eSports Performance : eSports training and pro gaming resources

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

IS THE CPL DYING?

Some majorly unsettling news for the eSports community has just been announced on Gotfrag.com.

Todays eSp post is in respone to the new interview with Angle Munoz on gotfrag.com. To read the interview click here .


The way I see it:

a) Angel and the CPL have elevated eSports to a level most of us only dreamed about back in the day - anyone here even remember the PGL? Professional Gaming League? (Hint: CS wasn't even available yet)
b) We don't know anything for sure but it sure looks like the CPL is taking a backseat based on all the hype
c) eSports will continue no matter what - dedicated players will continue honing their skills and the sport will live on. It's just that it's changing. People got pissed when CS became the headline game of the CPL (I was one of them) now we have the CPL potentially taking on a different role and the WSVG possibly taking up the torch but the sport will continue to live and grow and change that much is certain.

My 2 cents here is almost spent...my gut tells me this really sucks as I thought Angel was doing a great job in spite of a lot of backlash from the community at times. The backlash just tells me people are really excited and into this and want to see it work etc. I hope the WSVG, if it is to replace the CPL (still speculation IMHO) will do as good a job and find some way to connect with the eSports community as well as Angel and his team were able to do. Who knows for certain? Basketball and other pro sports all went through upheavals like this in the past - nothing is static - especially in games.

Looking forward to what's in store for eSports and gaming...will miss what the CPL grew to represent if it fades - here's hoping the next phase of eSports...if we can call it that just yet.. will be as much of a blast as the first.

In regards to eSp I was getting geared up for regular weekly articles and may still forge ahead but I have to say if some main stream company who focuses on video games (as opposed to computer games) comes along and bastardizes eSports ... this blog and my writing on the topic of eSports training (which was just getting started)...might just fade out in a hurry.

Fact of the matter is, consols suck compared to PC's when it comes to the skill level and community that has been developed. 'Nough said for tonight. Read the interview and cast your 2 cents.

We will see what happens with eSports - at this point your guess is as good as mine.

Monday, October 10, 2005

eSports training and coaching: the Bootman interview

Chris "Bootman" Boutte is one of the most well known coaches in eSports to date. Currently back with Gotfrag.com creating great content for the competitive eSports community, Chris has gained a wealth of experience from his time as coach of Team 3D .

Over the weekend, Chris took some time to give us his thoughts on the current status of coaching in eSports. We were also fortunate enough to get his take on "going pro" and the importance of experience and practice. Chris also talks about the biggest hurdle players face when aspiring to go pro and his number one recommendation on how to improve your game. Without further delay, welcome Bootman to eSports Performance!

Thanks for agreeing to this interview Chris. To start, could you tell us a bit about your sports back ground and experience in the world of professional eSports?

As far as my sports background goes, I was a tri-athlete in high school. I played football, wrestling, and track. I'm a naturally competitive person, so eSports was a great fit for my love of video games. I started out at GotFrag as a moviemaker around the time of the first ESWC (even though I applied for the CAL-I predictor position). I eventually worked my way up through GotFrag and went on to coach team 3D and now I am back at this wonderful website, =D

You’ve been writing a lot of content lately for Gotfrag, is this a permanent career move or will you be getting back into the coaches chair in the future?

I'm not really sure right now. During my time coaching, I finally realized my passion for writing. I love showing people my point of view on certain subjects and seeing their feedback. As far as if I'll be coaching in the future...only time will tell.

What’s the current state of coaching in eSports? Do you think more teams will incorporate coaches and managers into their organization in the future or is coaching a role that is simply doesn’t work well with the sport?

In all honesty, I don't think coaching is going to happen until a well-respected player hangs up his mouse and takes on the responsibility of coaching a team. My main problem with 3D was the fact that I don't think they ever truly respected me due to the fact that I have never been a well-known player. Coaching will definitely need to be incorporated better into eSports eventually, but like i said, until a big player steps up, it won't happen.

