Behind every great sports team, there is a top coach. But that’s not always the case in eSports. In the UK, only a handful of top teams such as TCM and Epsilon employ a fifth man to fulfil the tasks that they believe are easily overlooked - echoing key callouts, commending good plays and offering advice from a different perspective. Not everyone is convinced of a coach’s purpose in gaming, however, and many players prefer to operate as a standard team of four, believing an additional voice to be a distraction in the heat of the battle. Coaching

Behind every great sports team, there is a top coach. But that’s not always the case in eSports. In the UK, only a handful of top teams such as TCM and Epsilon employ a fifth man to fulfil the tasks that they believe are easily overlooked – echoing key callouts, commending good plays and offering advice from a different perspective. Not everyone is convinced of a coach’s purpose in gaming, however, and many players prefer to operate as a standard team of four, believing an additional voice to be a distraction in the heat of the battle.
Coaching has only really taken off in console eSports. It’s almost non-existent in PC eSports and you won’t see a coach actively working during play in a PC game.
You won’t see coaches at every console tournament, either. For example, Activision’s live Call of Duty Championship doesn’t allow for in-game coaching, even though they’re welcome at every other CoD tournament.
The Master Chief
Bravo, legendary Halo coach for Final Boss
Bravo, legendary Halo coach for Final Boss
© GAMMAGAMERS.COM
The competitive console eSports scene has thrived thanks to the popularity of first-person shooters. Call of Duty currently reigns but coaching really came to prominence during the Halo era. Bravo of Final Boss adopted an intense vocal approach that kept his team sharp and motivated, helping them overcome difficult odds. Today, Evil Geniuses’ Mr X shares a similarly spirited approach while also demoralising opponents by audibly damning their mistakes.
Yet there are only a few professional players with first-hand experience of top-flight gaming who are willing to take on the role and share their insight. Many who hang up their pad prefer to return to a conventional life away from rigorous practice regimes that are comparable to those in traditional elite sport. You see, watching players enjoy high-level competition can tempt coaches back into the fray to compete once more.
You don’t need to have a successful playing career to become a coach but you do need a wealth of knowledge. A high level of commitment is necessary, too as coaches learn the team’s style of play and offer their input. It’s what the players will expect from their coach, as knowledge of a team’s tactics can be crucial when making key mid-game callouts.
A Winning Mentality
Mr X, the coach of Evil Geniuses
Mr X, the coach of Evil Geniuses
© MLG
A good coach will need more than tactical nous as there’s more to being a team manager than watching the action on the screens. The mental state of players changes throughout a tournament as teammates bicker, suffer the dejection of a defeat and also become overconfident after a victory. A top coach can keep emotions in check, making sure the team is all pulling in the same direction and focused on sealing the win.
Coaches definitely add to the console eSports scene. They are often passionate, vocal and hardened members of the community who have come to expect criticism. As the stakes become ever higher and teams seek to gain every advantage possible over their adversaries, honest and dedicated coaches will be sought for their particular skill set. From the old guard of Bravo, Maverick and Triple X on Halo to TCM’s Swizz, Epsilon’s Dinge, EG’s Mr X and Optic Gaming’s Flamesword, there have been many great coaches over the years. Nevertheless, there is some way to go before the coach is universally respected as a powerful asset to a team’s campaign.
esports

Posted by

Father of five boys - my kids play all sports.

Related Posts

My little girl just turned two years old. She’s old enough to have her own interests (playing her...

Motion offense is a key part of the Basketball Australia curriculum and philosophy, and it’s taught...

There may be no more important position on the football field than the quarterback. Though the...

Have you done this? What can you add to this tip?