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 Essentials of a team

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EGM Eskimo MI
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PostSubject: Essentials of a team   Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:07 am

Subject: What Makes a Team Sat Nov 10, 2007 5:06 pm






Teamwork

All right. If you haven't noticed by now, H3 is all about teamwork, and wether you want to join a team for competition, or have fun winning in matchmaking, you have to know what goes into making a successful team. This probably won't be the first time you've heard this stuff, but what I've done is cross reference other sites to see what things they have in common.

The first thing you have to do is take into consideration the personalities of the team. Since teamwork and communication is key, you have to take into consideration the kind of people that are on the team. Are they the kind of person that will take suggestion, or honest criticism? Do they stick to strategy, or get bored waiting for it to develop? Are they the kind of person that blames everything on others when things go wrong, or objectively discuss what went wrong and work on improving as a team? There are a lot of aspects where this will come into play, and you'll see that if you take a persons personality into consideration as an underlayment of everything you read here.

Now that you know what kind of people you have on your team, the next thing you want to know is what kind of players do you have on your team. In other words, what are they good at. Before you can answer this question, you have to know what types of players are there, and it's more than just good or bad. There are offensive, defensive,strategy, and support players.

Offensive players like to take the fight to the other team. This is fine as long as it's done with a strategy in mind. The entire team has to be involved in it too, other wise no matter how good you are, you'll just look like a fool that keeps getting himself killed. How many times have you heard someone say, "Stop going over there!" or "Get back here!" Going after a team that's taken a defensive hold on a position with out the support of the team, and a good strategy in mind is just foolish. In this context, an offensive player can just simply mean the first one in to flush out the other team so everyone else on the team can clean them up. In chess, pawns are worth one point, and bishops are worth three, so you could liken it to sacrificing a pawn to take a bishop. One point for three.

Defensive players are the ones that would rather take up a position on a map where they feel the environment gives them an advantage and wait for the other team to walk into their "trap." These players usually don't care if they only get 4 kills, as long as they are on the plus side of the kill/death ratio.

Support players are the ones that don't have the most skill on the team, but will always be there to put another weapon on the opponent. They don't care who gets the glory as long as the team gets the win. Ironically, these players can often be the courageous too, as they will be willing to throw themselves in front of multiple opponents so their team mates can make it around a corner with an objective, or to save more than one of their own team mates. This is the ultimate in selflessness there is.

Strategic players. Even though everything you do should involve strategy, I think it's important to list this here as a type of player. This type of player, I think, is a cross between offensive and defensive type players. They will use the environment of a map to protect themselves while at the same time, plotting out where their next move will be. If a team mate is in trouble, they can adjust what they're doing in an instant. I put this one last because I think it's the ultimate in being the eclectic combination of all the rest. This type of player may have a particular style they like, but also have the realization that the game usually will dictate their next move, shifting nuances of their strategy for the good of the team. They realize there will be times to be offensive in nature, defensive, and even supportive in style depending on what's going on in the game. Can you imagine what it would be like to play against an entire team that's based on a strategic way of thinking? You expect to see this on the pro circuit, but it sucks in matchmaking to go against a team with even a basic understanding of these principles. Doesn't it?

Now you have your team together with an understanding of the type of players that are on it. What's needed next on your team? Leadership. There are many different types of leadership on a team, anything from one person shouting out orders to a collaborative style leadership.

With one person giving orders, there are draw backs. One person can't see everything that's going on in all the areas of a map, and what happens when that person dies? You'll have 10 - 15 seconds of no one giving orders, and if another steps up to take on that role, what happens when the original leader comes back? This is only one example of many problems with having just one leader. If you want to see a perfect example of a collaborative style of leadership, you don't have to look any further than Team 3D. If you know anything about pro gaming, then you know about Team 3D. They are always at the top of what they do, and they practice leadership by commitee. If someone says the other team is weak to the right, they go right, if someone says left, they go left. Everyone on the team is what I would consider a strategic player.

This leads us right into strategy. Obviously, this will change based on the DNA of your teams members, the map, and the weapons that each team controls, but there are still some underlying principles that you can apply to each situation.

Irregardless of what style player you are, on a successful team, you have to realize that there will be times other members of your team may have to take on that role if the game dictates it. Let's say your team is holding down one side of Narrows with one player to the right, one to the left and the two higher skill players inbetween, watching the second level of the bridge. (Bridge Two) Two members of the other team come accross the Cannon to the right, and two more over Bridge Two, then the player in middle right might move over to support the player to the right, and the player to the left might move over to support the middle left player with the two coming accross Bridge Two. I'm not saying this is the best strategy for this map, since I'm not the best player there is, but I'm simply using this as an example to show how the roles of each member on the team can change. (Feel free to try that startegy and let me know if it works though...lol)

Lets say you want to take on a more offensive strategy and take the fight to them. Do you take three members accross Bridge Two, and one below, or two by two? How about having the sniper on the team hang back giving support on Bridge Two? What if two guys make accross the Cannon, and start attacking your sniper? What do you do then? What are the roles of each member on the team then?

