Staff Spotlight: Hubert Whan Tong

Hubert Whan Tong was hired as the esports director at Simpson in March 2021. The program has had a successful fall season in his second year running the program.

Whan Tong graduated in 2020 from DeSales University, getting his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. He was a member of the esports team while in school and became head coach of esports at DeSales in Aug. 2020. He said a lot goes into his role as esports director at Simpson.

“I coach all six titles we have on roster,” he said. “We have A and B teams for a lot of our rosters. I work with extending our public awareness both internally and in our conference. We’re always trying to figure out the next best thing to be focused on.”

Esports has changed significantly since Whan Tong played and he said the space is still new to this day.

“I got to meet professional coaches and CEOs of major esports organizations and learn from them,” Whan Tong said. “It’s still a super small industry so I was really lucky to meet a lot of people while I was a player. It was not something that I ever intended to do by any means.”

Playing on an esports team comes with challenges casual gamers do not experience. Practicing one game at a competitive level consistently can cause gamers to burn out and no longer enjoy playing.

Whan Tong said the work is grueling and not always fun. “It’s very similar to traditional athletics when you get to the high level where you’re running the same thing over and over again. Esports feels like one of the few places you can meet a hugely-diverse set of people that are all striving towards the same thing.”

Whan Tong played League of Legends competitively during college and has played the game for almost 10 years. Gaming allows people to communicate with their friends and improve at the game being played. He said competing against friends was why he began playing League of Legends.

“I’ve always been super competitive, personally, and for better or worse, our team has picked up that same mentality,” Whan Tong said. “If something didn’t go right, I always wanted to know what I could have done to change the outcome. Esports is great for that because you have instantaneous feedback.”

While pursuing esports after graduation is difficult for many players, there are still opportunities out there. Performing well at the collegiate level can lead to players competing for a professional esports organization. Coaching and streaming are additional opportunities in post-graduation esports.

Whan Tong said player Sid Hudson has been working as the analyst for the team and will potentially pursue esports post-graduation.

“His quality of work has never been an issue, so the next step for that specific case is going to be reaching out to my contacts. Esports is a small community and very much about sweat equity. Providing them those experiences will get their names into hiring networks to try and get them where they need to be.” 

Esports will be playing their Valorant and Rocket League grand finals in Black Box during the last week of November and students are encouraged to come and support.