Entertainment and Lifestyle

Gaming priest

The Pro Series Gaming (PSG) tournament in Nairobi shone the spotlight on some of the biggest gamers who reign in 254, take William Omondi Ondiek, alias Priest. The 24-year-old gives Chebet Korir a dive into the gaming world

“I spent the earliest days of my childhood in the countryside. None in my family actively watched football, so I never really got into it. I guess that’s why I started gaming as a form of entertainment and I loved it. My mum got me the first game I ever owned, The Ending Man. Friends would come over to play on school holidays,” shares the Mortal Kombat king.

Priest bagged a medal and cash prize of Sh200,000 after participating in the PSG tournament, a feat he takes special pride in.

“This was the biggest gaming tournament I’ve ever taken part in to date. The experience was overwhelming, especially due to the fact that we had players flying in from all over Africa. Everyone knew what they were doing ranging from technical play to frame data application in a game. My toughest opponents in the tournament were Mr Stacks from Kenya and Ken from Uganda. I made it to the grand finale to face off with Mr 5,000 (Justin Banda) from Zambia. The win was a bonus for me, but most importantly I got to have so much fun knowing that my skill can have an audience here in Africa,” says an ecstatic Priest.

Known for his gaming avatars, Kenshi and Erron Black, Priest got his nickname from a childhood friend who noted with a controller in hand, he was equal to a priest with a Bible.

Erron Black was the first character I played when the game debuted back in 2015. I like what Nether Realm Studios (NRS) did with the character design and the swaggy move set. Looks aside, he’s a strong character as he enforces a solid neutral play forcing the opponent to make mistakes leading to high damage and wall set-ups. Kenshi on the hand is my main tournament character. He exerts relentless pressure with the teleport mix-ups forcing the opponent into situations,” Priest notes about his favourite avatars. Priest has been in the pro gaming scene since 2015, although he’s played for over 17 years.

“I used to enjoy watching online and offline tournaments. Watching Koreans play global tournaments gave me a different view on the technicality of video games, hence sparking my interest. It’s not just a matter of inputting random commands, rather an intuitive game plan is involved — it’s just like playing chess, just 10 times faster,” recounts Priest.

While the Mortal Kombat scene in 254 has not risen to global standards, Priest says the local e-sports scene is promising.

“I think the Esports scene in Kenya is picking up. Games like Mortal Kombat have  few skilled players compared to the likes of FIFA the Call Of Duty series. However, especially in light of the recent PSG, I see the numbers going up. What we need right now is for investors to indulge in E-sports. It’s an opportunity waiting to be explored,” he said.

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