A couple of months ago, a WSJ article titled “Ready, Aim, Hire a ‘Fortnite’ Coach: Parents Enlist Videogame Tutors for Their Children” went viral across the internet. To many, outside the sphere of esports and video games in general, it did seem like a very crackpot concept. But to people aware of the unprecedented growth of esports, this was foreseen. Coaching in gaming is not really a new behaviour. This sort of service has been around in a rather fragmented fashion as early as the existence of competitive gaming. Today with the increasing number of gamers, flourishing gaming ecosystems and the huge amount of tournament winnings up for grabs, coaching services for gaming are becoming more relevant.

What about free contents?

Why go for coaching when there’s a tonne of Youtube video lessons, Twitch live streams and posts on Reddit and Liquipedia? Indeed, there’s a huge repository of free educational resources out there, but in a very scattered and unorganized fashion. Youtube guides and lessons are predominantly targeted for people just starting out the game. The number and effectiveness of such guide videos keep decreasing in the higher skill bracket. Often times, guides are not renewed after the release of new patch updates.

When you win 10 matches and then lose 10 matches right after

Watching the live streams of your favourite pro player is something very common amongst the enthusiasts. On top of the entertainment value, people primarily watch live streams to learn. But most often than not the streamer would just crack a joke or two, chat with fellow gamers in his party or worse still, they just stay put while playing the game. It’s rare to find streamers explaining their in game decisions, thus leaving it upto the viewers to figure out all the subtle plays they made during the game.

Great entertainment value, but the not most efficient of learning resources

When it comes to forums, facebook groups, steam communities and subreddits, in most cases one will have to plough through a gazillion pages/posts before finding something relevant. And then comes the challenge of translating whatever that is written in the post into actual gameplay. And this might not be the most suitable medium for people who learn by doing, as opposed to people who learn concepts step by step.

How does coaching solve the problems? 

While free contents on Youtube, twitch and forums are still some of the best learning resources available to gamers in general, a personalized coaching session can address a lot of the limitations discussed previously.

Youtube can be a good starting point for beginners. But for someone stuck in a skill bracket, especially in the lower tiers, Youtube guides can’t really help much. This is when you need the experienced eyes of a coach to help raise your gaming. A coach can help you identify subtle mistakes that you are making throughout the game. He can inform you how to make the most out of the latest patch updates, suggest strategies most relevant to the meta (strategy, action or method) and lastly, give you tips on improving your mind set so as to NOT get tilted (translation for non-gamers: getting mad at something or someone) and brush off a bad experience as just another game!

One of the most common and effective ways of coaching is replay analysis, where the coach and the coachee watch one of the coachee’s recently played games. While pointing out the mistakes during the game, the coach can impart information about game mechanics, explain hero strengths/weakness (applicable to MOBAs) and point out inefficient habits. On top of that, the coach and the coachee can always get on a private lobby to demonstrate new game mechanics concepts through in 1 v 1 lobbies.

Coaching can take place through 1v1 lobbies, duos /party play or replay analysis/live commentary

A lot of our coaches have gone through the grind of climbing up from the trenches of the low ranks to a decent enough level. And they can guide you to achieve the same feat. Depending on your current level, your daily commitment and your goals, the coach can tailor a learning journey just for you and assign certain tasks for you to complete before the next lesson. It would take far more time and effort to achieve something similar if you are on your own.

Ending Notes

Even though coaching services have been around in an unorganized fashion over the past decade, a chunk of gamer population are still in the dark regarding this form of services, to the extent that some people from the community itself going as far as to sneer at the concept of coaching for gaming. We can draw parallels here with how much a trainer can make a difference at the gym or how a one-on-one tutor is more effective than a one-to-many. Whether you are a gamer who wants get better at stomping the pubs or level up in ranks to flaunt on social media or set off on a path to become a pro, a coach can help you get there in a lot more efficient and effective manner, than you would have done on your own. So get a coach today! :D