There’s always times that we feel down, don’t want to do anything, and feel sad for no reason. Then there are also times that we feel absurdly happy and energetic. Ever thought how these affect your gameplay?

While I was studying the topic “appreciation” for my daily work, I thought that this topic really applies to every subject. Before I connect this to HoN, I’ll share a little information about our daily life. Now, let me get deeper on this subject;

I’m going to paraphrase Plato here. If you read his books or ideas on this very topic appreciation, there is one main point everyone can conclude; imagine a man working really hard, producing real good material, this great thinker says that these products CANNOT be as good if there is no one appreciating them. How?

Actually we are all living upon the dreams of appreciation - it is one of the most primitive instinct of human and animal kind. Think about it for a second. In primary school, we work hard for our teacher to give us a “plus” or a “star” for our work, and when she does we work even harder. Or if you’re working, staying up late, trying to get to a better place in your respective area, one “Great Job” is enough to erase all the tiredness you have, freshening you up, giving you motivation to work even harder. Think about animals. dogs learn all kinds of tricks or dolphins jump around at Sea World, just for a small prize: love and appreciation from their owners. It is a crucial part of life, as an individual but also as an up and coming leader of a certain group. To sum up, what Plato has been trying to say is that everyone has potential and will to work. But no matter how good one is, they will become absolutely NOTHING without appreciation from the proper places. Whether it’s your boss at your job or your teammate in HoN.

Now that we have an understanding of appreciation and its importance, let’s try to connect this to HoN. You, as a player in a tournament like HoN Tour where competition is really tough and intense, sometimes have to think about the motivational side of things. You may say, “this is a game, what do I care?” I write this because I care. I spend my time on HoN because I enjoy it and thus I care. If you’re spending a fair amount of time on doing anything, you care. And if you don’t, stop reading now.

It is captain’s job to make sure that he has a good team, but what is a good team exactly? Does performing bad mean that it is a bad team? Similarly, is a team performing really well always a good team? The answer to this question in my opinion is no. My answer has a lot , and I mean a lot of examples to support it from politics, and business, however I will keep this to eSports. If you are a dedicated follower of eSports, I am sure that you have witnessed some teams disbanding despite the fact they are doing really well, making money, winning tournaments, even in HoN we have had examples of this.

So what makes a good team? A friendly environment, where everyone respects each other and themselves, and most importantly having a serious goal and not being scared to work hard for it is a big part. When I say respect, I’m not talking about “Hello sir, sorry if I’m bothering you. Are we scrimming soon?” type of thing. I’m talking about respecting one of the very important keys of our daily life, the chain of command . As in everywhere, teams have a chain of command too. Maybe it is not reckoned that way, however even if we do not accept it openly, the team captain is the drafter and the leader. He makes choices and others have to play and act according to his plans and he is the one judging your performance. It is players’ duty to respect the chain of command and to know when to be funny and when to be serious. A peaceful environment is the first step of success.

Remember, practice makes it perfect. It doesn’t matter if you’re performing well or not, if you practice hard enough you will get there eventually. But then why we do not have more successful teams out there?

Answer to the question above, brings us to our main topic of this article, ”Appreciation”. Even if you may not admit it to yourself, when we make a big play, we expect some kind of appreciation. Or after a busy day full of scrims and tactical practices, we expect something to remind us that this stuff was worth it and we will get our reward for working hard. I believe we have teams disbanding, or we have teams stuck in their own bracket then giving up because of this very reason.People do not appreciate each other enough. Practice might be the key to success but motivation is the key to practice.

It isn’t just me by the way. Big companies hire motivators, or moralists to maintain its higher class employee. Important businessmen tend to hire life coaches to keep their mood up and stresses down. Also in eSports, big organizations get managers for their teams, who make motivational speeches before big games. Almost every sports team has professionals specialized in these type of things, no matter which sector it is. There is always one thing in common in these speeches or ideas: Appreciation - the idea that YOU are capable and YOU are better. There is nothing YOU cannot do if you work hard.

It is the captain’s job and it is your job as a member of your team to remind your teammates of this once in awhile. It is your responsibility to make sure your teammate is mentally prepared and it is your job to keep him motivated.

Thanks for reading this. My hope is that you will take a thing or two to give it a try in your life or eSports career, if you haven’t been doing so.

TL;DR: Appreciate the work people do, you cannot expect better if you don’t.

- RoLanD