Also you have to keep in mind that to say one person gets the snipe, player two gets the ghost, and so forth isn't always the way things are going to work out. Do you really think that the best teams in the world sit in the pregame lobby saying "Joe, you get snipe, I'm going for ghost." The spawn points of the game will surely throw off the best layed pregame lobby strategies. It will send your entire team scrambling around the map while the other team gains map control, and by then the game is already surely lost. When you spawn into a game, just know where you are, what needs to be done, and do it. If you have two people running for the same sniper, and one running to the ghost, the fourth guy not really knowing where to go, just runs to find the best weapon possible, it creates chaos on the team, and even an opponent with minimal organization will gain control of the map, overwhelming the guy that went for ghost, and use it to destroy the sniper on your team.

This leads us to practice. When you first start practicing together is when you begin to iron out the strategies that work best for your team. Once you have practiced together for some time, is when you work on the execution of your strategies.

None of this is possible without communication. You must communicate well at all times. Before practice, during practice, and after practice. Before practice is when you discuss things like the formation of strategies that you want to develop. Going into custom games and doing walk throughs on the maps. During practice would be things like:

Where the other team is

Where they're going

Where the sniper is

When you're moving up and where

After practice would be the discussion of what went right, what went wrong, and things like that. If it's determined that a member of the team needs work on, like what to do when he/she has the snipe in the corner and is pinned down, then do a custom game and pin him/her down with battle rifles and take turns fighting your way out of the situation. See what works, what positions on the map would be good for giving that person support, and how that might change the strategy of the overall game.

No matter what though, it's important to communicate, communicate honestly and constructively, as well as precisely and often. What do I mean by precisely? Don't jam up the radio with useless stuff like complaining when you think you should have gotten the kill. You didn't, move on. If you spend too much time talking about useless stuff, you may miss something important, besides, if you're talking about something else, it means you're not letting your team mates know what's going on and you're hurting the team more than you did by dying 25 seconds ago. It can also lead to your getting frustrated and taking unneccessary risks, which again, hurts the team. I'm not saying you should be happy about dying, I'm just saying that if you don't quickly put it behind you in a game, you could end up causing more damage to the team, and the outcome of the game.

Here's where I may sound a little ironic, but you need to take into account the context of what I'm saying here. Though when you die in a game, it should be put behind you so you can deal with the situation at hand, what I'm about to say deals with the battle in the moment it's taking place. Each game played should be treted like you're in the finals of a world championship match. Each encounter with an opponent should be thought of like the score is 49-49. Don't think it's that important if you run in and die once? Let's say you're on a map like Last Resort, and you lose the sniper rifle. Now the other team has both. It can be very difficult to overcome something like this on that map. What if you're supposed to support the sniper and you see someone run around the corner, you chase him and end up double teamed around the bend. You just left your sniper to be overwhelmed by a double team, and you're down two kills with more to come trying to take it back.

If you're trying to improve, then you should think of each situation like this so you can practice what works in a one on one battle, or if you're pinned down by two BR's somewhere. With the new theater lobby, you can go back and look at what you did, where you went wrong, and even what the other team did to learn from them. If you go to the MLG site, there's some members that said they'll be file sharing some of what they do in matchmaking which will be an incredible learning tool for others.

Watch your own films too though, and learn from your own mistakes. Be honest with yourself as well, and know what your weaknesses are and work on them. Watch the films and help your team mates improve as well. If you know of a technique that would have helped them in a certain situation, then you can communicate this with them and help them practice it.

Obviously all of this takes a commitment by each member of the team as well, but if you're willing to put in the work towards even a minimal level of teamwork, I think once you see the benefits, you'll want to practice this more and more.

I hope this helps. If I left something out that you think is important, then send it to me at [email]sage@eg-extremegaming.net[/email] and I'll edit this article as needed.

EG SAGE
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EGM P0larb3ar
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PostSubject: Re: Essentials of a team   Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:06 pm

wow, i didnt know that you could type more than a sentence. but all is great info!
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PostSubject: Re: Essentials of a team   Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:17 pm

copy and paste dur!
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PostSubject: Re: Essentials of a team   Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:32 pm

so much reading. that was very informative and I will be sure to try some of those suggestions out
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