Here’s what we learned about going pro:
EDTECH: At the K–12 level, what can coaches do to prepare students for a career in esports?
OG KING CURT: From a social standpoint, it’s about building out the character of the athletes. Let them understand the importance of being not only a great player but a great person as well. As you grow in the esports industry, you’re not just representing yourself, you’re representing your organization and the sponsors that go along with it. Who you are as a person easily can supersede who you are as a player, and that can be negative if you don’t know how to conduct yourself — from what you’re putting out there on social media to how to conduct yourself in interviews. I think a lot of that focus is just as important as working on your game.
Outside of that is just figuring out how you want to build out your facility. It’s easier sometimes, when you’re first getting started, to build out small and then grow from there. Be familiar with the brands that deal consistently with esports, whether that’s gaming chairs, gaming monitors, desks and any accessories that contribute to not only the gameplay, but also streaming capabilities and things of that nature. All of that is a must. That plays a big part in who you need to collaborate with, as far as brands, to be able to get the equipment and everything you want to start your esports facility.
EDTECH: What are some of the components coaches should consider when building out their facility?
OG KING CURT: Use a dual monitor so one monitor can capture the feed and the other monitor is the one you’re playing with. Some people use more than two monitors, but two monitors is standard. When it comes streaming capabilities, Elgato is a popular capture card; that’s how most people set up their streams. Make sure you have your capture card to be able to pull the gameplay feed so you can allow it to be streamed through other services.
Along with that, you also want to make sure you have your webcams to capture the person who’s playing the game. Some people stream with it on, some people stream with it off, but it always provides better value from an optics standpoint if you’re getting footage of who’s playing the game.
One thing that we have at our facility is five 60-inch TVs that not only capture gameplay while the players are playing, but that we can also use to go back and review film together as a team or to watch others stream. For me, personally, I can control a lot from my desk. I can watch the team play right from my desk, or I can operate from the TV screens as well. Especially as a coach, when you’re trying to see stuff live and speak on it in the heat of the moment, you want to make sure you’re on the same page as the players who are playing the game.
EDTECH: Why is it so important for schools to update their equipment and use these advanced components at a high school level?
OG KING CURT: From a content standpoint, you want to make sure you get the best quality you can have as far as video footage and audio. From a gameplay standpoint, you want to have the best internet you can have and the best monitors you can have. It all comes down to increasing reaction time, speeds, loads and things of that nature, so you can be your best.
Great internet and gaming monitors, that’s a necessity. You’ve got to have it. It’s important to have updated equipment because one thing changes everything. Constantly, in gaming, there are updates across systems, consoles and PCs, so you want to make sure you have the optimum equipment as much as possible to enhance your experience, whether it’s creating content or playing a game.