Each year, 1,000 high school teams from all over the nation enter the High School Starleague (HSL) League of Legends tournament to compete for the championship title. The game requires patience, practice, and critical thinking.
This past July, the school’s team advanced to the HSL League of Legends Grand Finals. The team is composed of seven students- senior Matt Yang, junior Aaron Kong, freshman Rico Chen, senior William Yu, senior Aaron Berger, junior Dmitri Krymski and college senior Jonathan Chen. They played against Garden Grove High School from California. After strategizing at one designated member’s house, the players returned home to begin their final match. It was scored best out of five, and after approximately 40 minutes, the school’s team conquered Garden Grove 3-1.
In 2015, the school’s League team won the same championship, but with almost an entirely different team. Matt Yang, a senior who has been playing League for around four years said the winning team from two years ago had “four seniors and me, and [the final game] was a pretty publicized event. So the next year after the seniors left, we got all new members except for me.”
After adjusting to a whole new set of members, the players were crowned HSL victors once again. Despite the fact that there are 67 million individuals who play the game, there is a significant number of people who do not know about League of Legends championships, let alone how the game works. Junior Kayla Choi said, “The team [is] impressive and underrated.”
Similar to sports, there are seasons for League of Legends. The 1,000 teams that enter the HSL are put into eight brackets. For eight weeks, the school’s bracket played a match once a week. At the end of the eight week period, which is the regular season, the top five teams in each bracket were put into a playoff bracket. Teammates Yang, Chen, and Berger are in the top .05 percent in North America. Aaron Kong, a junior, is in the top 1.5 percent. Prior to the start of the season, the team holds tryouts. Kong said, “The team plays with the person trying out, and we see if they’re a good fit for the team.”
The objective of the game is to defeat the other team’s base. To achieve this task, players can kill the members on the opposing team, earning them gold. The gold allows for the purchase of items that increases a character’s strength, ultimately assisting them in pushing to the base of the enemy.
A variety of reasons exist as to why League has attracted gaming-enthusiasts worldwide, each more interesting than the next. Each game is intense, and as Yang puts it, the game “promotes teamwork and you need a good amount of communication because even when you’re playing by yourself, you have to talk with four other strangers.”
The dedicated teammates of this school’s League of Legends group strongly recommend that people start playing the game, even if they do not have any kind of intention to compete. As for next year’s championship, the team will enter the season with more experience than ever.