Your favorite team acquired a new coach and you’re expecting them to achieve great results. The season starts and a new tournament begins but suddenly, things aren’t going as planned. Your team is losing and they can’t seem to bounce back. Tempers are high and some harsh words get exchanged. They leave the stage in silence and dismay.
What went wrong? Is it the players’ fault or something else? It may as well be their fault, but if they were playing great last season, it’s doubtful. So what is it?
Well, in most cases, like in any other sport, it’s down to the coach. If you don’t have a good coach, you won’t get far. Players are there to do their job – which, in this case, is playing a video game and fighting another team for the win. They aren’t responsible for figuring out the tactics. Sure, before eSports was as big as it is now, anyone taking part in professional eSports playing had to give their opinion and thoughts on what to do. Since then, coaches have appeared in almost every game in the eSports competitive scene, which takes some pressure off the players.
But, what does it take to be a great coach in eSports, and how can that influence the team to play better? Find this out and more in the article!
You could be a tactical mastermind but if you don’t know how to communicate with the team and pull them out of tough situations, all that tactization is going to waste. There are a couple of characteristics that every great coach in eSports has.
For one, they are usually very open to other opinions and positive. Remember: you can’t always stay at the top of your game. Things change, teams lose, players falter. This is nothing unusual and unexpected; it’s all part of the game. But great coaches and good coaches are nothing alike. Great ones know how to approach their team when the going gets tough in an effort to motivate them and get them out of the slum. It’s easy being supportive when everything is going great, but it takes a lot to be the beacon of light when it gets bad.
Another thing that coaches have is tactical knowledge. They need to know everything about the enemy/opponent and work out the weaknesses. But at the same time, the coach needs to understand his own team’s weaknesses and iron them out. Sometimes, being spontaneous helps whilst other times, being calculated and tactical can bring glory. It all depends on the situation and the opponent, and that’s exactly what great coaches do – research, rehearse, revel.
Being the 6th Player
Another defining characteristic of a useful and helpful coach in eSports is acting as the ‘sixth player’. This is a term that would describe someone who’d give boosts of morale, tactical help, and anything in between to the players actually playing the game.
The coach sees what other players cannot; they’re completely focused on the game and what’s happening in real time, while the coach is fully capable at seeing the bigger picture and figuring out what to do next. In most cases, coaches don’t interfere with the match a lot; the Captain basically gives orders to the team because he’s the right hand of the coach. Usually, the captain has a bit more on his plate than other teammates, but this doesn’t influence his play.
The best coaches in the world generally change their own tactics a bit according to how the team plays best and how each player plays best. Every player has a role on the team and it’s the coach’s job figuring out who is best at which position and what is best to play.
We see this in soccer. Barcelona might play a specific formation under one manager, but if they aren’t used to what the second manager is doing, they won’t do well no matter how many superstar players they field.
So, in a way, tactics and proper assignments can beat a much more experienced team that isn’t playing to its strengths.
There you have it. Of course, these are just the most ‘required’ traits to being a great coach. The intricacies of this job are many and we just can’t list them all. There’s also charisma, emotional connection, making your players be great friends between each other, preventing animosity, etc.
There’s also the part where coaches teach their players not to celebrate prematurely, especially because of how many times this happened. Lastly, coaches usually tell their players never to underestimate their opponents no matter how weak they might look.
Being a coach in eSports might seem like a simple task, but it really takes some brains, knowledge, and a bit of experience. However, they are paid well so there’s definitely the feeling of happiness in the air (check out our coverage on being an eSports caster here). In the end, there are so many parts to being a great coach that it seems like it’s an impossible thing to do but hey – we have coaches everywhere in the world!