College esports could be helpful to NA Counter-Strike
College esports have not been welcomed with open arms by everyone. In my personal opinion, an ideal world would have no traditional sports or esports using the collegiate system; however, we don’t live in an ideal world. Collegiate esports can help players prepare for the professional scene. It takes time for people to mature, to “grow up” if you will. This is the reason why the NFL and NBA require young athletes to play some college ball: in order to mature themselves and their game.
Listening to coach
One thing I have seen that certain teams are trying to implement is the idea of using their coach in the way NBA teams do: making in-game adjustments during timeouts, managing egos and designing the game plan. From my point of view, the ideal style of coaching in CS:GO is adhering to those three duties.
Whatever you might think, having players coached on a college team will make players more coachable later on. They can learn to respect the voice of the coach earlier in their career; while it won’t make everything perfect, it should help coaches be more respected, specifically in the North American scene.
Quite honestly, I think organizations are part of the problem with this. An easy fix to the lack of effective coaching without having to bring college esports into the equation would be having a clause in players’ contracts that prevent them from being paid while listed as ‘inactive’. Then, allowing coaches to demote players to ‘inactive’ status should they choose not to cooperate. Basically, the orgs just need to give the coaches more power to make changes in the lineup, even something as simple as benching players outright could work.
It’s been rumored that most North American teams have not made the most of practice time. While we can’t know exactly what happens in their practices, there has been a lot of buzz from the Brazilians about how bad the practice is in the NA scene. Playing under a proper coach in a defined system with proper practicing, as we see in college football, will help prepare the next generation of players for success. After all, perfect practice makes perfect.
Maturity within the scene
One major thing lacking in the NA scene is professionalism and maturity. Teams are often built on personal relationships rather than trying to win. This has led to many possible super-teams falling out, just based on personality clashes.
Chemistry in CS is important, I’m not discrediting that, but at a certain point, egos have to be set aside. Admittedly, this dives a lot deeper than just Counter-Strike, at this point we’re going into the culture of the region, specifically the United States; so fair play if you call me out on that.
After going through the college system, players will be much older when they come into the professional scene, meaning they will be adults rather than 16 to 18-year-old kids. Specifically, it should help the work ethic within the scene, which seems to be a problem.
With more mature players in the scene, more teams will be formed with intentions to win. This would be an enormous step for NA; it could be the stepping stone into having a team capable of dominating.
This is an aspect that could apply to the entire world of esports, as players don’t last forever at the top. There are some exceptions, like Henry ‘HenryG’ Greer, a former Counter-Strike: Source professional, but having a college degree to fall back on is always useful. So in general, going to college would not only help the quality of Counter-Strike being played but also give the players a plan for after esports; not to mention, should esports get big enough, large amounts of college could be paid for if playing for a college esports team via scholarship. In fact, there already are some scholarships for college esports out there.
Talent comes/goes too quickly
For the most part, talent comes and goes pretty quickly in terms of the top level. There’s a reason we point to people like Christopher ‘GeT_RiGhT’ Alesund, or Filip ‘NEO’ Kubiski, as special cases. Spencer ‘Hiko’ Martin was just a few years ago in the argument for best player in North America, and now he’s playing for a team that should probably be in ESEA premier. This can be the downside of requiring collegiate experience before recruiting; however, I don’t think we would need to require college experience. In my mind, the best system for the college system is to make it optional, and just a good thing to add to your resume when applying for a team.
Overall, I personally think the positives outweigh the negative, but who knows if we’ll ever find out.
Featured image: Esports Observer
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