Playing your Game – The Importance of Planning and Practice

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Humble Beginnings

“What the f*#k are you two doing?”

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–>

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–>