I recently had the opportunity to sit down and speak with Ex-LAV Head Coach Packing10, discussing a great deal on his experiences, his philosophy, and his approach when it came to working at the OWL level.
One "tidbit" that stood out to me was his approach to many team reviews while coaching LAV, specifically how the Valiant hosted player-led reviews every training day.
Often the outside perception of Overwatch League is that it's the big-boss coaches and the players doing as their told, so players leading reviews sounds unusual! However, I'm going to go over three reasons why Packing10 enforced player-led reviews, along with interpretation to elaborate in places (as necessary).
They help players get out of their "shell"
"It seems awkward at first, but…if you get over that initial hump of like, one or two days, maybe a week of people feeling awkward about it…
Packing10 spoke about his first season in OWL (S2), and how LAV benefited from vocal players like Custa/Fctfctn who were comfortable leading reviews, but he also pointed out how the reviews were great at encouraging other players to step up. He described early season player-led reviews as a little awkward/uncomfortable sometimes, but they ultimately pushed more players to "get out of their shell," building their leadership and comfort with the team. Packing10 specifically brought up how Shax went from being relatively quiet in S2 Team Reviews, to growing in comfort/confidence and stepping up big in Season 3.
Teamwork is something that benefits from a "family" style atmosphere, and that needs players getting out of their shell. Even if individuals aren't particularly chatty or outgoing, there has to be a level of comfort with teammates, and player-led reviews help with that.
They help build trust, and allow players to voice their ideas
"The more information these players give, the more they could get out of someone… it's night and day difference in the quality of what happens."
Played-led reviews give players more opportunity to present/discuss ideas with each other- ultimately that should be the goal with all reviews (to some extent). Players are the ones executing the strategy in game, and they are the ones that need to fully understand the strategy. There are no sideline coaches calling plays in Overwatch.
Engaging players during the learning process (by having them take part in teaching and pursuing discussion during review) means the information/knowledge is better learned (see this study: https://www.pnas.org/content/116/39/19251). Player-led reviews engage players and gives them responsibility, which also builds trust (that comes through the open and frank discourse of ideas).
Packing10 also spoke about how when a player came up with an idea that worked, it built a lot of confidence within the players. Confidence and trust are building blocks to victory.
They help players deal with pressure and teaches them a life skill
"I always said it's about the person becoming a better person first, and then becoming a better play after that. Being able to have these skills that quantify over real life, and they can take with them… maybe they can't make a career as a streamer, or they can't make a career as a professional gamer, and they need to have those qualities, they need to have those life skills to be able to succeed."
Packing10 describes that, especially early on, played-led reviews weren't always popular. There was often a relatively big audience, with coaches, players, and even owners/management attending, but ultimately the players gleaned a lot from this.
First off, Packing10 describes how it's a skill as a player to deal with a pressured situation and still be able to communicate/maintain composure. While public speaking and performing in a big game are not exactly the same skill set, Packing10 says that he felt "performance under pressure" (and in front of people!) was something that overlapped between both skills- something that LAV mastered.
In addition, Packing10 is a firm believer in building life skills for his players, and player-led reviews gave him an opportunity to train his team for life after Overwatch. Many "gamers" don't get many opportunities to learn other things- scrims and ranked don't exactly provide many avenues to train other skills.
Played-led reviews are an excellent tool when guided/supervised by an experienced coach, and when operated by motivated and knowledgeable players. I encourage every coach to give a properly structured player-led review a shot, and see what benefit it can provide to your team!
My stream (where I do roast reviews/Pro analysis): https://www.twitch.tv/spilo
My Discord (where you can ask questions and get coaching): https://discord.gg/tqvgygx
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More about OverwatchPost: "Packing10: “[Player-Led Reviews] EVERY day”" specifically for the game Overwatch. Other useful information about this game:
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