Are ESEA 10-mans the best way to improve?
When it comes to players practicing their skills in a beneficial environment, most wouldn't argue against ESEA being the best medium for that. While even pick-up games (pugs) are miles ahead of standard Valve matchmaking, ESEA 10-mans are probably the best way to practice.
By playing a 10-man, competitors are essentially getting together with nine other players who care about the game and aren’t the kinds of trolls one would find in a standard pug. Since these players are most likely committed to the game, they will know their smokes and flashes, along with any callouts and boosts necessary to play. Being in this type of environment can help one develop their own set of skills and perhaps even learn something new. In a normal pug, you might get people who are fresh out of MM and hardly know their way around high rank gameplay. Not to mention, being surrounded by people who know the game means these players are in an environment that is reliable, so they can grasp the concept of how to play as a "unit," as well as learning much more from their enemies and teammates than they would do in a normal pug.
In a normal pug, there is a high chance of coming across people who just don’t quite understand that teamwork exists and have a very independent playstyle. This not only affects the way these people play, but affects the entire team as a whole. Not to mention, there is the possibility of coming across rage players who, instead of giving productive criticism, will just yell profanities at their team in the vain hope it will make them play better. There are even Steam groups set up for the specific purpose of finding other people to play 10-mans with. Groups such as “ESEA 10-mans NA” are set up so people who are looking for an environment where they can improve can easily find others with the same mindset.
In a game where everyone is looking to get better, a well-structured environment in which everyone helps each other is ideal. Not only that, but 10-mans have the same structure as Rank S where the professionals play in terms of map votes and team picks, meaning it’s a good way to get an idea of just how trying such an environment is.
What do you think about 10-mans? Let us know in the comments below or @GAMURScom.