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  • Writer's pictureTyler Infinger

Dedication Trumps All - Wiley Hall - Q.I. Roberts Jr.-Sr. High School


Introducing Wiley Hall — a sophomore captain for his team and nominee for this year's HSEL MVP!


Nominated for his esports achievements and extraordinary leadership — Hall stands as a prime candidate for HSEL MVP.


 

Tyler Infinger:

Great to meet you! Let's start with your name and what got you into gaming.


Wiley Hall:

My name is Wiley Hall, or you may know me as TheChonkMan. What got me into gaming was just like the aspects of games, like single-player games. Having that story aspect and multiplayer games having the teammates aspect where you have to comply with each other and able to perform a certain task or beat a certain opponent.


Tyler Infinger:

Nice. So, how do you feel about your school offering esports as an extracurricular?


Wiley Hall:

It started out as a club for us [at] our school. But after our spring placements, we were able to convince our own teacher to make a curriculum for us for our high schoolers to go to class and have some assignments and play during school. And I mean, it's amazing like how we've gotten computers over there, like actual custom computers, instead of the school systems and all of that. It's just been amazing, just based on us doing well.



Tyler Infinger:

Cool. Out of curiosity, have you had the chance to read your coach's nomination?


Wiley Hall:

No, I have not. He said that he wrote a lot, but I haven't seen it fully.


Tyler Infinger:

They gave you a ton of high praise, which is a major reason why we're talking to you today. So, whether you read it or not, you should feel very proud. Anyway, your coach describes you as being a "vocal leader" for your team. Can you describe what qualities you may possess that would warrant such a description?


Wiley Hall:

So, vocal… I'm loud and I'm crazy sometimes. [Generation Esports hosted], a while back, I think last December, a USMC tournament for Halo. We were in that, and we placed first! I remember jumping up and down, screaming in our little voice call. We were all having a time just yelling. Other times during our class or some of our ranked games, the close ranked games, we win those, and I'm up in the air. Jumping and shouting. Yeah, I can see the vocal aspect and I'm also the voice of reason on what we should do.


Tyler Infinger:

Yeah, that makes sense. That piece definitely stuck out to me. They also said that you push your team to exceed expectations and give it their all. Can you speak a little more about that?


Wiley Hall:

I push my teammates every day. I'm asking if they're able to play that night. I'm reminding them to bring their controller, their keyboard, and their mouse to play the next day at school. I'm always there to play and push them. So, I'm there to be with them for days, hours, if need be. And I will come back in and we'll get you up to how you need to play.



Tyler Infinger:

It sounds like the teamwork for your team is just top-notch! You sound to be a good leader in this sense.


Wiley Hall:

Thank you.


Tyler Infinger:

Can you describe — from the start of your career to the current — things that you gained by being on the team?


Wiley Hall:

This is the first Halo I've ever played. Like consistently. We knew we were going to go into HSEL, but our club was actually going to be in Rocket League because I have a friend who has a few thousand hours in the game, and I have a few hundred. But we ended up playing Halo! Our team has been the same for three seasons. We were the worst team [at first]. Now, we would laugh, but that summer, we sat down and played for hours every single day. I think I went from like 100 hours to maybe three, maybe like 400, 500. But over time, I feel like our effectiveness as a team and our friendship has grown the most. I never talked to two of the other kids. I have one in my classes, one's a sophomore now, and one a year below us. He's become one of my greatest friends; someone I play with every day. [Our] friendship has grown the most. And so, this fall season, we went from placing about fifth to second. First in the season and second in the finals. And that was one of the greatest things I've seen from us playing that season. We were dominating, to say the least. It was just the finals, some stuff had happened. I think that day I was sick, and we were just not playing our best game — but we’re still growing as a team. Some of my teammates aren't able to communicate as effectively as others and we're getting them up to [speed]. But I feel like, overall, our friendship and our communication have grown the most. I feel like that's been one of the greatest aspects of doing esports.


Tyler Infinger:

Yeah! You've built yourself quite the foundation if I do say so. Given that you have a couple of seasons left in the tank, what kind of legacy are you hoping to leave behind once you graduate?


Wiley Hall:

I want to leave behind at least one first place in a major and Nationals. I'll want to win that because our school... Our school doesn’t really have a sports program. But if I could leave, after I graduate, a trophy of us winning and pictures of us winning, that'd be the greatest thing. But legacy-wise, I want to leave a team that was a threat, a nightmare for people to play against. We don't have great internet and we don't have the best systems. We're the poorest county in Florida. I want to leave [this idea that] even if you don't have the greatest stuff, you can still win nationally.



Tyler Infinger:

Those are phenomenal goals. I know your team is well on its way to making them a reality. But let's shift gears! Do you recall any stories with this team that are memorable to you?


Wiley Hall:

Most memorable? There are many aspects. Many times over the summer, I remember us getting home, and playing for hours. I remember those moments, which were probably one of the happiest times I've had besides winning the USMC Halo event. That was still one of my favorite moments.


Tyler Infinger:

Good! Those sound like happy memories. Now, let's wrap up with this last question. To preface, I've asked every finalist this question. So, what would winning this award mean to you?


Wiley Hall:

This award shows that dedication [triumphs] above all else. I've sat here for hundreds of hours on end in this chair, playing this game, going from being such a horrible player, and in one year, I've come out playing against pros, defeating odds. If I win MVP, it also shows that even a kid out of rural Florida can come and win something that even the highest tiers of players nationally can win. I feel like that would be what it would mean to me.


Tyler Infinger:

That's great. You have a phenomenal story — and I know you'll take your team far.


Wiley Hall:

I do, too.

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