E – sports coach: What it’s like to be one of them
Many aspire to be E – sports athletes. Some want to play like Faker himself, or to experience the industry first hand with their teammates.
But every player, and every team requires a coach help them refine their raw talent and reach their potential. Without them, teams are vulnerable to negative aspects, like infighting or losing motivation.
Faythe “Ruby” Williams, who manages and coaches team “Critical Esports”, together with Amber Louise, have over a year’s experience running a team. The team was formed on March 19, and participated in many online tournaments, ranging from weekly “Go4LoL” to UK ESL Summer Promotions.
I took the opportunity to ask them a few questions on what it’s like to run a team in the competitive video games industry.
Why did you decide to form a team?
For Ruby, she just wanted to coach, that’s one of the things she always wanted to do, so she found a team that wanted her help. For myself, I joined after it was already formed. They needed some organisation to the chaos a bunch of young lads can cause and I’d just come from managing an online radio station. I figured, how much more difficult could it be?
What were the good or fun bits about running the team?
Watching the lads progress. Cheering them on. Then of course the banter on the occasions that they didn’t have to be serious.
You mentioned earlier than you had to step in, because the team needed organisation to the chaos they caused. what kind of struggles are we talking about?
It’s a group of young men, ranging from 16 to 21 and that can get a bit rowdy. Sometimes, it could take a bit of encouragement to get them to knuckle down and focus. But when they did, they got results, so after a while they got into the habit of doing it themselves. Not needing me to come in and tell them off like I was their mother. As well as that, wrangling them for practice was an occasional thing. People can get distracted easily and sometimes I would have to track them down to make sure they got to practice on time.
If a friend of yours decided to found a team and coach it, what advice would you give them?
Take your time in building it and have a lot of patience. I wouldn’t want to put them off, but finding dedicated players of high skill level and the correct staff to support them is a really tough job. Another thing would be to not set goals too high to start with. Unless you have a few hundred grand to create an organisation and create salaried contracts, the time anyone gives you is voluntary. Unfortunately, professional players and staff go where the money is. Start from the bottom and work your way up. Set lower goals like ‘let’s get top 3 in this weekend tournament’ followed by ‘top 3 in a monthly tournament’. If you set a goal of ‘I want us to be in the LCS by next season, then you’re going to be disappointed and your players will get disheartened. And that just doesn’t work for anyone. Be realistic and celebrate the little achievements to keep moral up.