Competing against over 300 schools from across the United States, Diamond Bar High School reigned supreme as the Overwatch champions in the North America Scholastic eSports Federation.
“When we won Nationals I felt like everything I did over the season was worth it. The team’s reaction was incredible, seeing how happy and relieved everyone was,” Overwatch team co-captain junior Joshua Kang said via Discord. “The stress that we all had built up over the week with the expectation of playing to win was over. We had done what we had come to do and it was to win Nationals.”
After qualifying for the national championship alongside six other teams in January, out of the 364 that competed, the Brahmas defeated Rocklin High School’s Thunder Esports to take the national title on Feb. 21. Throughout the season, the team maintained an 8-0 record in the 16-team regional bracket playoffs and the national championship.
“I felt super proud, but I also wasn’t surprised,” team co-captain junior Peter Chang said via Discord. “Our team is incredibly strong and I knew their synergy could take them to the top.”
The Overwatch team is led by DBHS eSports team president senior Derek Wang as well as Overwatch captains Chang and Kang. The team consists of 10 members including juniors Andy Quach, Aiden Arciga and Nathan Kang, sophomores Jacky Zhang, Jonathan Dang and Aaron Dulnuan and freshman Alton Hsiung.
“[We won because of] our team’s dedication to scrimming together often while keeping friendly attitudes,” Chang said. “[Our] cooperation is one of their biggest strengths.”
Kang also credited the team’s flexibility and adaptability as prevailing strengths over other teams.
“[We had] a close moment against Naperville (Illinois) High School. Our team was down 0-2 and they needed just one more map to win,” Kang said. “But we quickly adapted to their playstyle and continued to take the match 3-2 with a clean reverse sweep.”
Given that the competition season has ended, the team will focus on preparing to defend their national title next year. The student organization will also be hosting an Overwatch Tournament in the near future.
“I feel like as a team, I really wanted to focus on having fun compared to focusing on straight winning because a lot of teams they seem to focus truly on just trying to win and they practiced a lot, but I feel like they tend to over-practice and overthink about it,” Kang said. “For us, I told the team we should just be having fun because you can’t win without having fun.”