McKinley eSports Club returns from pandemic break

McKinley’s eSports club comes back for the 2022-2023 season after their pandemic break.


By Sean Willem A. Giron

Club adviser Rendall Choy talks to the eSports Club about the mechanics for the practice match on September 6th of the League of Legends team.

Sean Willem A. Giron, reporter

The eSports Club started four years ago but had several struggles. On Sept. 6, the members held their first meeting to revive the club and kick off the preseason.
They were grouped by the club adviser Rendall Choy, forming the groups by what game they play and what role they play in the game. Choy then got them familiar with who they were teamed up with by making them play some practice matches.
“This preseason is to work out all the kinks and get into a routine,” Choy said.
The season started Sept.20. Choy said he hopes, now that McKinley is trying to go back to normal, to get people interested in eSports again. Choy also said that hope to get students to play more popular titles or games in the eSports realm.
“I just want to see McKinley go back to the regular regimen of eSports while still focusing on their grades and character,” Choy said.
Four years ago, the club received scholarships from Hawaii Pacific University to join their eSports team to play League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena game. Choy was the adviser then. The eSports Club could not compete in the state championships due to the members’ grades and school attendance.
Choy said they tried to continue the eSports Club in 2019 but student grades became even more of a problem. Lack of sportsmanship and respect were also problems. Choy said the eSports Club took a break during the pandemic years.
“They were really talented, but ran into trouble with grades and attendance,” Choy said.
Junior Trinity Kishimoto, current vice president of the club, agreed grades have always been a problem. She called grades “a huge block.”
Kishimoto said sometimes members of the club slack off or just focus on playing their games rather than focusing on their studies, which she says is a struggle for a student involved with eSports.
“You have to keep up with good grades,” Kishimoto said.
Although the students struggle with grades and such, they are motivated to play because of their passion for eSports.
Kishimoto said the eSports Club “gives a good opportunity to new people, especially those who have been closed in due to online classes.”
They also have a passion for winning. Senior XuanXiang Peng said he hopes to win the championship for the game League of Legends.
Junior Randy Tran said he hopes to “absolutely destroy Iolani.”
Kishimoto said the members should also focus on being respectful and displaying good sportsmanship. She said one of the struggles is also being rude or “toxic,” so they need to take care of that.
“You can still lose, but also have fun,” Kishimoto said.