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