Player Development: What Does an Esports Coach Do?

March 1, 2024

What is an Esport Coach?

Preparation is the key to victory. Knowing how your opponents play is half of the equation; the other half is up to the players. This is where Esport coaches come in. They are people who will prepare the team for the upcoming match, from individual to team standing point. Esport coaches have a variety of different tasks, but at the highest level of play, the key part is to alleviate pressure from the players. Consider yourself as a psychologist, especially during tournaments and LAN events. This is when your team is fully prepared on the strategic level, and you need to mentally prepare them for what is going to happen.

There are many discussions on what separates a good team from a better team. One of the factors is having a coach who understands the needs of the players, can develop their skills, and bring analysis of the opponent team.

In this article, we will assume that coaches are different from analysts, as talking numbers and interpreting their meaning is generally an analyst's job. Analysts will deal with more technical things. Depending on the game as well as the organization, there may also be a head coach. The head coach has the final say in the team and is usually with the team during league matches and LAN games.

Are specific qualifications required to be an esports coach?

The requirements vary depending on the game you are coaching, but here are several key qualities essential for success in this role:

  1. Expertise: Put simply, you need to be able to explain complex concepts to players who have never played the game. This requires the deepest understanding of the game within the entire team.
  2. Communication skills: The quality of your expertise will be measured based on your communication skills. If you cannot effectively convey your thoughts and new ideas, then the players will not understand you. Having a talent for communication will help, but practicing talking to your real-life friends and family will also be beneficial. Before tournaments and during timeouts, you will only have a few minutes to spend with your team.
  3. Identifying patterns: You need to be able to learn the tendencies of the enemy teams and their playstyle by analyzing their past league and tournament games. This will be essential for your team's preparation.
  4. Leadership: Players need to look to you as someone with confidence. You are steering the ship, and the players are just the crew. Being a leader is difficult; you need to know how to communicate with every player individually.
  5. Open to new ideas: There needs to be collaboration with other coaches in the same game, as well as in other games. Collaboration is the key to success. Hearing different talents and leadership skills from other coaches so you can perform better is crucial. Your education about how to coach should never stop.
PJ Milani | Visual Teacher💡 on X:

Set up SMART goals.

SMART goals stand for:

  • Specific: "You need to improve your chemistry!" or "Focus on playing off each other during first and second contact." Which goal helps your player to grow more?
  • Measurable: What's the point of a goal if you cannot know if you are getting better at it? We want to avoid "I feel..." statements; we need to be able to measure the improvement. This is where scrims and taking analytics are extremely important.
  • Achievable: When you are mentoring new players, would you explain how professional athletes play, or would you give them basics and fundamentals to look for?
  • Relevant: If you are preparing your team for a tournament, then you should only focus on preparing them for the things that will help them when playing against other esports teams.
  • Time-bound: There needs to be a set time for the goal to be achieved.

Similarities In Coaching Sports And Esports

They're exactly the same. Esport professionals require the same feedback as professional athletes. The esports scene is extremely competitive; your players will be playing for millions of dollars in prize money. Therefore, the qualifications for an esports coach and a coach are the same. You need to help your players mentally, individually, and in a team environement. On top of everything, you need to make sure that they live a healthy lifestyle and know what food will elevate them in their gameplay.

Coaching players is more than just enabling them to problem-solve; coaching players is elevating them in their role. You are there to support and motivate them in their endeavors. Your players will be close to burnout stages, and this is where your coaching skills will be extremely important. Playing for goals, reminding them of their achievements, is just one of the many ways to motivate your players to continue with their deliberate practice.

What Does An Esports Coach Do In A Day?

You need to be a role model to your team. Start off by maintaining a healthy sleeping schedule; make sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep. Once you wake up, it's time to check what your goals are for the day, as well as to remind your players what you are aiming for today. Don't forget to mentor them throughout the process. It is both your and their responsibility to remind each other to work towards the goals.

Your typical day will involve:

  • Brainstorming new ideas that you can implement for your team
  • Putting everything on paper to make sure your team can fully focus on your thoughts

Anything more specific heavily depends on the game you are coaching. You need to build up a healthy environment and ecosystem within your team.

The key for the esports teams success is to have coaches that understand how coaching works. The coaching role is the most important role in the esport gaming.

What is the average salary in esports teams for players that are coaching?

It is impossible to give a specific answer to this question, though it is known that coaches have lower salaries than the players. You also need to factor in that on top of the salary that players make, they are very popular on social media and can create content from it. Coaches are the hidden talents behind a team. It is very hard to find time to make additional content on top of helping your players to perform in their games. Salaries for esports coaches are usually in the range of 3 to 5-digit numbers.

How do you become an esport coach in an competitive team?

Many casual and professional gamers dreaming about coaching career. Some of the gamers are dreaming about it because of salaries, other people to be in bigger organisations and to be known as legends. Being on the stage, and having your team performing against opponents only based on your analytics that you brought to the team is a dream worth seeking for. 

There are two ways to become an esport coach. One way is to be known on social media, by analyzing and breaking down professional games. The other way is to join low-tier teams and then make your name there by enabling your team to win qualifications in their respective smaller

There are a lot of esports games, some of them are bigger and the other are smaller. The career pathway of you becoming a coaching in a competitive esports game is enormous. As the months go on, there will be new games where the gamers will need skills and education on how to play the game in the league matches. When everyone starts at ground zero, this is where your raw talent can be exceeded. 

One suggestion: make an ecosystem in your team that everyone follows it. It's important that everyone is on the same page, so the gameplay of your team is support between each other. Assign roles to your players based on their talent and make sure that everyone is able to perform the best out of his own. Finally, your responsibility is to make sure that behaves as one, and not as multiple individuals.

Crafting champions

We talked about collaborations with other coaches, experts, and players. Hearing different opinions can only help you in the coaching role. Expand your coaching expertise by joining Metafy today, partnering with other experts and the community where you can share your thoughts, expertise, and new ideas among other people with the similar role like yours. Show your leadership skills and talent, get new students and perform with the best of your ability to become a legend in one of your esports game by being involved with people with your talent. 

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