"Success is achievable if you collect the right field-tested beliefs and habits."
Have you ever heard someone generalize that "men don't read instruction manuals?"
Whether putting a piece of furniture together, or installing a new car part, I fiddle around with parts and equipment, making mistake after mistake, until I finally reach success.
It's fun to play...
There's a tremendous amount of learning that can be gained making mistakes from the ground up.
The problem is, if you want to be the best at something, there simply isn't enough time to always be playing.
If you want to build a bed frame as fast and accurate as possible, just follow the damn instructions. The expert who built that bed frame is literally waving all the correct answers to the puzzle right in front of your face, and if you just follow along you'll avoid any huge time-wasting mistake.
Here at eSport Labs, we aren't interested in making bed frames.
We're interested in winning.
So how do we win more?
In simplest terms, we avoid things that cause us to lose, and embrace whatever makes us win. As obvious as this may seem, most gamers just don't get it.
Most gamers just play. To them, gaming is a hobby. They don't have a plan, they choose strategies based on what they "feel like doing," and they spend all their time making mistakes.
If you want to be a successful gamer, you have to treat gaming like a business.
Within your gaming business plan, you set clear goals for what success looks like. Once that's envisioned, you set a roadmap for getting there. Avoid things that cause you to lose, and focus on what creates profit.
Here's our instruction manual for winning more. It's up to you to either keep making the same beginner mistakes, or just get on with victory.
1. Surround yourself with great gamers, and be humble
If you want to beat the best, you need to practice with the best. Beating low tier players just makes you good at beating low tier players.
Smart gamers don't make easy mistakes, but will quickly punish you for making them.
Talk about the game, strategize together, and share theories. All great gamers have thorough philosophies on the game, and random conversations can quickly lead to Aha! moments.
Most importantly, be humble. If someone beats you 20-1, it means they know something you don't. Listen to their constructive criticisms with an open mind, and apply their knowledge to your own.
2. Accept responsibility for losing
There is no such thing as a perfectly played loss. Sure there are times when a teammate can make an incredibly stupid, game-losing mistake. Some games even have heavy "luck" factors like item drops and NPC spawns. However, the ultimate reality is a loss is a loss.
Regardless of external factors, there will always be some miss-step where you could've been better. What good can whining and complaining about others do to improve your future performances?
Make amends with your losses, and accept that you are indeed capable of making mistakes. Once you've accepted an action as a mistake, you can integrate the lessons learned.
3. Always play to win
Embrace your Try-Hard self. Whatever you consider your Try-Hard Mode to be, make sure this mindset is active before you game.
Notice how gamers only say "I'm just playing for fun" after they lose?
It's a convenient excuse.
Playing to win changes your entire perspective. Instead of rationalizing losses as "goofing around," you'll realize you actually lost because of poor decision-making, bad plays, or lack of communication. All of which you can learn and grow from.
4. Take a technical approach to gaming
All competitive games are based around trades. In Starcraft, every decision you make, large and small, involve trades. If you open with a fast expansion build order, you can increase your mineral supply, but you're trading away money that can be invested into military units. The same goes for positioning - you can aggressively place units near the opponent to cut off his map control, but now you've just left your own base vulnerable to aircraft or drops.
If the most common decision-making is based around trades, then you need to learn which trades most frequently come out on top. Knowing this trade mechanic allows you to take a technical approach to your gameplay. When you know one path will lead you towards a 70% chance of victory, and the other 30%, decisions become effortless.
5. Positively encourage teammates
Anyone who's ever played an online game has experienced toxicity.
Teammates will blame, berate, and belittle each other for no beneficial reason. Toxic players feed off getting other people emotionally-charged, and already accepting their loser status they just want to see the world burn. Attitudes are contagious. Toxic players can quickly tilt and entire group of five, but the opposite can also be true.
Keeping a positive attitude towards your teammates will prevent their emotions from getting wack, allowing everyone to focus on the objectives. Teamwork will increase as gamers aren't butting heads and choose to collaborate. Positive encouragement reduces strong emotions, and this allows for technical decision-making to peak.
6. Stay focused
Always search for simplicity and stay focused towards that path. If your goal is to win more, remain steadfast in that as your priority. Through a technical approach to gaming, you will quickly discover your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on what you're good at.
For instance, maybe while playing Dota 2 you really enjoy playing midlane, but you hate playing support. Analyzing your statistics, you see that you have a 37% win-rate mid, but a 72% win for support.
Next, find the heroes you're most successful with for that role, and adjust your focus even more. You'll never maximize your time output playing all 30+ supports, so find your best 5 for that meta and enjoy a deeper practice.
7. Always stay a student
Become a passionate and dedicated student to whatever game you're focused on. One of your goals is to become a technical master, and that requires thorough knowledge of all the game mechanics. Knowing counters, timings, terrains, and all minute details of a game will only further your edge over opponents.
A major recent trend in esports is quantifying match history and data. Websites like Dotabuff and Overbuff save data and results from millions of games which becomes invaluable information. Learn how to use these resources to your advantage and see your rank increase.