Have you gotten into an XBOX Live match and seen a group of players all with the same CLAN tag and gone ” Oh man , we are in for a butt kicking now”? Its a funny thing to say ; I mean after all the only thing separating them from you and your buddies is a 3 letter Clan tag in front of their name right?
Wrong. Those players probably ARE going to kick your ass but its not because of their tag; its because the have most likely taken the time to form a team and practice together. Yeah yeah I know it sounds silly; practicing to play a video game. Who takes the games that seriously that they would allocate time in their lives to have a practice session and try and get better at a particular game? Well you are reading this article so you are half way there my friend.
Lets start out with the “why’s” before we tackle the how.
E sports are just like any other sports in the world; If you want to get good at them you have to practice. Playing a lone wolf game can actually be pretty easy in comparison to team play. In order to gel as a team you need to play enough with your team to know the strengths and weaknesses of each player. To give you an example whenever I play in a team environment I make everyone aware that I am not a good sniper and also tell them what my strengths are < I prefer to play as an assault role combing the level ground looking for prey>. This heads up lets my team play a role to support my tactics. On the flip side if you now that your team is sniper heavy you need to be able to tackle a different role yourself and ensure that you are balanced and diversified when it comes to game time.
Calling out “strats” as a team is also a fine art. Having played with a large amount of pick up teams I can tell you it is a nightmare when my team mates don’t understand my call outs or have no map knowledge. You may as well just hit the “forfeit” button in most cases.
In any competitive Team environment you need to be able to work together and not only understand your fellow players but also be able to inspire them to do better. Friendly rivalries between team mates is a healthy thing and in most cases inspires everyone to do their best to improve.
No one can deny ” WHY” you need to practice but “HOW” do you set up a successful practice session with your fellow clan mates without it turning into a all out waste of time.
SCHEDULE IT. Make a point of setting aside an hour or two of dedicated private match play time. Get your team together in a party chat and talk about what you need work on as a tea. Specific maps and or game modes or maybe your trigger finger is rusty and you need some warm up free for alls. Whatever the plan is make sure you are on time and ready to practice. Hold everyone accountable and make sure they are equally ready to improve.
HAVE A GAME PLAN. If your practice session is going to have a time limit make sure you decide what you want to accomplish with it. Are you needing some practice with certain weapons? Maybe you need someone to help you with a certain game mode and how to play it effectively. Whichever it is focus on it and make sure your time is well spent.
THE POST GAME WRAP UP. At the conclusion of your practice session make sure you take some time to talk to your team mates and give them valuable feedback. A good sharing session may actually bring to light some info that you and your buddies didn’t know individually. I know that I’m always picking up tips from team mates after a round while we are waiting in a lobby for the next match; specifically about what worked and what didn’t in the last round.
Pretty soon you to will be rolling with a group of squad mates all flying your own clan tag in front of your name as a symbol of your dedication to Team play.
Dwayne” EVO Knight” Morash