The concept of improvement is ambiguous, mystical and most often theoretical. What we write about here on this website can definitely fall into those categories. There is no true secret sauce or best answer for improvement, and player progression. It’s a combination of hard work, motivation, goals, guidance, and then the rest of the mystical mumbo.
It’s been a little while since my last written post. Not for lack of ideas or insight, but because I’ve been working in the field and coaching two players in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. If you remember my last coaching session, then you would know this isn’t my first time. However, this coaching experience has been different and I think sharing it with you can offer a different perspective on how coaches help players overcome common obstacles.
The year was 2008, the game was Halo 3, and one of my best friends and I were at our local LAN center playing in the iGames 2v2 circuit. The circuit consisted of 500 something teams from 200ish different LAN centers all over North America, over 6 weeks or so. It was $10 per man each week, and top 24 went on to playoffs. The settings were jank, and our luck had run thin. Our first match of the day was against one of the better teams from our own LAN center. If we lost, we were out for the season, and we had just gone down 0-1 in the series. Our cash, our pride, and our fledgling reputations were on the line. Stepping out in front of the store, the two of us had all but given up on ourselves.
We didn’t go to school with these guys, we were unknowns, nobodies two 15 year old Randoms. All the other teams knew each other, and everyone was watching to see what would happen here.
Were we good enough? I bet they think we’re trash, and we just got smoked on our best map, how can we come back on our worst two?
The thoughts kept pouring on during our break between games, quickly going from bad to worse. Our salvation came from the least likely source I could ever imagine.Continue Reading–>
In almost every blog post we have written, you will see that we always address the reader’s experiences in eSports, as a journey. Although, ‘trek’ might be the more accurate term. Finding a career in eSports is not something that will happen over night. Becoming the best at a specific game also, won’t happen over night. The truth is, becoming a professional in anything takes time, and effort. Unfortunately for competing in eSports, there is no traditional path. Every great player’s success story is different. For most of the G.O.A.T’s, eSports was still in pre-infancy. It wasn’t like it is today, with thousands of teams, broadcasts, and content to consume.
Luckily for us, eSports is getting to it’s prime position. Growing, evolving, and becoming more and more studied along side traditional sports. For us, we have the advantage of coming in with a different mindset. Unlike the previous greats, we are able to see the obstacles in front of us, light at the end of the tunnel and a small window into our dreams. Idols to look up to and emulate, and trophies to win. We have the assurance to know that our ‘hobby’ can become a career. All we have to do is go beyond a competitive mindset, and enter into an eSports Mindset.Continue Reading–>
I went to Google, and typed in “How do I get better in eSports?” to find some quality information regarding improvement in eSports. I figured with the recent Fortnite World Cup, there would be a number of websites trying to cash in on the buzz of eSports. To my surprise and dismay, I found very little of relevancy.
Your very first result, the featured snippet, doesn’t even address the question properly. The rest of the results well… If they aren’t dead links, they are dated as far back as 2014. Although I could go on for hours about this. You clicked this post looking for solid advice, and I’m here to give it to you.
The Best Advice You Can Find
STOP! Before you continue, you need to understand a critical key here. There is no microwave, instant oatmeal recipe to getting better in eSports. Anyone who presents their information otherwise is only trying to cash in. eSports like all things, takes time.
Okay, let’s go.
1. Commit To eSports
If you want to get better. If you want to become a better eSports player, or have a chance at making a career out of this. YOU HAVE TO COMMIT.Continue Reading–>
Earlier this week we published a blog post detailing the benefits of alternative practice. This practice took the form of studying film, or reviewing your own game footage. In that post, I gave my best tips on how to do it, and showed how important it is to add to your practice routine.
The voice you just heard is legendary NBA Player Kobe Bryant, talking about the purpose of watching film, or re-watching your game. Reviewing game tape or film study has always been a foundation of the repeatable success formula in traditional sports. Whether it’s after a loss, a win or even just preparing for the next game. Coaches and teams have been reviewing games forever. Even if it was just on a chalkboard with some x’s and o’s. You can go to YouTube and listen to coaches explain in great detail how they KNEW their play would work based on things they had seen in the film room. When we see it for the first time, we may think it’s luck or just a great play. But the level of preparation is literally game changing.
eSports has identified the enormous benefits of film study and incorporates it at the highest level in all team games. Counter Strike, League of Legends, Dota, Starcraft, you name it. Individual players who perform at their highest level also incorporate film study into their practice routines. This incredibly powerful resource is an enormous tool for illuminating blind spots in your game, growing your game sense and understanding on a micro/macro level. Continue Reading–>
In this article we are going to change it up and focus on one external factor that requires a lot of resilience, Accepting Feedback.
Feedback is critical to improvement because it illuminates the blind spots that hinder our maximum potential. Outside of incredible internal revelations, there aren’t many cures for blind spots other than feedback. When it comes to self-improvement in anything, blind spots are your worst enemy.
What are blind spots? Psychological blind spots are described as personality traits or behavior traits that we possess, but are unable to see. Similar to a physical blind spot in our vision. In eSports, I’d refer to it as a performance blind spot.Continue Reading–>
In our previous look at the concept of mental resilience, we discussed the basics, aimed at helping you set reasonable expectations, and get reasonable results. In this article I’m going to continue that trend, by repeating a cold fact from the last one.
Success isn’t earned, it’s leased. And rent is due, every single day. Take a moment to re-read the first post, keeping in mind that we aren’t born with resiliency, rather it’s created.
Brave New World:
We live in a new era, not just in the realm of Esports, but all walks of modern life.Continue Reading–>
I was recently asked about my training regiment, and how I practice playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Though I’ve played many titles in the past, this is the current one that I am focused on. I wanted to take this time to share with you an example of my training.
I’m not going to dig deep into all of my tournament placings and moments. So treat this as an informal post if you will.
I have been steadily proving myself in my region, now placing top 3 in our weekly tournaments for the last 3 weeks in a row. Without too much context, let’s just say I’ve surprised a few people. (Even myself at times lol)
I don’t have an abundance of time to practice these days, so I have to make my practice really count. Sometimes I will only get an hour or 30 minutes a week. This time constraint has driven me to name what I do, “Precise Practice”.Continue Reading–>
I never thought I would end up being a coach. With my competitive nature and selfish desire to win, I would rarely give out any advice. Even if I did, I didn’t believe they would be able to understand it the way I understood it. Or, if they didn’t implement it, I questioned if it was worth my time in the first place. However, as time went by, things definitely changed.
Being surrounded by people who either had great potential or victim mindsets sparked a flame in me. Winning stopped being the biggest desire, and helping steer players down the right path took it’s place.
I have coached many players, in many different games. Seen a myriad of results that both myself and my players have been very proud of. After a long break, I am happy to say that I am back at it again.Continue Reading–>