Mental Rehearsal – The Fading Form (Micro Visualization)

Maze
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Micro Visualization is an incredibly powerful tool that you have probably used all your life, but never had a name for it. The effects it can have on your performance, effort, or overall enjoyment are incredible. However, I believe there is something preventing us from fully taking advantage of it. Before we get into that, let’s take a brief look at what Micro Visualization is.

Can I Have a Cookie?

Cookie

Micro Visualization is Mental Rehearsal in it’s most actionable and basic form. It’s what you do before a job interview. Going over each question you may be asked, each answer you will give in return. How will I sit? Will my hair be okay?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–>

What’s a skill gap?

Table
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The following is entirely my opinion, and as a fair warning will probably ramble a bit, no fancy technical explanations or concise breakdowns, just one man remembering his time in the trenches.

For what its worth,  I tried to keep this brief.

While working on a separate article about Dota 2’s “Trickle down” balance approach I couldn’t help but think about the changes in design and balance philosophy that seems to have been part of a slow creep since around the release of League of Legends. That change I’m referring to being both developers, and publishers catering to the casual player, as opposed to say Dota 2, a game which balances solely for the health of its high level play, with the understanding that stability at the top will naturally lead to stability across all ranks, and in my opinion is the most reasonably balanced esport of our time.

Modern games, particularly games marketed as being competitive tend to follow the same trends, typically based around some “unique”, fresh, or yet unseen mechanic or aethstetic. Though in reality, this type of development relies on what are essentially just gimmicks, coupled with an ever shrinking skill gap. The focus too often seems to be on things like stories, or player experiences, as opposed to solid, foundational gameplay and design.

Continue Reading–>

Talent vs Skill

Darts
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The most common definition for ‘Talent vs Skill’ is as follows:

Talent refers to the natural aptitude or ability to do something. On the other hand, skill refers to the ability which is acquired by training and practicing. Only a limited number of people are bestowed with talent, however, anyone with the right potential and will is eligible for learning a skill.

Often this definition becomes the tool that we employ when we measure a person’s success to the amount of work they display. A portrayal of successful players in most 1 vs 1 games would lead one to believe that their successes and abilities come more from talent, and less from built skill. I believe there is a specific reason for this as it pertains to the story lines built around each individual player in this field.

Lets think about team based eSports. Team eSports have more variables and requirements for success. One extraordinary player on a team cannot guarantee victory. Team chemistry, communication, strategy all has to be practiced. Since this is common knowledge, their need to practice is implicit.Continue Reading–>

Knock-And-Announce

Doorknocker
Reading Time: 2 minutes

It’s the middle of 2018, and eSports is gaining traction with the mainstream audiences. Million dollar pot bonuses, features on ESPN, even NBA teams are investing in franchises of their own. League of Legends is currently hosting their LCS Season Split to a combined audience of 76 million, with a peak of 200 thousand people at a time! This is just a snapshot view of the entire field. There are dozens of games bursting with opportunity for players to make careers out of what is still perceived to be a ‘hobby’.

With all of the growth coming from the eSports industry, there is likely to be more opportunity for players to make their way closer to actually being on a professional team. I would like to paint a picture of those current possibilities using some comparisons with more traditional sports.

NCAA.org published this page on Estimated Probability of Competing in College Athletics. Using Basketball as an example (given their 5 man starting roster) 550,305 men will attempt to play in collegiate sports and overall only 3.4% will actually make it! For women it’s no different, with a 430,368 to 3.8% transition. When it comes to going major pro the window gets even smaller due to multiple factors in the drafting process, as shown in this article.

Lets translate this to eSports.Continue Reading–>