One of the hardest part about running an unsigned team is finding players. Unsigned players are always coming and going so as the manager, you will always need to be looking for new players. With thousands of players in the game and a couple of hundred in the rank you’re narrowing down to, how do you pick out which player to throw offers out?
Now just to get this out of the way, a lot of the examples I’ll use are from running a Tier 3 Overwatch team as well as knowledge I gained from other T3 Overwatch managers. Other than a clan back in Call of Duty Black Ops, I’ve never ran a team in other games but this blog can transcend to other games.
As I mentioned, a lot players are always coming and going in unsigned teams. In contrast to signed players, you aren’t really able to fully develop synergy or use strategies to its fullest potential. I was listening to a Ted Talks video by Amy Edmondson called “How to Turn a Group of Strangers Into a Team.” It’s a really good listen and I highly recommend it. Amy talks about the concept of “teaming” which she describes it as “teamwork on the fly.” There are three things Amy mentions that makes teaming work. In regards to esports, these three qualities should be something you should look for in a player and I’ll also discuss how to enhance those qualities.
The first one she mentions is to be “humble in face of challenges ahead.” I’ve seen many players who are just arrogant and think they can beat any opponents that come their way. It’s a very toxic mentality whether people voice that opinion or not. It makes that player sound like he’s saying, “I’m better than all of you” or “I’m the one that saved the team from your mistakes” or something along those lines and that’s just healthy for any team. It can create tension between players.
As a manager and even a coach, it’s best to try to weed out arrogant players. Sometimes, they are on their best behavior during tryouts and you won’t know until a few days or weeks in. As a leader, you should always be promoting humility with your players. By being humble, it opens their minds to new ideas, which brings us to the next point:
The second point Amy mentions is be “curious about what others bring.” Players need to open their minds to the ideas, especially from their teammates and coach. Each player has a different role to the team and some players may not understand his teammates role needs. Each role would be able to contribute ideas from their point of view to help improve the team and find answers like what meta should they use on a certain map or why certain strategies weren’t working. There have been players out there who are close minded and accept or listen to other people’s suggestions. They believe that their way is correct or they think they have the most knowledge. Even if they have the knowledge about the game, it’s always good to keep enhancing that knowledge to spark new ideas.
As a leader, you need to be able to instill curiosity to your players. Make them watch professionals play in tournaments, review vods and ask them questions on why games went the way they did and how to fix them or improve from them.
The last point Amy made was to “willing to take risks to learn quickly.” To basically work off the other two points, a player should not be scared to take risks. They should be willing to try new strategies and play new heroes even if they don’t think it will work. From those risks, they need to be able to learn from it as well. This is something you won’t know right away from tryouts or even within the first few weeks of them being on your team. You will need to create an environment to foster this mentality.
You’ll have to create an environment where it’s ok take risks and even fail. Let your players know that there are no consequences for the mistakes made when taking risks. The repercussions shouldn’t also be from you, the manager, but from the other teammates as well. Make sure your other players don’t beat them down for taking that risk.
So that’s pretty much it! These are traits won’t be blatantly obvious when trying out players but you can always ask some questions while trialing people to see if you can pull those traits out of them. Hope you guys enjoyed the read. But that is it for me. I’ll see you all next time!