Organisation Management

Before I start this article I include a disclaimer; anything that I add into this article is purely my views or experience within e-Sports I have never claimed to be an expert but I have been a manager for a very long time and I believe that experience within the scene is highly regarded.

It’s probably best that you all read my previous article about the whole organisation so you gauge where we have come from and where we stand today, this is definitely not a full or any kind of how to guide on running an organisation, that is really up to the individual to decide what they take from this article.

Back before I even started the idea or even knew what an organisation was I was mainly in the LAN scene attempting to host my own LAN parties with another gaming enthusiast like myself, when we both started that venture I knew I really wanted to be involved in something more competitive.

After a few somewhat successful LANs I decided to part ways with my partner after finding two very unique players in the scene “Daraliny” and “Grimzee”, although not the best players only at an amateur level they were able to assist me in looking at the larger perspective of the scene. From there they taught me some of the big names and how far eSports has progressed, along with getting me into the promotion side of things back in the cod4 days.

What a scene it was back in the day running so many different tournaments from there I wanted to get more involved after a few years looking at CGA teams it was time to step up in my first experience sending a high profile team to LAN, the only thing I didn’t know was this would be the last CyberGamer sanctioned LAN for COD4. After a lot of discussion on what I could offer the team we picked up “Fatality7” a well-known name back then with many wins within the cod4 scene, this was my first attempt of getting to a professional level.

In what was a great match against another team we failed to make LAN finals initially, but due to another team getting caught cheating it allowed us to attend the finals by default, from this we only had under a week to get everything organised, which is by far the hardest part to make sure that we got the best deal possible out of every airline and hotel! I can’t say my first attempt was the best, with one of our players “Spriek” missing his first flight – ironically the most costly flight overall by this stage – I was only 18 years old and never knew what it would honestly take to make a big name, with so many competitors in the scene.

So we booked at the Mantra hotel in Melbourne which was really nice which was too bad I couldn’t stay that long or even be there for my boys as I had my birthday on the same day as the LAN finals. Something that really hit me hard was that our team couldn’t take a game off anyone when it came to game day. Something that has annoyed me even to this day was that I didn’t make sure my players were able to play their best due to never having experience at a LAN before this time.

This weakness of nervousness and instability appears in many teams which is why we now send teams regularly to small LAN events to get an experience of the pressure in the environment that are LAN parties. It’s a really different feeling when you go to LAN parties, the complexity of how everything works and how you’re going to play, myself as a player I get really nervous before games shaking with excitement and nervousness whilst others pull some of their biggest plays from LAN and some freak shots never seen before.

After this LAN event it was really hard to gather the required research I needed to get some great teams on board, but after some great advice from Fries the manager from “Team Exile5” at a Respawn LAN event I was able to make some swift moves into the scene. It wasn’t that he gave me everything I needed and bang there I go I have one of the best organisations in Australia, He was really just there to spell out that I was looking at it in the wrong way.

There was a lot of talk that night about sponsors, graphics, photos and a few other things but it was very invigorating at the time to have such a large part of another manager’s time especially someone as experienced as Fries, many people know where Exile5 are today and it’s important to note they should never be underestimated (especially in cod4).

The main thing I took out of the talks with Fries is that we needed to focus on marketing, we attend events a lot but something that never helped was nobody know who were before the day, so to further my marketing skills I decided to study the exact thing that would help me “Certificate 3 in Marketing”. After completing my certificate I learnt to do things in blocks like we do now, we call them campaigns for example when we attend “PAX Australia” there we made sure that we got the exposure before the event and gathered the excitement from our current and new following supporters.

 

Boy did we get some exposure, for instance we went down to a bar in Melbourne and we were like superstars to so many different people who didn’t even know what e-Sports was and suddenly they were following us around to clubs on weeknights. Back to the campaigns, we tend to usually post large amounts on social media such as announcing giveaways in the lead up to the event along with getting people to approach us at the event to hand out items from sponsors and merchandise relating to the team.

When we decided to attend PAX we thought best to rent a house out; this was of course not without a large expense I believe the final and rough figure to send teams to LAN stays around $5000 each time I have sent a team to LAN (4-5 times now) it has costed around that price so it is probably important to keep that figure in mind.