Your fame in eSports has largely been tied to the playbooks you’ve created. How important is a playbook for a team to have? What other tools or method should teams consider when practicing for a big match?

Playbooks are honestly not that great. Every sport you play, you watch your opponent before playing them. I didn't invent anything at all. It is something teams should have been doing on their own long, long ago. The only thing I can suggest for match preparation is being diverse. The more unpredictable tricks you have in your bag, the better.

At what point do you think a team should consider finding a coach and or manager? Does every team need these roles to be filled in order to be successful?

I've had a lot of offers from lower tier teams trying to make their way to a professional level, and turned them all down. The is no use of a coach for a lower tier team, due to the simple fact that it is almost impossible to scout out other lower tier teams they will be playing. I do believe that all the top teams should invest in a coach though; it will be a big part in the future of eSports.

What’s different about how top teams prepare and train today compared to 2-3 years ago?

From my knowledge, teams prepare the same as they always have. And that is basically just practice, practice, practice.

Is there any team out there who stands out from a training point of view?

There are so many good teams out there, it's hard to pick. All of the top 10 teams in the world can win an event on any given day. This is why I don't like to pick favorites.

What are the biggest things that separate the top teams from the rest and how can aspiring gamers follow in their footsteps?


Experience. There is nothing more important in this game than just gaining experience. The more you play, the more you learn. It doesn't even matter if its against the best in the world when you practice, pubbing can improve your game if you take every time as a learning experience.

What do you think the biggest challenge is that faces players and teams who want to compete professionally in gaming?

Putting the necessary time in that it takes to become the best is the #1 problem with the top teams in the world.

Do think FPS’s like Counter Strike are based more on raw talent or is it possible for players to develop the right skills to get them to the top?


Well I'm a great example. When I play CS, I can barely hit the broad side of a barn. But my knowledge of the game helps me shoot people when they have no idea where I'm coming from. This game is 30% aim in my honest opinion. If you learn enough about the game, you'll be fine.

In your opinion what are the top 3 things players can do to work on their game?
I only have one. And that is watch demos. Every demo you watch, don't watch it like it's a frag movie, watch it to learn. Learn playing styles from all around the world and try them out and I guarantee it will help your game so much.

Any other thoughts on coaching in eSports before we sign off?

I think I said it all =D

Shout outs: Bobby weenus for always figuring out a way to degrade me in his week in reviews. =P

Thanks for your time Chris. We’re looking forward to more great articles and advice on how to take our game to the next level!




Sunday, October 02, 2005

eSports vs Traditional Sports: the training curve

Of the many things I enjoy about eSports, one thing that stands out in my mind is the rapid rate at which some gamers are able to progress in their skill level and ability playing a particular game.

Traditional professional athletes typically play and practice a game for 5-10 years before competing at the pro level. Contrast that with eSports, most pro gamers have only been playing a particular game for between 1 and three years. That’s not to say that professional gamers haven’t earned the right to be considered pro level athletes; on the contrary.

The fact is that in eSports, due to the “virtual arena”, an athlete is able to play matches and practice at a far great speed than has ever been possible in history. Take basketball for example. A typical team practice will consume 2-3 hours of a player and coach’s time. There is the set up: clean the floor, get changed, get the balls out, set up the hoops etc. There is also warm up and shoot around and stretching time. Then there is the regular practice including scrimmaging and drills and lessons in between. After words, players have to pack up, shower, and head out. Not so in eSports. The virtual nature of the world of electronic sports allows gamers to sit down at their computers and be involved in an intense practice session or match within minutes.

Not only can eSports athletes practice and play with more ease than traditional athletes, it’s the rate at which they can play that’s extraordinary. Instead of the regular 2-3 hours for one practice or game, in eSports a match only lasts 15-20 minutes, with multiple rounds taking place in quick succession. This means that players can amass an incredible amount of practice in a much shorter time period that traditional athletes.

