COACHING IN VIDEO GAMES – THE NEXT EVOLUTION IN GAMING
There is a good reason why coaching in video games is a topic that is starting to gain traction more and more. E-sports has been growing steadily and is now even more impactful than popular “contemporary” sports such as the NFL. Younger audiences tune in to streams of popular CS: GO, Dota2, LoL, Rocket League, or Apex Legends tournaments on Twitch. Millions of young gamers around the globe see a potential future in video games… but now, not only as players.
For you see, as the world of e-sports begins to mature and evolve, other branches become open and invite talent. From marketing and PR, communication and brand management, encompassing human resources as well as team coaching – all become essential to running the machinery.
Our view will be fixated on the coaching aspect. It is of course not something out of the blue since most successful e-sport orgs already utilized coaches. However, we want to go beyond the obvious. We want to include all aspects of coaching in video games and prove that it will be the next best thing that will drive gaming forward.
E-sports and its impact on society
As we mentioned already, e-sports is growing and becoming massive on a planet-wide scale. Countries from all over the world have already become a part of the I.E.S.F (the International Esports Federation). There are already tournaments being created with massive community support.
Still, these efforts are minor compared to the already established e-sports scene by the “major” players. Activision Blizzard, Tencent, Valve, Riot, EA, and Nintendo are amongst the gaming juggernauts that have helped organize tournaments for millions of players for their respective games. Millions of dollars have been on the line as cash prizes and there have been well over billion hours of streamed content, exclusive to e-sports championships.
As e-sports become more and more accepted, the expectations and entry limits become lower and lower. Kids can already partake in large Fortnite tournaments, while Minecraft servers have been consistently swarmed by crowds of young builders. Thanks to the ever-looming influence of e-sports, the impact on society is massive. Right now, sociologists and psychologists are already predicting massive changes in the way future generations will differ from contemporary ones. Organizations within the USA like Vanta already team up with high schools to create minor and major league e-sport tournaments in that space. The growth opportunities are endless!
The idea that e-sports have a prime influence on their contributing and engaged audience is no longer a theory – it is a fact. Youngsters follow YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch celebs, whose main occupation is gaming. We are now in an age where gaming culture is educating these newcomers, primarily over a smartphone (and then PC/console). That means that competitiveness, the drive to win, to get better, and to thrive alone/or as part of a team are the building blocks of the modern gamer.
COACHING WILL SHAPE A NEW GENERATION
So how does coaching in video games come into play? We already mentioned e-sports and the importance of coaching. Each team needs an experienced player who going to offer:
- Unbiased approach to dealing with any competitive situation,
- Analyze individual and team performance and offer guidance for improvement,
- Follow the competition and analyze for strengths and weaknesses to exploit,
- Propose tactics and prepare the team’s mental and physical well-being.
This is, of course, the very tip of the iceberg. Coaching in video games is already expanding beyond e-sports. After all, 95% of video game enthusiasts aren’t part of an official e-sport, nor do they play competitively. This is a market so huge (close to 3.5 billion gamers from all age groups) that is impossible to “coach” in the hard-core, e-sports approach.
That is why a new wave of coaching is taking the world by storm:
- “Entry-level” coaching is for players who want to get into a competitive scene but are either very bad or want to get better
- “Play with a pro” is coaching a Professional player who wants to both have fun and learn something to help them improve
- “Hard-core” coaching is for players who have the drive and commitment to enter a competitive scene (alone or with a team)
- “Play for fun” is for those who just want to experience the game and maybe pick up something along the way – no strings attached
We’ve seen MANY pro players utilize this new wave of coaching to their benefit. After all, not every single player can win a major tournament and secure pay from a well-funded organization. With the pro scene getting flooded with very capable players, where the margins of error decrease every year, players need to be able to cash in on their expertise. Coaching is arguably, shaping up to be the next best thing.
Play for FUN or PLAY TO WIN?
Coaching in video games is going to shape the new play-for-fun / play-to-win ratio for gamers. We are addressing both sides of the coin here – the competitive and the relaxing crowd. How do you think this will be achieved? Well, it all boils down to “availability.” As gamers age, their commitment to games is starting to dwindle due to responsibilities. This opens up the opportunity to play only when able. Not having anyone around brings in Pro or even Casual (but ready) players that can jump in and provide a good time.
The driven and competitive-ready players will always need someone reliable to up their game. Anything from skill improvement to tournament-ready mentality will mean the difference between qualifying and winning. So many opportunities are being presented that the market is sure going to flourish in more than one direction.
We at Blazing believe in this future for gaming. To be a part of a flourishing market where competitiveness and fun are integral components of video games. It is why we think coaching is the ultimate way to get better, and gain confidence and skill to walk the path of the “Pro”, while experiencing the game to its full potential.