Esports Training Is Serious Business
Even as recent as three or four years ago, when someone said they were trying to get into esports, it was met with mockery. Those people were told to get a real job, not to focus on those “dumb video games.” But, esports isn’t a hobby. It’s a serious job. There’s a great deal of potential money in it.
Esports are being added to traditional sporting events these days, like the Southeast Asian Games. The SEA is going to have six games to take part in: StarCraft II, Tekken 7, Hearthstone, Dota 2, Arena of Valor and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Games like Tekken, StarCraft and Hearthstone have their challenges. No matter how difficult they are, ultimately, only rely on your skills. Training for Arena of Valor is a whole different matter.
MOBAs are typically 5-on-5 tower defense affairs, where communication and teamwork are the most important thing. Each member of the team has their role and skillset to bring to the team. Are playing MOBAs fun? You better believe it. But, esports training is a serious business.
Training for events like the SEA is a full-time job. Liyab is an esports organization under Globe Telecom and Mineski and will send a team to the SEA to compete in Arena of Valor. Though the team is in the Philippines, their boot camp is in San Juan.
Most major teams send their squads to some form of boot camp or another, but it’s not what you’re thinking. Well, not exactly. The goal of the boot camp in terms of esports training is getting the team to work together and spend four hours playing the game on average.
Your team needs to gel and communicate efficiently and in a friendly manner. From there, spend a few hours on match analysis and strategy. That’s the most exciting part to me.
It’s Not Enough to be Good
All the mechanical skills of Doublelift, Faker, or Daigo Umehara, doesn’t mean a damn thing if you can’t analyze a situation and keep up with what your opponents are doing. Most teams have a style of gameplay that they look to for success.
Analyzing matches is one of the most important parts of esports. A common occurrence is scrims/scrimmage. Teams play against each other in “friendly” matches during their boot camp or downtime to practice.
This is another source of analysis since your team will no doubt record and look back on these battles. Players look at statistics and misplays to see what was right and wrong. Doing this without hurt feelings is important.
While the players need to be capable of analyzing moment to moment themselves, that’s also the role of your coaches and managers. While it’s great to have mad skills, having a sharp mind is also handy. You also want to be fit.
The team mentioned in the ABS-CBN article, Liyab also employs a sports psychologist. Being in shape, with a good diet is just as important as having hand-eye coordination. Part of being a part of a team is communication. It is something traditional sports teaches and is equally important in esports training.
Responsibility, Commitment, Teamwork
More than ever, esports is recognized as a real career path. There are universities teaching esports skills, high schools getting into esports leagues. Now with esports joining sporting events, we see serious change.
Angelica Neri, marketing manager and player development for Liyab, discussed this in the previously mentioned article:
“Esports is an equal playing field. You’re not required to be seven-foot tall. You are not required to have muscles. You need a strategic mind and the focus, and you need to be able to handle pressure in significant events. We have an excellent chance of winning.”
Anyone can get into esports if they have the right work ethic and dedication. That’s what makes esports so great. You don’t have to be a bodybuilder or naturally gifted with incredible speed. You can train and practice every day at home.
For years, esports players were paid next to nothing and had to work for what they have now. As times change and esports becomes a viable sporting event, more resources and accessibility has become available.
Knowledge is important too: Don’t dive into esports thinking you’ll be the next Justin Wong. It’s so important to have an education too. If you’re interested in esports, work on it, and practice. Remember, though, your studies and education should be the most important thing.
Nobody is guaranteed a major career in sports, electronic or otherwise. But, esports requires serious training and work.