Just like business organisations should have a budget our money was invested in events but primarily our money is spent on gear and marketing, the more marketing we have the more our reputation and name we can promote, without it you will have a small footprint on the e-Sports scene. On an excel spreadsheet we keep all events on a different sheet’s and what it was going to cost to get our teams there. From there all the managers came up with ideas on how we were going to come up with the money, this is never an easy task because at the end of the day your core focus as a manager is again ensuring your teams show up on the day and are able to play.

But most of the investment comes from my back pocket as I do it because I live and breathe e-Sports, something that a lot of managers do which is why you need to be clear on what your organisation has on offer before you go hands deep into the top teams without anything really on offer, the development within the scene of Australia has really grown from the typical offer of getting a server and some graphics, this really is no longer acceptable in many cases. My personal view is it should never be just that anyways my belief should always be the first priority on the players being able to play no matter what happens.

I am really not sure why the offering has changed but I guess the scene has really grown astronomically in the time I have been in it but it’s never something you dislike doing if you’re me spending the time with so many different teams is something that will always be a hugely rewarding experience Although I am not a very good player at any game I do know my way around numbers and how to get people from A to B with ease which is why I do what I do.

As a manager it really is your duty is to ideally ensure your teams can play no matter what scenario you’re given, at the end of the day they are holding your name up high you need to ensure they can play, it’s something a lot of managers lack today. We still have many teams not attending LANs due to false promises given by other organisations or their poor management and organisational skills or a range of other reasons. Also as a manager you really do need to make communication key throughout all teams you have within your organisation without communication you would be stuck with teams leaving every few weeks because their passion is not there due to the lack of communication on what is happening within the teams throughout a weekly basis.

From my experience it really is best to get a calendar together on Google drive or whatever you might decide to use and get everyone’s input for the year what you guys NEED to attend and what you WANT to attend, this really makes it easy for managers to plan their budgets for the year. There are of course so many other measures you would need for your teams to ensure good communication and a solid foundation for the future of your business.

When it comes to team recruitment, the hardest part for any organisation is getting high profile teams to see common goals and how you’re going to benefit them, but it’s important to remember when you’re recruiting in each of the chosen games you decide that you do it slowly. The benefit of getting teams to join slowly is you spend time with each team to gain their trust it’s never going to come instantly and they need to see you can make the first move and show them that you are able to come up with solutions to their problems that’s why they have you on board in the first place. Your focus should always be ensuring the players never have to worry about anything but playing their game and the results they get. You as a manager need to worry about how you’re going to achieve that, I personally have had to deal with many things in my time from bad internet all the way up to broken gear, typically we send a 4g dongle out or gear out whatever it takes to get that player going we do it.

Team recruitment is also something that you learn from time in the scene I originally started just picking up any old Joe and his players and instantly announcing the team out of my own immaturity, this never works out it’s best to get everyone settled in before going to announce anything straight away. There are many teams out there that have some underlying issues but at the end of the day your job is to ensure you get the right team for your organisation. Sometimes it’s not always about results In my time I have never had any massive wins at big tournaments but it’s about showing up and again being there on the day, something many teams can’t seem to do or show they can do it well.

With good marketing your results shouldn’t hinder your organisation too much at all; we see this in the CS: GO scene today. There are always underdogs in any competition but yet they still have big name sponsors and in many cases this is because they have some character about their team and people love teams for that, so my tip is to find what makes your team popular or maybe a niche that makes it attractive and work with it!

Also with team recruitment comes managers you require to run the organisation, there really are too many people that have walked in and out of our doors at InVidious but you need to find those key managers that are there to look at it from a different perspective. Often a typical layout of managers you would find the following

  • Social Media manager
  • Graphics Manager
  • Video (something we lack)
  • Server support
  • General managers

The reason I include general managers in my organisation they’re the ones I often count on the most to help myself run a successful organisation you will find yourself asking a lot of questions and without these people you will have no advice on how to get the desired outcome of any campaign. So it’s important to find people who are trustworthy and can stick around for a long time without really wanting to move. It’s a good idea to find the small amount of managers that will get passionate about your brand, your organisation and your business. It’s really hard to find this type of person but at the end of the day to keep these people on board you need to make it fair across the board. I rarely ever make decisions based on what I want to see, typically I would be consulting every team first and all the managers before we all make the end result. This really does ensure everyone is actively involved in the brand that we’re now and it also makes them want to stay around because they actually are a part of how the organisation runs not just sticking around and doing just the bare minimum.

 

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