It may seem like the silliest things to say but I still belive this to this very day; the hardest part of competitive gaming is finding teams to compete.
At least at a local level here in Victoria BC I have found that time and time again players just fail to assemble a team to even compete. The easiest of course is the Doubles tournament but the mere thought of trying to assemble a team of 4 or more throws most would be participants into a panic and they end up not participating.
I’m going to lay out a blue print of sorts that will help you create and start a team in the world of competitive video gaming.
You can always reach out to various companies ( ie. EVO Gaming league) to create an interest in hosting tournaments. Most games have a multiplayer component in them these days but it’s up to the community to keep it going.
Step 1: Assemble your potential team. You notice I used the word ” Potential” in that statement. The reason you need to be careful in committing to people at this step is that you also need to determine what their availability and personal skill/commitment to the game you have chosen is. It also helps that they share your passion towards the game and want to take it to the next level.
The biggest challenge I have seen teams have with this step is that the people they play with on a regular basis are lazy. Video Gamers are lazy! I’m sorry but we are. It takes all of our energy to just play online with randoms and to many the prospect of having to work around a schedule and be accountable to a common goal is well…..just to much work. It is sad because I have seen some very talented players in my years that should be competing in events simply not show up when asked or commit and then bail at the last-minute. A lot of these players don’t understand competitive play and don’t want to take the time to ;learn about it. Those same players however don’t have any problem wasting their time away organizing ‘”Boosting Lobbies” in Call of Duty and glitching their way to 10th prestige.
Find yourself some good players who share your goal and are excited like you are.
Step 2: Try outs. If you have to use this step you have a good situation on your hands. It means that you have gathered the attention of enough players that you have top many and need to slim the ranks so to speak. The best way to do this is to hold qualifying try outs.
I personally don’t belive in this step but I have included it as an OPTION on determining who makes the cut. I think very few people will have this problem and its most likely going to occur if you publicly recruit for your team as opposed t o just hand picking your players to begin with.
Step 3: Create the Team: This is the step that takes your vision from being just a bunch of guys and girls who play online together into a cohesive formal . There are a few elements that will take you from Internet heroes to true established Team status.
A) Team Name: put some thought into this one. Avoid silly names and ” Joke’ Names. If your team starts to get attention this will give you more credibility in the long run.
B) Website; Not a requirement by any means but something that can serve to bond your team together and give you public awareness. Plus those pay pal ” donate” buttons are always a good idea.
C) Fancy Team Logo: Something cool and flashy that looks good on a T-shirt if you ever get there.
D) Register with local tournament leagues ( * Cough* Cough* EGL*Cough*Cough)
E) Branded apparel etc: People will really know your serious when you show up at an official event wearing matching jerseys!
F) Start a Facebook Page/Twitter feed/Youtube Channel/Twitch TV; Remember community loves to spectate and getting a channel set up and streaming your gameplay or showing montages are all ways to fast track your profile.
The skies the limit as to what you can do at this stage but everything you do needs to be for the greater good of solidifying the bond with your team mates and making you more efficient and dedicated as a team.
Step 4: Practice Practice Practice! Whatever the venue is that you will be competing in you need to make sure your skills are honed and your dedication is there. If your chosen goal is to win local events and perhaps go national with your team then you need to invest the time to make this happen.
Set up some realistic times every week where you guys are going to commit to being online or in person to have your practice sessions. Treat it like any other sport that your competing in. assemble the team get your practice in and stick to it. EDITORS NOTE: I HAVE ALREADY WRITTEN AN ARTICLE ON THIS SO MAKE SURE YOU CHECK IT OUT.
Team building can be very exciting and in an industry where popular perception is that we are all geeks playing games all day and not going outside; you definitely wont be changing people’s mind about the REAL benefits of playing video games but stay focused and don’t let the nay sayers affect your resolve.” Haters be hatin” and as long as you remember that playing competitively is just the same as your buddies baseball team getting together every thursday then you’ll do just fine.
Make sure you have fun with your team and get involved in the exciting culture of competitive gaming. Be ambassadors for a brand new sport that will be so mainstream in 10 years that you will be able to sit back and take pride in knowing that you where a part of that revolution in a time when no one else understood it.
Good Luck and I look forward to seeing your team pop up on our tournament lists!
Dwayne ” EVO Knight ” Morash