The final push for our esports team


As the timer ticked closer to zero, the Diamond Bar High School Esports team competed on April 23 at UCLA’s Westwood Showdown Grand Championships to secure second place.  

The team’s roster included five students: sophomores Martin Teng, Samuel Hwang, Codie Kwok and juniors Franco Zhou, Alec Teng and Bert Nam. The team played in the Local Area Network (LAN) tournament held at UCLA’s Ackerman building. 

“I think this team will go a long way, and with more practice, I am sure we will be victorious during our [upcoming] tournaments,” sophomore Martin Teng said via Instagram. 

As the team prepared to advance through the tournament, they spent countless hours working to refine their skills. The team quickly discovered that operating together would lead to their successful victories. 

“The preparation for the tournament was smooth,” freshman Isaac Kim said via Instagram. “We were coming into the matches with a good mindset and trying to win as cleanly as possible.”

The team’s overall performance allowed them to make it to finals, where they fell 14-12 and 13-5 points short against Arcadia High School. Nonetheless, the team earned second place out of the seven teams in the region during UCLA’s Westwood Showdown Grand Championships. 

“The overall goal for the team is to win as many matches as we can in the HSEL [High School Esports League] and possibly come out as the winner in the west division,” sophomore Codie Kwok said via Instagram. 

However, the team encountered several challenges leading up to the tournament, including not staying focused and allowing their losses to interfere with their preparation for the games ahead. The team also faced other major issues, such as managing time between school work, extracurriculars and making time to improve their gaming leading up to the tournament. 

“The team overcame these hurdles by having a good leader and trying to be mentally ready for every round,” Kim said. 

This overall experience provided both a learning experience and a way for players to bond and spend time with one another during the preparation and tournament itself. This opened a new perspective to Kim with his own future goals. 

“We had a lot of fun with each game, and the team bonded really well,” Kim said. “In the future I hope to become the best version of a player I can be, and pursue ‘Valorant’ scholastically or professionally.”