My Experience Coaching League of Legends



About 5 weeks ago LAN Mob launched Project Veigar + Project Bastion, which you may have heard about from Bossman's past blogs or around the shop. Essentially these "projects" were formed as a way for LAN Mob to support the Zehn Masters competition going forward, specifically for League of Legends and Overwatch. We've been putting a lot of energy into practice nights which include special passes and coaching services for both games. If you're interested in Overwatch or League of Legends definitely let an employee at LAN Mob know, as we're trying to build a big roster for scrims and more opportunities, and we'd love to give you more information.



I Never Signed Up For This

As I mentioned above, these practice nights are accompanied by a small coaching staff, working hard to support and guide players as they see fit. I was chosen to be the "head coach" for Project Veigar and Assistant Coach for Bastion, and I wanted to share some of the unique successes, challenges and even lows of the experience. I consider my perspective relatively interesting, or at the least pretty unique.


My initial thoughts after being chosen were incredibly nerve wracking. It's important to note that I've never coached a group before and while I felt confident sitting down with one player and discussing improvements, working with 5 players is a completely different beast. I think it's pretty normal to be nervous about doing something new, especially when people are relying on you, but I tend to overdue it a bit and make myself way too anxious. It's hard not to plague yourself with questions like, "Am I fit for this?", "What do I do when X and Y happens?" and even the eventual "I am definitely not fit for this.", but like all things with some practice things get easier and it's simpler to find confidence. In the very early stages I had a lot of thoughts about whether or not I was actually capable of coaching on a game mechanics level; which I addressed relatively quickly.

Can I Do This?


I'm only Silver ranked which sometimes looms over me like a storm cloud. I am certainly confident enough in my abilities to at least hit Gold, but as you can see by checking my op.gg page (http://na.op.gg/summoner/userName=greatgetesage) ; I average about 12 Ranked games a year, which is distinctly my own fault. I placed Silver 1 my first year of provisionals and I still kick myself for not making the simple climb up a rank. There are many reasons for this, the main one being time and energy, but I realize that just sounds like an excuse. Despite a lot of players saying what level they feel like I play at, my "permanent record" (so to speak) is still a blaring Silver and I genuinely thought it would effect how people receive my advice. Thankfully my years and years of game knowledge and years of watching competitive league have given me more game knowledge then I ever imagined, especially when the team started practicing. It's ironic that I spent upwards of six years playing League of Legends for fun when I was pretty capable of understanding the game on a higher competitive level.


I Got This



Once my internal turmoil was over, and we had our first practice and began playing together as a team; there were (and still are) many ups and downs. Ultimately, I think the team improvement as a whole was extremely noticeable after a handful of practices, despite the added difficulty and complications of a "liquid" roster. Project Veigar's first real challenge was the Zehn Masters League of Legends Qualifer # 1 where we faced off against 2 other local teams. Our run ended in an 0/2 loss with the major gap in game understanding being made pretty apparent to me, but we had some real moments of brilliance and cohesion. It was also a bit of a treat to compete against SuperNova, the team who ended up winning the qualifier. Their synergy and camaraderie on top of raw game knowledge and skill is nothing less then impressive.

A lot of my personal duties lie in researching and understanding the current "meta", looking at things like win-rates, counter picks, bans, etc, etc. For the most part these statistics are relatively easy to understand, but one deeply frustrating aspect is how many players tend to either become a slave to these stats, or try to ignore them all together. A lot of the stat websites are pulling information straight out of solo queue, and any player worth his mettle will tell you solo queue League of Legends is much different then 5s League of Legends. However for the most part Project Veigar has done an excellent job at understanding what champions are strong and why, which certainly helped us grow together. I'd also like to note that we started practicing right around preseason, a.k.a Riot's annual nonsense parade, so getting a read on the meta at this time of year is pretty damn impressive.

Moving forward I think Project Veigar will still continue to be able to truly understand what's strong and why, and we can continue to manipulate comps around said understanding. The meta is always evolving so it's a constant effort, but it certainly reaps many benefits. Another huge positive and point of pride for me was how relatively quickly the players we're working with are able to pick up some champs. Obviously we're quite far off from the highest level of play where players are expected to understand and be able to play almost every single champion for their role, but considering our options I couldn't help but be proud of our ability to adapt.


Guys. Stahp.


Unfortunately there are a plethora of difficulties when it comes to working with a group of people in this way. In a competitive team based game there will obviously be some level of clashing, especially when egos are involved. There has been a certain level of in-fighting and even full blown toxicity, but we've made steps to keep it under control, which has been pretty mentally taxing. In fact, the early days of Project Veigar made me want to whip my phone out the window as I was bombarded with a lot of questions that I felt I wasn't always ready to answer. Some players are shy while others are very vocal and out-going, some players like to play X while other players like to play with Y, such is the difficulty with group dynamics. To be completely honest I was absolutely blindsided by some of the drama and baggage that was sent my way. Sometimes I couldn't help but feel irate, I really just wanted/still want to focus on the game and continue to develop strategies. I think a majority of the emotional maelstrom I've encountered comes from a place of passion, but some players are having a hard time properly channeling that passion so that it doesn't turn into toxicity.

I want to stress that my peak of motivation was our loss at Zehn Masters Qualifier #1, and my biggest slump in motivation was after some infighting, drama-rama and general disarray, and I think that speaks volumes. I think that this area is filled to the brim with talent and game knowledge and Project Veigar is a way for local players to actually get some support moving forward, but just like any organization there's an expected return of respect, communication and emotional control. I know that this has a ridiculous growth potential, and I'll do everything in my power to help players reach new highs and conquer old lows, but it's a two way street. For every difficulty faced we've also seen some incredibly motivated and inspired players in both Overwatch and League of Legends, and I keep reminding myself that the difficulties are 100% worth the energy for said players. It's easy to keep working hard when you see players really absorb whatever advice you have to give, even if it's relatively basic. Zehn Masters spawned the idea for these Projects, but by no means is that where we plan to stop, and we will continue to put even more effort and time into building real rosters with real goals. Needless to say, I'll be working hard to do my very best to keep my promise to the players at the start of Veigar - to see genuine and real improvement.

In closing I'd also really like to note how dedicated and hard working the entire "support staff" has been, from my own perspective. Slooze has continuously helped me to tackle subjects and provide incredibly strong input all the way from Florida, while Bossman has been an amazing organizer on top of keeping me on track. Rob and Enrique have also been incredibly supportive, especially when I was feeling at my wit's end with such a big project. I can't really stress how much energy has gone into this on top of all the other things happening at LAN Mob; and it all comes from a place of passion.


Bossman note: Knowing Cody for all these years I've understood that vault of League knowledge in his head is a huge asset to the business, and Project Veigar wouldn't be able to take shape without that. Coaching a team was a bit outside of his comfort zone but I'm happy where he's brought the team to, and I believe Cody and the team can continue to grow into a great organization. With Zehn Masters wrapping in January we're looking to expand the team of coaches, and as Cody says above we're always looking for more players to try out. Please reach out if you're in the area and interested.
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