By TAIJING WU and I-HWA CHENG
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A year ago, 65-year-old Chiang Yi-Shu knew nothing about computers. Now, she is a League of Legends player who has just battled in her first-ever esports tournament.
Chiang is one of the players on Hungkuang Evergreen Gaming’s team, established this summer. The team, whose members range from 62 to 69 years old, was founded by Huang Jianji, the director of the department of multimedia game development and application of Hungkuang University.
“Frankly speaking, I knew very little about computers. I never thought of learning about it, because I prefer interactions with people,” Chiang said. “But when I started to play, I figured out that it was good for the brain. And especially the use of hands, you need to have dexterity.”
Chiang has been practicing at home and at the university when she has time. She plays about five hours every week, according to her coach, Ego Hsu. Though she lives in New Taipei City, she traveled to the university in Taichung, an hour away by high speed rail, for the training class every week in preparation for the competition in December.
There is one difference in the approach to the game. With elderly team members, Hsu said the focus is less on killing, which is the main objective in battle-tournament games like League of Legends.
“So, when they play a game, I would make them enjoy it instead of killing their characters all the time. I think that having the character killed all the time would cause them depression. If they have their character killed quickly, I will blame myself because it would be my fault not to have taught them well,” she added.
Although the team lost in a recent tournament, for Chiang and her teammates, just playing the game has been a chance to learn something new, and overcoming her initial ignorance of technology.
“It’s not painstaking, but one must have the determination to do it, such as ‘I don’t want to lose. I have lived for some time now, and I should not let this beat me,’” she said. “And I overcame.”