KC Woods talks with Mark Register about the transition from coaching Sports to Esports, spoiler alert, it wasn’t easy
Mark Register – When you moved from being a physical sports coach into being an electronic sports coach, what were the big adjustments and what did you learn in that process?
KC Woods – There were a lot of differences and changes for sure from sports to Esports.
The biggest probably being from going from an expert in the field of basketball and baseball just from playing them my whole life and knowing the ins and outs of it, then going into Esports and not knowing the intricacies of League of Legends.
I know the basics but not the intricacies like the players obviously do, they’re at a much higher level than me.
I know the structure needed and what the players need to do in terms of how to get better at certain things.
I can identify what it is they need to get better at, I know the process in which to work on it and go from there, but it’s always been something I know the ins and outs of.
So this person is having control issues for pitching and these are the things that go into control.
I can break down their pitching and see where it’s going wrong and now we can come up with a plan on how to fix it.
When I started in Esports, the first week…Yellowstar got there a week before LCS started, Jarge was in England for that first week, so I was basically by myself and not knowing how to break down what their issues are, I can’t identify them, and then I can’t identify what goes into them.
So if someone has a communication issue or there’s vision control or something that’s an issue, ok, that may be an issue and they may be able to identify it, but I can’t identify how to break it down into smaller pieces like this goes into vision control, these pieces, and then we can work on this is the main one, we need to work on this, this is how we work on it.
So the first couple weeks was a lot of learning the intricacies, how to identify things, then giving the players, and Jarge, Andy, and Parth different ways to improve on those things.
These are the issues, then asking the players how to break this down and then giving them basically a path for success on improving it.
That was the biggest thing I had to learn.
A lot of it for me was watching replays, because I can’t watch a scrim and identify things right away, I’d have to rewatch, rewatch, rewatch and then break it down. That was definitely tough.
I learned it, I wasn’t the best at it but I was learning and getting to a better position on how to identify things and how to break them down, then having the players work on it, but it was that much harder coming a week before LCS with all this stuff, then having to go straight into LCS right after that.
Not having the knowledge for the sport…the intricacies are definitely one of the toughest parts.
Other things that were different…the mindsets of the players.
It’s a mental game compared to a physical game.
The mental part of it, I had to learn the players more and understand them which takes time because you have to work with each person really delicately and differently depending on what tilts them or how they react to things in game, out of the game, and how it affects them in game because it’s that much more important in League of Legends than it might be in basketball.
In basketball a lot of times it’s just second nature and you don’t have to think too much about strategy but for League of Legends it’s all about strategy and communication so I had to learn more about the players individually and about their feelings and thoughts and how they prepare.
That was another part that was different. The lifestyle…
That was a huge difference going from normal get up at seven or eight, go to work, then go to bed at nine or ten or a little bit later but they were…I mean…I got there when it was off season so players were getting up at 2 or 4 PM and staying up until 2 or 4 AM.
So if you want to communicate with them or be apart of their daily life you have to get on that same schedule.
That was during off season, so I wasn’t trying to control their schedule or their bed times and when they were waking up, but it was still a shock to see.
Because that’s what they’re used to and what they’ve always done when they were younger and they stayed up late playing video games, then trying to get them on a schedule once the season started and everyone got back from break, it was definitely tough because all of a sudden you’re now asking them to wake up at 8:30am and get to the gym and then have a meeting or play solo queue and then go to scrims.
That’s definitely difficult having to wake them up every morning and then making sure they get to bed on time and have a good night’s sleep for the next day so they’re mentally prepared.
That’s also something a little different than normal sports