written by Disco
Open Division 2019 Season One is starting up in a couple of weeks, and this tournament is an opportunity for amateur players to get recognized and potentially become professional players. Even for people who don’t expect or want to “go pro”, this tournament is an opportunity to play in an organized environment, see where they stack up against other teams, and become better at the game. However, there are some common issues for teams in Open Division that make the experience frustrating but are easily rectifiable. Here are four common issues and the ways to avoid them.
Believe it or not, a significant portion of the games in Open Division end up being forfeits due to a team not being able to field a team. While it is possible to reschedule the match if both teams agree to it, it is better to assume that option is not available. The easiest way to avoid having this problem is to verify in advance that players can consistently make the match times for the five weeks of play. In addition, Open Division teams are allowed more than six people; however, having more than six people with inconsistent availability is not necessarily a workable solution.
Lack of Coaching and/or Support Staff
While it is certainly possible to do well in Open Division without any sort of coaching, the task becomes much more difficult without getting feedback. In the middle of a match, it is very difficult to determine what is not working or what needs to be changed. While these types of conversations should be occurring primarily in vod reviews and could happen with just the members of the team, it is especially important to get an outside perspective for improvement. Especially for teams looking to make it into playoffs, being able to have a coach to help the team improve is vital for helping the team win matches they should have lost.
This also extends to support staff. While most teams cannot justify having a manager, analyst, or vod recorder, teams that intend on doing very well in Open Division should not shirk away from getting the support staff needed to do so. These roles help the team to focus on their gameplay instead of other team-related concerns.
Respect for Teammates
While this should not be a common issue, teammates not respecting each other creates a great problem for teams looking to do well. Because almost all teams in Open Division are amateur teams, there is no contractual guarantee on behavior towards opponents, staff, or other teammates. Toxic mentalities are one of the easiest ways to derail a successful Open Division performance, and removing these mentalities are paramount for doing well. In fact, because this is so common and so dangerous, we’ve covered this topic before.
Misaligned Team Goals
It’s important to keep a team’s priorities in order. The problem many teams have is not having the same goals. If the player’s goals for Open Division vastly differ, there is little chance for that team to be able to achieve any of these goals. Players who are looking to have fun are going to play and act differently than players who are trying to make it to playoffs. Therefore, making sure that players are on the same page regarding what they want out of playing in Open Division helps remove any issues with players arguing or disagreeing on how to approach matches and practices.
These four common pitfalls are both easy to fix and difficult to recover from. By understanding that Open Division is a month-long commitment, teams can make the most of the opportunity and work to achieve whatever goals they have set for themselves during the tournament. Playing Overwatch in a tournament setting is a unique and fulfilling experience, and being able to maximize the impact of that experience is what separates good teams from great teams.