E-Sports Club provides competition and camaraderie


Jesselle Ann Morales

Aaron Salvania (left) and Layten Fernandez (right) high-five after a match.

In social studies teacher Kellen Inafuku’s classroom, E-Sports Club members play video games on medium-sized televisions. They take their battles against each other seriously and sometimes rage at the TVs when they lose. 

Waipahu High School’s E-Sports Club started in 2016 and mainly focuses on fighting games such as Super Smash Brothers. 

Josh Palasigue (‘22) is in charge of live streaming for tournaments, advertising, and more as Media Manager of the E-Sports Club. He enjoys being in the club so he “can meet new people, interact with them, and learn about new games.”

Co-president Michael Follero (‘22) enjoys playing games along with other students in the club. Follero and Palasigue mentioned that they haven’t had any club activities outside of school for now due to the pandemic. Follero said, “If we hadn’t had COVID, we would have definitely gone to U.H. Manoa or West Oahu” to compete. Like Palasigue, he enjoys being in the club so he can “teach new people how to play the game” or “have conversations, even outside the club.” 

Freshmen Gregory Cochard is a general member of the E-sports club. He joined the club because he wanted to try playing Nintendo games and to get involved at school. Cochard enjoys being part of the Player Rank (P.R.): “It’s a listing where the person above you, you can challenge, and the person below [you] can challenge you. But once you lose, you’re unable to challenge any member above you for a week.” That week is to “train yourself and get better next time.” 

A question that sometimes comes up in esports is “do you think esports counts as an actual sport?” Here are some of the members’ thoughts.

Co-president Luke Ignacio (‘22) says, “They are completely separate, that’s why we name it esports for ‘electronic sports.’”

Cochard, however, believes that esports does count as a sport because “there is a skill in a lot of these games. And take for example Smash Bros. There are a lot of skills needed like attacking, and combos,” he says. 

If you want to make new friends and challenge others in fighting games like Super Smash Brothers, join the after-school E-Sports Club in H-6.