Wartortoise: Meet Legion ambassador Paolo Umpa

Lenovo Legion ambassador Paolo Umpa a.k.a. Wartortoise is grateful for the many life skills he learned through gaming.
Lenovo Legion ambassador Paolo Umpa a.k.a. Wartortoise is grateful for the many life skills he learned through gaming.

Even as a kid, Lenovo Legion ambassador Paolo Umpa, better known online as Wartortoise, knew that gaming would help him catch ’em all and succeed in life. In fact, Umpa’s family introduced him to gaming, setting him on the path that would one day make him Wartortoise.

“I was given a Game Boy when I was in grade school, and Pokémon Crystal was the first game I ever played,” Umpa told Digital Life Asia.

Personal growth

According to Umpa, gaming isn’t just entertaining, but also educational.

“Gaming’s fun since I get to connect with different people. I played with an 11-year old, and he’s way better than me in League of Legends hahaha! It’s very cliché, but it’s still true — more than the pure excitement that you get from playing, it also teaches you camaraderie and teamwork. Growing up, video games taught me a lot and I’d say that it’s one of my main sources of learning English (other than TV). It also introduces you to many things. God of War: Chains of Olympus fueled my interest in Greek mythology, and Octopath Traveler opened me to different life perspectives,” he said.

Like fellow Legion ambassador Lyka Mea, Umpa said gaming has helped him grow as a person.

Patience is a virtue

“I’m into League of Legends right now and it’s teaching me to be more patient with my teammates. We all know that tempers can flare up easily, especially in competitive multiplayer games. But as much as possible, I try to be more considerate to others. In my own way, I try to help avoid normalizing such behavior by kicking out trash talkers and toxic players in my community streams with viewers,” he said.

Gaming has also helped Umpa cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and community quarantine.

“This is coming from a privileged standpoint. I guess like most gamers it’s a temporary escape from everything that’s happening now. We all know how this crisis is taking a toll on everyone’s mental health and gaming somehow allows us to forget these things for a couple of hours. I’m also glad how the Philippine gaming community has helped the less fortunate and our frontliners during this crisis. Streaming for a cause, fundraising tournaments, and auctions were held to help raise money for people in different sectors who are affected by this pandemic,” he said.

Wartortoise and Legion

What’s the best thing about being a Legion ambassador for Lenovo Philippines?

“The recognition of course! That alone is big for me. It legitimizes what I do and I’m forever grateful to Lenovo Legion for this opportunity.

“Being with Lenovo Legion also gives me the opportunity to do other stuff that I’m not really used to but I end up enjoying. My first project was actually teaching and talking about the basics of streaming in Legion’s weekly podcast, “Wednesdays with Legion”. Initially, it was nerve-wracking for me. It was my first time doing such a thing. I’m not really great at conversations, which is why I prefer streaming. But thankfully Lenovo Legion’s guidance and assistance made it a lot easier and I was able to pull it off,” Umpa said.

He also cited the perks of being a Legion ambassador.

“Another thing that’s great with being a Lenovo Legion ambassador which I’m very grateful for is the gaming care package which they gave me. It included everything that I was planning to buy: a gaming monitor, gaming RGB mouse and keyboard, a pair of headphones, and a gaming chair. They vastly improved my gaming experience with the Legion Y540. Using Lenovo Legion’s devices has been ridiculously great so far. There’s nothing that I can’t do with it yet, which is great even though I only have 8GB RAM (planning to upgrade to 16GB soon, though) so I’d rate their products a 10/10 haha!”

Pokémon and Poring

So what is Umpa’s favorite game of all time?

“For console gaming, it would have to be Pokémon. I’ve been playing it since I was a kid and it still excites me whenever they release something new. For PC, even though I don’t play it now, I’d have to say it’s Ragnarok Online. It was my first game played over the Internet and it introduced me to online gaming. I met a lot of players in that community, some of whom are my closest friends right now. Also, Ragnarok Online brings back a lot of high school memories,” he said.

In fact, these two games are part of his Top 3 memorable gaming experiences. (Incidentally, it was Pokémon that made Lenovo Philippines brand ambassador Megan Young truly fall in love with gaming.)

  1. “Learning to save in grade school so I’d have enough money to play Ragnarok Online.”
  2. Playing Pokémon on my Game Boy at night with a flashlight cos a backlight wasn’t a thing for handheld consoles back then.”
  3. “Introduction to esports in 2017. I was part of the working team and it was my first experience with competitive gaming. This then encouraged me to pursue a career/side hustle in gaming which is streaming.”

The gamer as streamer

Streaming as Wartortoise has made gaming even more fun for Umpa. When did Umpa start streaming and what does he like most about it?

“I had a few attempts back in 2017, but officially it was around June/July 2019! I started with a laptop that wasn’t really built for gaming and that made it a bit difficult for me.

“Now though, I have my full Lenovo Legion set and suddenly I feel like I can play anything, hahaha! What I like most about streaming is how it allows me to create something while doing something that I love. I have a side hustle now that’s different from my day job. It keeps my creative,” he said.

How about you? How has gaming changed your life?