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Kai CA Kai
Name: Jason Kai
Age: 23
Location: Mississauga, Ontario

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Building a Team
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Is Counter-Strike Source Dead?


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Talent or Chemistry

Michael Jordan once said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and cooperation wins championships.” This is true in many different sports, not just basketball. The Chicago Bulls of the 90s was a team composed of many extremely talented players such as Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, John Paxson, Horace Grant, and their coach Phil Jackson winning 6 championships in 8 years, with two three-peats. They had won an NBA record 72 games in the 1995-96 NBA season. Even with all the talent, and the ability to win games, it is not possible to win any type of championship without team chemistry. However, for the Chicago Bulls, this was not a problem. The Bulls was a team that was never as selfish as any of the current basketball players. A perfect example is Stephon Marbury of the New York Knicks this season. During the last offseason, the Knicks had acquired more talent via trade and free agency, and also brought in former Phoenix Suns coach Mike D’Antoni. Marbury fell out of D’Antoni’s rotation by the season opener, and did not play. However, due to injuries to teammates, Marbury was given a chance to go into the game as a sub, and help his team out. Instead, he refused, and sat on the bench. Is a selfish player like this really worth keeping on a team?

Dimitar Berbatov, a striker in the English Premier League, was acquired by Manchester United (Man U.) for a total of £30.75m. However, in my opinion Berbatov just does not fit into the style Man U. plays. He is just too slow compared to players such as Wayne Rooney, Chistriano Ronaldo, and Carlos Tevez. Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager of Man U., however believed differently, but has yet to find the right spot to put Berbatov in with Rooney playing a central role, and Ronaldo as a winger. What does this show though? It shows that yes, the team is composed of a line-up full of stars, but it has a problem finding a spot for all of the stars of the team.

A similar problem could occur in eSports. Focusing more on Counter-Strike, a game, when played competitively, is composed of 5 players on both Terrorist (T) and Counter-Terrorist (CT) side working together as a team to either plant the bomb or eliminate the CTs (when on T), or defusing the bomb once planted, or eliminate the Ts (when on CT). An example is the former team 3D. They had a number of the top players come and go because they could afford to pay salaries to these players. But the question is that with the roster changes happening, were they ever able to really build a strong chemistry with all five members? When players didn’t play at the top of their games, they were let go, and new players were brought in to replace them.

The problem with a game like Counter-Strike is that everything happens so fast that a player can never really settle into team, or situation. Players get picked up and cut so fast in any level of play, or they join a team with a roster of 10-11 guys and the team cannot find time for everyone to play. People become unhappy and leave, forming or joining new teams, and shaking up that team’s roster. How exactly has this affected teams? Well one thing that I have noticed is that most teams rarely win back-to-back LAN tournaments, and this could be because of roster shake-ups that affect how a team players, and whether or not strats change.

Besides roster shake-ups, other problems that occur, especially when you are playing in lower tier levels of competitions (e.g. CAL-Open, CEVO-Amateur, etc.) is you tend to find teams refuse to communicate. Communication is a key thing in any sport. Playing volleyball, I find that when the people around me don’t communicate, then problems tend to happen (e.g. people running into each other going for the ball, or letting a ball drop because they don’t know who is going to get the ball). Teams in Counter-Strike require communication because they want to know where enemy players are and where they are coming from. Knowing this information, players can decide if they want to push their positions and flank opposing players, or play passively, and hide to wait for opposing players to run by them before gunning them down. In most cases, teams stop communicating when players are frustrated because they cannot get a kill or they often get killed by opposing players.

In the end, the team that has the most talent, best chemistry, communicates properly the most, and works the hardest, will usually be the team that comes out on top in tournaments. To end the blog article, I am going to leave you with this:

“The team can only play as well as how hard the players work.”

- Kai

*Idea of the article came from an article written by Kevin Palmer of ESPN, written about Dimitar Berbatov.
(Article can be found here: http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=606899&sec=england&root=england&&cc=5901)

Comments: Add a Comment

quote#1 US Popcorn1 08/01/2009 - 06:12:58
Great read Kai. That is so true, you need all three to have a successful team. eSports and Sports are team games, one player can't win it all the time.

quote#2 US ryan 08/01/2009 - 14:38:53
Good blog, and very interesting, because people always think they are great because of induvidual skill.

quote#3 US moGwai 11/01/2009 - 04:07:33
Chemistry can be obtained sometimes with little time, I don't think that on a top tier level of gaming that players have a hard time fitting in, which is why variety is so often implemented, hence players are cut and benched for certain matches, tournaments.

Like any sport, there needs to be a coach figure, organizations represent this. Although there may be competition in organization success, the success of one organization is not as important as the creation of the entity itself. The more coach-like organizations that practically babysit the players, (coL was babysat), the higher standard of play there will be.

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