The ability in eSports to rapidly train and gain experience is one of the major reasons why gaming is fast maturing into a bona fide professional sport. The level of competitive play continues to increase with players putting more and more time into honing their skills. A second key to the rapid skill development seen in eSports is the ability of players to create a demo or “movie clip” of their in game performance. Not only can players review each game move by move, they can download demos of top players from around the world and soak up the details of each pro’s playing style.

Add to the ability to demo the multiple info sites and community sites where players can interact with one another, share strategies, and ask questions of the pros. These types of things just don’t happen in the non-virtual world of traditional pro sports. Most players can only imagine what pro athletes had to do or go through to get to where they are. In eSports the community has a level of transparency and openness that brings the fans, aspiring pros and the elite gamers together for mutual benefit and makes the growth of competition and the level of play that much stronger.

Think about it. Wouldn’t you get better at ball if you could ask Mike how to improve your jump shot or talk to Wayne about behind the net movement? Of course you would. Will it ever happen? No. Not a chance. But that’s not the case in the world of gaming.

This phenomenon of pro / amateur / beginner interaction has helped increase the availability of training material, techniques and feedback lessoning the difficulty of what I call the “training curve”. Never before has there been such easy access to the best of the best and this is one of the reasons the sport continues to grow at a dizzying rate.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Post summer and site map explanation

Shoutouts to eSports Performance readers at the end of the season. The summer appears to have left Vancouver and the fall has arrived. After a brief break for a wedding and a few days at the beach we're back on track to provide you with all the good stuff on eSports training and team management.I am currently rounding up some interviews to be posted in September so stay tuned for some fresh content.

For those of you wondering why the site map was posted on the main page(see post below)I've created it to help users find pages on the site a little easier and with more commentary than Blogger allows in the side bar. This way you can scan the site map and read a description of an article before deciding to click on it. Google and other engines also happen to like Site Maps so I thought I would help them along in listing the site.

Hope everyone had a frag filled summer. Stay tuned for new posts in September - coming up!

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    Interviews


  • eSports Training:Interview with Chris "Bootman" Boutte of Gotfrag and Team 3D

    Chris' thoughts on the current status of coaching in eSports, his take on "going pro" and the importance of experience and practice. Chris also talks about the biggest hurdle players face when aspiring to go pro and his number one recommendation on how to improve your game.


  • eSports Training:Interview with Trevor “Midway” Schmidt of Gotfrag.com Part 2


  • Part 2 of an Interview with Trevor "Midway" Schmidt of Gotfrag.com

  • eSports Training: Interview with Trevor "Midway" Schmidt of Gotfrag


  • Part 1 of an interview with Trevor "Midway" Schmidt of Gotfrag.com

  • eSports training article : desire and dedication


  • Articles


    eSports training article on desire and dedication

  • eSports Performance Site Goals: eSports training from a different view point


  • Trust and eSports: Pro Counter-Strike Managers Speak Up


  • Trust in the Pro Counter-Strike scene

  • Counter-Strike Article: CPL Champions Interview


  • Sports Psychology and Pro Gaming: Visualize to Win


  • eSports training article on Sports Psycology and pro gaming.

  • eSports Performance: First Post
  • Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    eSports Training: Article on Sk-Gaming

    Check out what looks to be a good Counter-Strike training article over at Sk-Gaming.com. The article is on the importance of the first two pistol rounds and various strategies your team can employ to win this part of the match.

    It's good to see more content like this being developed by the pro's. One of the things that will drive this community forward faster than traditional sports will be the continued and growing community access to Pro-level training and resources.

    IMHO all professional eSports teams should be contributing in some way as SK has done. By providing resources for their fans and aspiring pro teams (read: competition) a pro team establishes its reputation in the community and increases the level at which the whole community plays at. GG and GJ SK - keep it up.

