Nien on objective control, the importance of coaches for teams, and the significance of being confident

Hello everyone, this is Nien with another blog for you guys to read, criticize, and enjoy! 😀

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In this blog I’ll mostly be talking about the importance of controlling objectives, the benefits of having a coach/coaching staff, and the necessity of being confident in your own ability.

In league of legends, the main way to win the game currently is to have superior objective control than the opposing team. If your team is the one not only applying pressure to, but also stealing/protecting the many towers, buffs, dragons, and last but not least, barons of the game, your team will generally be the one who is victorious. In past times, teams have not really put all too much significance on objectives, which may sound weird to you as a reader, considering it is generally common knowledge that whoever is in control of the objectives is in control of the game, and thus, will be victorious.

The thing is, people have known this for a long time, but until C9 made its debut in the NA LCS, no team in NA actually prioritized objectives nearly enough. Ultimately, C9 being added to the NA LCS was a catalyst for massive improvements in other NA teams. In their first split, C9 ended with a very impressive score of 25-3. The reason why they were able to have such a dominating record is not because they had the best individual players and crushed their opponents through sheer skill, it was more so because they had, without a doubt, the best strategical sense in terms of how the game was meant to be played in the mid-late game.

Recently, one of the most important things a team needs to have is good rotations, as you can see very clearly in one of our games vs. Crs around a month ago, where we did not end up getting first blood until 22 minutes into the game, and we ended up winning the game 3-4 minutes after that. We had accumulated a huge gold lead by that time, and won the game simply because we had much stronger rotations than they did. Rotations are just how you and your team move throughout the map, whether it be lane swapping, roaming from your lane into another, or grouping down midlane after shoving out the sidelanes, rotating around the map is one of the most important things in this current meta and every player on your team needs to have a good understanding of how to rotate effectively and efficiently, not having this ability hurts your team greatly.

Something else very important to a teams’ success is a coach, or coaching staff. Honestly, I feel the important thing for a team to have is a good coach, without one, your progress will come a LOT slower, and ultimately, you will not become as strong of a team as you can become. I strongly feel like the main reason why Korean teams are so dominant compared to other regions at the moment is due to the fact that almost every single Korean team has at least one coach, and most have a coaching staff. The coaches/analysts are there to help the player as much as they possibly can and make sure all the player has to focus on is their own gameplay, whereas teams in other regions without coaches/analysts are required to not only do the extra work that a coach/analyst is meant to do, they will probably do a worse job than someone designated to be analyzing or coaching a team as their sole job.

For example, I have never felt even close to as much improvement as a team in such a short amount of time as when Montecristo, our coach and OGN’s English shoutcaster, was able to stay with us for a mere two weeks. Having him there not only gave the team discipline, but he also gave us motivation and determination, and ultimately we made a much better use of our practice time. It’s just a really weird concept to me that in practically every other sport, the players or player will almost always have a coach or multiple coaches to guide and discipline them into being successful athletes, what separates League from these other sports to make having a coach less beneficial? Absolutely nothing. Although coaches and analysts aren’t staple for eSports teams YET, without a doubt in my mind I can say that it WILL be a staple in the future, as more and more money gets circulated in the scene, and as the scene becomes more and more prominent.

Another topic I want to talk about briefly is the importance of confidence as a pro player, and the reasons why it is such a big deal. As a LCS player you are required to play in front of hundreds of thousands of people every single weekend, and every single one of these people has their own opinion, to varying extremities. Throughout my time as a pro player, confidence was never really something that I struggled with, but recently I’ve had a huge issue with it. After a lot of poor performances by me at IEM cologne, the Battle of the Atlantic, and some LCS games, I started to believe in myself less and less as a player and started to lose confidence in my own ability, and that is something that you can never have happen.

Over time, negative comments and negative thoughts can do a lot of harm to a players mindset, and ultimately my mindset was destroyed, I stopped believing in myself, and I think it really showed in my play. Even for random LCS games I was incredibly nervous, when before, even at my very first LAN tourney, nerves and jitters were literally no issue for me, because I was so confident that I could crush everyone there, and I’ve lost a lot of that confidence. However, I’ve worked my way out of my slump and am in the process of regaining my confidence, and even if no one else believes in me, as long as I believe in myself, I will be able to not only regain my confidence in its entirety, I will be able to crush my opponents yet again.

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by Zach Malhas, on March 28, 2014