Daeja's View: Teammates Wanted. Inquire Within.
We’re in the middle of the post-TI roster shuffle (for all your shuffle news, check out this post: Post TI8 shuffle log; confirmed changes for start of DPC 2018-2019 season). While fans are glued to news sites and social media, watching for rumors and official team rosters, the players are busy sorting out who they’ll be playing with in the second season of the Dota 2 Pro Circuit (DPC). Rosters lock on September 15th, and the first Major open qualifiers are set to begin on the 10th, so there’s not a lot of time left for players to find the perfect team for themselves.
At The International 8, I spoke with several players to learn what qualities they thought a good teammate possessed—aside from being in the top 0.001% of players. If you’re looking to find a last-minute team before the shuffle stops, maybe you should be marketing yourself on the basis of some of these qualities:
1. Strong Communication Skills
Several of the players cited the importance of being able to communicate well. Ludwig “Zai” Wahlberg formerly of OpTic Gaming said, “People skills are always useful. Just being able to socially work in a group of five. Being able to work with other people...is an important quality.” Remember that you’re going to spend many hours in close quarters with your teammates and you need to be able to get along with them.
Maroun “GH” Merhej of Team Liquid offered additional advice about how to communicate well, “One of the best qualities you can have is listening. Communication is key, so as long as you listen and not try to reply to everything you hear and just try to understand what the other person is saying, this will go a long way towards having a good relationship.”
2. Handles Criticism Well
This probably ties into strong communication skills in that if you’re offering criticism, you need to be thoughtful in how you do it. It was important to many of the pros that you also be able to hear and accept criticism well. Avery “SVG” Silverman of VGJ.Storm said, "The biggest thing about being a player in this industry is that you can listen to criticism and put the team before yourself." He went on to say that it was the rare professional player who could succeed while ignoring criticism.
Arteezy at TI8, Courtesy of Valve
Connected to handling criticism well is the idea that you are not unnecessarily critical of your teammates. In fact, Evil Geniuses’ Artour “Arteezy” Babaev said, “the mentality of a good teammate should always be you look at yourself first as in if something goes wrong or there’s something in the game that doesn’t play out as you thought it would, you look at yourself naturally. Your perspective already before anything else is, ‘what did I do?’ It’s not about, ‘what did he do wrong?’ That helps the whole environment, if everyone starts thinking about what they could have done better, it becomes constructive.” This is a quality I'd like to see applied more in my public matches, let alone among pros: don’t try to point fingers at other players on the team until you’ve acknowledged what you can be doing better.
3. A Good Person
Arteezy also offered some insights about being a good person, that being genuine is important. Kam “Moon” Boon Seng of Mineski told me that he wants to play with someone who has a, "good attitude and good mentality. And [is] fun." Being positive can help not only with keeping spirits up during long days, or hard ones, but also can help the team bond more effectively. Playing with people who are not only great at the game, but who you can trust and enjoy spending time with seems like the ideal situation.
Silent also said energy was important. “I was playing with a lot of players, and some players play not so well, but... when they play, they were like energizer. They talk, they talk talk talk, and you look at them and are feeling like, yeah, I want to play...like this.” Silent’s emphasis on keeping the energy level up is something that resonates with the Johan “Notail” Sundstein interview I did last month in which Notail said it was important to play at a high energy level rather than a low one.
Added bonus? Surrounding yourself with players who can keep their energy up is surely a healthier alternative to guzzling energy drinks.
PPD at TI8, Courtesy of Valve
The Dota 2 grind is real. And Peter “PPD” Dager formerly of OpTic Gaming told me that, “An ideal Dota player is incredibly hard-working to the point where you know that person’s [putting] 100% of their effort toward getting better, they’re not shortchanging playing Dota for other things.” If you’re a professional player, you need to treat Dota 2 like a job and put your focus on it accordingly.
However, whether you have all of those traits or only one of them, I was reminded by Yazied “YapzOr” Jaradat of Team Secret that, “A team is a mix of a lot of people. You need a lot of different aspects of people, you don’t want the same kind of person to fill all five roles, all five spots. You need a captain, maybe something like a co-captain. You need that guy who encourages the team, you need the guy who keeps it real.”
Finding your niche within any team is an important key to success, so don’t write your chances off if you need to work on some of these qualities. We can all learn from the pros, not just in how to improve our in-game skills, but also about how to be better teammates.
Good luck to everyone seeking a roster or a teammate to fill out a team!