    Sunday, August 07, 2005

    Gotfrag.com V3

    Check out Gotfrag Version 3. The latest version of the site was released while I was away for a wedding over the weekend. Congrats to the Gotfrag team on a job well done. The site loads faster, has some cool new features, and of course looks snappy too!

    Monday, August 01, 2005

    eSports Training:Interview with Trevor “Midway” Schmidt of Gotfrag.com Part 2

    More effective training and what it takes to play at the pro level:

    5. What three characteristics do you think a team needs to succeed at the
    pro level and who best exemplifies this?

    Well right now dedication is the biggest requirement for a team to be successful. Complexity has really shown a lot of dedication over the past 6 months winning online leagues and continuing to practice. Now with their ESWC win; there’s a chance they could become complacent. Two other important characteristics would be skill and experience. People believe that they can practice and become a great player; that’s partly true, practice and development will help you become a good player but the difference between a good and great player is beyond practice. Another often-overlooked part is experience. The truly special players can step in and win at a CPL level; but even great players have trouble with that because of how much pressure and how new an experience playing at that level can be.

    6. Training is key to the success of any sports organization. What would your number one recommendation be to an aspiring pro team in order to improve the effectiveness of their training efforts?

    Organizing practices seems to be the most challenging aspect for teams right now. Professional teams have professional players but winning teams organize their practices well. When you are practicing, putting together dry runs of strategies, working on perfecting grenade throws and developing timing on attacks along with rotations of defenses are critical. I can tell clear as day when a team has spent their practice times well and when they have wasted time scrimmaging other teams and developing anti-strats for that team they like to scrim.

    7. After months of competitive play and long practice hours players can sometimes loose interest in the game – how would you suggest players keep their interest level high and keep playing and improving?

    I don’t think the players can be totally blamed for this. The current system in eSports really doesn’t lend itself to how players want to play this game. The best way is consistent playing match time, but events are separated and great players often tire with online play that leaves often more doubts about opposition then congratulations.

    8. Is there a common mistake teams make when training / practicing for
    matches that could be avoided?

    Teams become too focused on the team they are going to play instead of themselves. I think it’s very important to watch the opposing team to look for tendencies, but teams take that way too far. They look for strategies and depend on the other team to execute them to be successful themselves. A good team would watch the other team, look for some tendencies and then spend more time watching their own demos. Watching your own demos and looking for your mistakes will make you better; have trust in the team to become better and not always rely on the other team to make a mistake. Let me compare it to baseball, a pitcher in a clutch situation has a choice between his best pitch or the pitch that the hitter has the most trouble hitting. Go with your best pitch.

    Out of the Blue

    9. Funniest thing you have ever seen:

    I’ve had so many great experiences in my life and in eSports. I think one experience that seems to continue to develop is the pink hat. Originally it started out as a dare between Cogu of mibr and myself. He said I wouldn’t wear a pink hat out of a little hat booth at Rixhack where they made personal hats with whatever you wanted on it. I said ‘if you buy it I’ll wear it.’

    So he went over and got me a pink hat with “Midway” on it, in really elaborate cursive writing. The damn hat is barely readable, but I was a good sport and started wearing it, even on VBC broadcasts. Then I started getting a lot of crap and comments about it and I thought it was funny. Top players then started asking me if they could wear it during their matches, Warden donned the hat at ESWC, and took pictures with it. So while its not hilariously funny, it does make me laugh looking at players wearing it in pictures and seeing comments about it.

    10. Favorite line from a movie:

    The whole Wedding Crashers movie I recently saw was hilarious. I don’t think I have laughed so hard in a movie in a long time. Still my favorite line probably from the original Ace Ventura, “HALFTIME,” he said that at the insane asylum while they were look around for clues. The funny part was how he slammed his head into the bench after splashing water into his mouth, just hilarious when you also include the following scene where he walks over the bubble wrap. That whole movie is just amazing comedy.

    Thanks Trevor and good luck in your new role at Gotfrag - keep up the good work!