by Reino Jansen van Rensburg “Skillbill”
This article is dedicated to Jim. Who is Jim I hear you asking? Well, read on and you will find out.
I have noticed for several years now in both the international and local gaming scenes how a number of specific players within certain team-based gaming communities keep getting recycled over and over in the formation of new teams. Every community seems to have a couple of these gamers who just constantly keep on restarting the team forming process. They seem to change clan tags more often than they change their underwear.
Mostly anyone who has been around a while will know exactly what I am talking about. Every community has them. These guys can never settle in a team, and it’s difficult to establish whether these players are genuinely interested in serious competitive gaming, or whether they are just fooling around. This, ladies and gentlemen, is Jim. Jim has no clue how to start or manage a team, because he is under certain illusions.
This has been a big issue why certain games just cannot take off competitively in South Africa. Certain communities just do not have the numbers to support a competitive community where more than half the competitive players are changing their clan tags every week. There are just too many Jims in each team-based gaming community, and it’s time that we smack Jim in his big fat face so that he can wake up and see how stupid he is.
This has been irking me for a couple of days now, because I really believe that we can strengthen all the competitive gaming communities within the local scene if we can get these types of gamers (Jim) to actually commit to their teams for longer than a week at a time. I think I have identified as well what seems to be the underlying problem: these players do not understand how to lay the foundations of successful teams.
The problem with Jim
The problem comes in that these individuals seem to be under the impression that good gaming teams were born overnight. I mentioned earlier that Jim is a delusional individual, so allow me to describe to you how Jim sees the formation of a successful gaming team: Let’s use Vitrolic, of Bravado COD4 fame, as an example. One night, as Vitrolic was getting owned in a COD4 pickup, he shouted out over teamspeak: “HAY GUIS, LET US MAKE AN CLAN, AND MAKE IT AN GOOD ONE” – after which he proceeded to log onto every IRC channel and forum in the country to spam his recruitment message. Within the blink of an eye, Takbok, Vindicator, Roadrunner and Blackout messaged Vitrolic that they would be super happy to join him on his magical clan adventure. Within the space of roughly 5 days, they became the best COD4 team in the country.
Now you may laugh at this silly example, because it’s quite simply absurd, and it surely isn’t the way it happened, nor has it happened like that for any other clan that works their way up to be ranked amongst the best. Most teams, with the exception of a very few, take months, if not years to reach the cream of the crop. Their lineups stay consistent for the majority of the team’s lifespan. True, some teams do have setbacks, and they have to find replacements for players at a certain stage, but you will find that the core of most of these teams do not change much. Take Pantheon.CoD4 (long ago known as eG) as an example – their lineup has always consisted of Evax, PoOks, and Craolia for as long as I have been aware of their existence. The same principle can be applied to many of the other top teams.
“So what is the issue here really?” – I hear you ask. Well, it’s taken me some time to get around to it, but the main issue as I see it, is that these specific players (or “Jim” as I now have dubbed his collective likelihood), need to start realizing that Rome was not built in a day. More than that, what these players just don’t seem to understand is the sound relationships built up between the members of these teams.
A lot of Jims seem to be under the impression that these top teams log online every night, play their games, and log off – that their relationships with one another do not stretch beyond the time that they spend together playing their respective games with one another. This is where I believe the real crux of the problem lies. You see, Jim thinks that these teams operate on only superficial values which any individuals can achieve in a combined effort, and this is simply just not true.
The gamers who play in these top teams with one another spend a hell of lot more time with each other than what would at first be obvious to any outsider. Top teams are constantly using VOIP communication software as a way to centralize their team’s operations. Whenever most of these guys are online, it’s pretty safe to bet that they are hanging out with each other over mumble, ventrilo, or teamspeak. This is one of the most important steps in order to facilitate a winning culture within any online gaming team – to build up friendships that extend beyond the game you are playing.
How to get rid of Jim
Simply put, Jims need to stop making teams in the hope of finding a miracle, and they need to start building up relationships and friendships with other likeminded players. Only after they have found players who they enjoy to play with, and they can get along with each other outside of the game, having more in common that just wanting to point an AK at some guy’s head and pressing mouse1 – now that will enable you to reach your e-sports dream.
What I am getting at here, is that I want to create a picture within the mind of a player who is finding it hard to be successful within the game of their choice, that you can’t just expect to find success in a team based game by joining or starting 200 different teams and hope that something good will come your way eventually. Start focusing on making yourself more approachable to other players within the community who are in a similar situation as to that of your own. Invite them to come and hang out with you on a VOIP channel on one of the various publicly provided servers which are around now a days. If it happens that you guys enjoy playing the game with one another, and you have enough of you to start a team – then you are already half way there to creating a successful team.
Stop wasting your time trying to start up teams with random strangers in the hopes that you will one day reach the top – the chances of that happening are very remote. Rather surround yourself with people that you know, and work your way from there on up. Play as many teams as possible, and keep on hanging out with one another as much as you possibly can when you are behind your computers. This way you ensure that your team lasts longer than your erection did after you loaded up that website full of pretty girls last night before you went to bed.
Source: Bravado Gaming
The TF2CSA Team recognises that in our small community there are a number of “TF2 Jim’s”. Perhaps this is one of the biggest problems we face in growing the community? What do you think? Do you know any “TF2 Jim’s”? Shout out in the comments below.