Team changes seem to go hand in hand with eSports competition. From the early days of MLG to Iron Games Season One, we have seen a lot of changes in what was once a set standard for competition. Back then, sticking with the same players and working on improving as a team was the norm. There was a certain satisfaction from succeeding as a returning roster.
No team ever forms with plans to break up, but there are many factors that come into play that sometimes force a change. Here are some of those key factors as well as some of the impactful team changes we have seen leading up to Iron Games Finals at RTX.
1. Schedule Conflicts
many professional teams have a zero tolerance policy for lack of practice
The first factor is scheduling and the importance of practice. Like all other professional sports, practice is the most important element in improving and finding team weaknesses. Scheduling can sometimes become a problem for teams if players are unable to get online to practice with the entire team.
It varies for team to team, but most situations arise from conflicting work schedules, lack of dedication, or other professional obligations. In the past, we have seen the formation of an all-star team quickly disassembles days later due to scheduling issues. No matter the obstacle, many professional teams have a zero tolerance policy for lack of practice.
2. Tournament Availability
great results in online practice does not matter when players can’t get to the live events to compete
The second key factor, unfortunately, is when the player(s) are unable to attend live tournaments. One of Iron Games Season One Atlanta Online Qualifier winners, Hydra, was unable to attend due to one player’s complications with his flight to the event.
Whether it is insufficient funds or other personal reasons, having great results in online practice/competition does not matter when players can’t get to the live events to compete.
3. Team Dynamics
some teams are able to go back to the drawing board and come back even better
The third and final key factor for team roster changes is player’s performance and team dynamic. This one, without question, is the most important. If your team does not perform at the top of its game, then you will be packing your bags early. It could very well be due to teammates not getting along, which as a result could cause the team to play poorly.
Despite this, some teams are able to go back to the drawing board and come back even better. A good example of this is the team Almost Heaven. Although they were dominated early on in pool play at IG Toledo, Almost Heaven consisted of up-and-coming amateurs who managed to stay humble, focused, and happy, they showed the entire eSports world what it means to show resolve and improve mid-tournament. They managed to place in the top 4 in bracket play, reserving a spot for them at RTX. However, their cinderella story was cut short soon after IG Atlanta when the team parted ways with one of their players.
We have seen both of our Halo 4 LAN winners, VwS Legendary and Straight Shooters, make team changes for reasons listed above.
these changes did not result from lack of player performance
Two very dominant teams who hadn’t dropped a single game in either tournaments, decided to have team changes.
There are not enough details surrounding these teams’ decisions to outline the specifics, but we can surmise that these changes did not result from lack of player performance. We have witnessed many interesting team compositions lately, and it is going to be just as interesting to see which new teams are going to come together to compete against the best players in the world at RTX.
Article written by Jonathan Miller.
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