How to Get Good 101: Introduction

Chess
Reading Time: 3 minutes

In a previous episode of The Canal we flirted with the idea that in order to get good, you need to get structured. In today’s post we’re going to start you on that path by introducing the basic concepts behind progression and structured environments in e-sports.

It’s no secret that resistance to stress makes you stronger, the act of overcoming or trying to overcome a difficult challenge begins to force your brain and body to adapt, to get better, stronger, faster, smarter. Following this line of thinking, it makes sense that putting yourself in these scenarios yields results, and that putting yourself through these scenarios more often will lead to faster results right? Continue Reading–>

Be in Control: Value Your Time

eSports Practice Hourglass
Reading Time: 3 minutes

As with most competitive sports in life the window to compete is finite. Unfortunately even something like gaming, which is known to be mentally arduous, can also be physically taxing as well. Due to that well known fact it is tremendously important to value your time. This seems incredibly obvious, but I’m sure you can recall a moment where you lost all track of time and found yourself hitting “next game” all the way into the morning.

Gaming is peculiar in regards to the time that can be spent playing with relative ease. In traditional sports, more often than not, your body will be the first one to tell you that it’s time to take a break. If you overdo it you run the risk of injury. Based on the severity of that injury, your efficiency can be greatly reduced, even down to zero. The risk of injury is one of the main reasons practice sessions are typically only an hour or two at most. Another reason is because efficient learning is most often done during small incredibly focused activity stretched out over a large period of time.

Our first exposure to gaming plays a large role in how much unconscious time we can spend playing competitively. Think about the games that you played growing up. How did they change as you got older? My first taste of gaming came from games like Dr. Mario, Bubble Bobble, Tetris. Then I moved to Zelda, Metroid, Mario Bros. etc. After that I moved to sports titles, Madden, 2k, and after that, fighters. Our progressions may not be the same, but I’m sure they are similar with a lot of people. At least for the first two genres of games.

Puzzle games are the best at a particular age.Continue Reading–>

The Universal Tool

Hammer
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The process of improvement always comes with it’s set of obstacles and hardships. Fortunately there are a lot of tools that you can employ to help you succeed. Today we will focus on one that you may be over looking. It goes without saying that an effective practice routine is a necessity for improvement. Depending on where you are skill wise in your career plays a factor on what kind of practice you will be looking for. We could outline all of the different scenarios but, for this post we will highlight a tool that can be used by all classes of skill.

That tool is the universally accepted game type “Ranked mode”. In it’s most basic form, ranked mode is used to measure a player’s skill level and match them up against other players of similar skill level. This is done through various methods such as, Elo, MMR or Divisions to name a few. This system typically gives immediate result feedback through the use of points, stars or other currencies. It provides gratification through rewards and rank promotions. It also gives you a snapshot of your current ability and provides the framework for improvement and growth. Ranked mode serves as one of the absolute best sources of real time practice given the diversity in each game that you play.

Before there was a ranked mode you had no way of truly measuring your skill or setting goals.Continue Reading–>

Fundamental Skills vs Playmaking Ability

Crossbar
Reading Time: 3 minutes

In keeping with the theme of improvement for the modern esports competitors and enthusiasts, today we’d like to illustrate a few key concepts that will be better broken down in the coming weeks, but you should be at least a little familiar with going forward. Namely the ideas of fundamental skills, and playmaking (heads up or proactive decision making).

When looking to take your game to the next level, or simply discussing the differences between average players, and top or professional players, amateurs  tend to put a lot of emphasis on the flash and finesse that pro players bring to the table. It isn’t that uncommon to see statements like – “If only I could hit that peakshot, or make that flash all in, I should have clutched that out.” on platforms like Discord, or Reddit, or even just among friends or teammates.

While this is one of the many factors that define professional play, it is far from the only reason for a professional’s success. Before delving into the flashy and clutch elements of gameplay, (which are a necessary component at the top) let’s discuss just what is it that makes the pros, well pro.Continue Reading–>

Travel with Etiquette

Plane
Reading Time: 3 minutes

There will come a time on your journey where you are forced to travel to another region. It is one of the absolute best ways to improve your performance. If you are comfortable in your local scene, it’s possible that you aren’t being challenged. There can be too much familiarity between you and your opponents play-styles. Even the atmosphere can get too comfortable as well. When it comes time to perform at the highest level, you can’t count on feeling comfortable.

That is just one part of what makes traveling so beneficial. You are able to get some of the experience required for big tournament settings. As well, you get an opportunity to learn from others with varying skill levels.

You are going to be uncomfortable though and that can become tricky, especially if it’s your first time. Ego, insecurity, fear all play a huge role in how you navigate this new setting. These feelings can also continue after you have left the venue and can have a negative impact on your growth. Try not to worry about your immediate results. It is very natural to under perform in unfamiliar places.

Here are some tips to help you receive the most benefits from your travels.Continue Reading–>