all, instead of relying on prior experience in these video games.

“We all had a lot of experience playing video games and felt no need to practice. That’s how confident we were,” Chen said.

This confidence later helped the teams to take the championship.

“Even though we just formed this group for fun, we never thought that we would be able to use our hobby to win scholarship money,” Satawidinata said. “We were all very happy and excited that this happened.”