AMA Deilor highlights

The 23rd of December I did an AMA on r/LeagueOfLegends. It’s been 2 years since the last one and lately I’ve been doing a few interesting things in the esports realm – Dygma, this blog, my job at Movistar Riders.

I spent 8h answering. A few topics came up frequently and there were many interesting questions. The following Q&A are some of the most interesting ones. I’ve edited them a bit to make them easier to read.


Q: What do you think the best way to get people motivated and working hard at anything is(not specifically just in esports)?

I believe that motivation is what gets you started but you need to “fell in love” with the process and be aware of your end goal.

If you fell in love with the process then you’ll enjoy your daily routine and you won’t lack motivation. But falling in love with the process is very difficult, normally we need to do a lot of things we don’t enjoy to accomplish our goals.

When the process is tough I always try to hack my environment to reduce the chances of me not doing what I have to do.
Let’s say that I want to do more sport but I’m struggling because I’m too busy. The first step would be to put my running shoes at the house entrance and a poster of an athlete at the door. Every time I leave home they’ll a remind me my goal.
I’d tell my friends that I want to go running and I’d try to find a partner too. I would even do stuff like sleeping with my running clothes so when I wake up there’s one less excuse to not go running.

I’ve recently “hacked the environment” to write an esports book. I explain it in detail in my first blog post.

Reminding yourself frequently about the end goal is very important too. I use a little trick when I don’t want to do a task I must do. I write a short note explaining why it’s so important I do it and I use the pomodoro technique. I set up to do that task for only 25 minutes. What ends up happening is that once I’ve started, I won’t stop for several hours. You can use Apps to track your pomodoros.


Q: Your favorite books?

This is a difficult question to answer. Depending of the moment of my life I’d answer you different. A few that I’ve recommended lately from various topics:

  • The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence by Josh Waitzkin
  • Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  • The Mental Game of Poker by Jared Tendler
  • The Science of Mindfulness: A Research-Based Path to Well-Being by Ronald D. Siegel

This is not directly answering the question but maybe you find it helpful. I personally think that books are a insanely cheap for the value they add. I don’t read because I spend most of my life facing a screen and I want to rest my eyes when I’m not working. I use Audible and listen to audio-books at 2x-3x speed while I’m commuting or in the bed getting ready to sleep.

I use Goodreads to track all books I read and listen. Every non-fiction book over 4 starts there is worth the read. If you are interested in any topic, just look for that topic and read the most popular books.


Q: What suggestions do you have for people that want to improve as individuals?

If you want to improve as an individual you have to commit to being a lifelong learner. The only thing that we are certain about is that the world is changing extremely fast. This means that we need to prepare ourselves for unexpected scenarios. And you do that by learning fast and having an adaptive mindset.

Read biographies of successful people to learn from bright minds of the past. Look for self help books to learn how to manage your inner life and increase productivity. If you aren’t sure about buying an specific book, look for the summary in Youtube.

Another important thing would be to not focus on making money, focus on delivering value. Money is the consequence of the value you deliver. If you can do something that only a few can do and many want those services, then you are delivering a ton of value and you’ll be paid accordingly.

I also consider critical exposing yourself to failure. Doing, failing, learning and repeating in a short amount of time has a ton of value. You’ll end up learning a lot in a short time and have a better final product / be a more complete person.


How to become an esports coach

Q: Which are the steps that somebody has to follow to become a pro in esports, in any of the areas (such as player, coach, manager, etc) in your opinion?

For any field: do now what you want to get hired for. If you want to be a coach, start being a coach now. Study coaching, leadership, mental game, create content and coach a team.

See yourself as a student of your craft and don’t focus on making money. Money is a consequence of the value you add to others, and as a student that’s pretty limited.

If you keep studying, practicing and delivering value you’ll end up working in esports.


Q: To become a analyst or coach, you need to study the game but how exactly you do that? Also, i would appreciate to hear the things you do today to maintain your level of game knowledge.

Do you have any other tips to someone that wants to someday work as a analyst/coach?

I tried learning from casters, every day I read r/lol, r/summonerschool, Lol articles, watch strategy videos and watch every top level competitive game.

I asked myself why teams where doing what they were doing. I focused on understanding the 5 players as a single person coordinating the 5 champs. I tried to think what would be the perfect play in every situation and look for a counter play. I took notes on everything and coached players and teams to train myself.

I do nothing to maintain my game level knowledge. I feel that once you understand the structure of the game, doesn’t matter what happens in patches you know how to solve any situation. For specific champ, items, or matchups knowledge I rely on players and coaches.

Learn from who’s better than you. Learn from other fields such as top level sports and work for free on it until you are good enough to get paid.


Advice for esports coaches

Q: What qualities/traits do you think every good coach should possess? Why do you think they contribute to success?

There’s some things that people told me during my coaching career that may point out important traits. Yellowstar once told me: “I don’t know how you are able to be so patiente”.

Recently Movistar Riders coach told me that I decompose very complex concepts in small simple ones. I chop them down to essentials and focus on the essentials, making it easy for everyone to absorb.

I personally think that there are a few important things in no particular order:

  • Holding accountable
  • Leading by example
  • Solve conflict. I personally prefer to be the center of conflict so players don’t have issues between them. But this is not easy to do, if you go overboard your players will lose faith in you.
  • Extracting information and connecting the dots. As a coach you have a broader picture than the players.
  • Not having a big ego or wanting to be a star. If you are concerned about what people think of probably you aren’t focused on how to be the best coach for your players.
  • Not being afraid of making mistakes. As a coach your job is to make your team perform, you need to innovate to stay at the top of the curve. You must reach conclusions quickly, testing you hypothesis and many times you’ll fail. If the players understand the logic behind the failure everyone would move on. Failing frequently gives you more chances to excel sooner.

Q: how close do you need to be to the players ?

You need to understand how they think and why they do/say what they do/say, but you don’t need to be buddies. I value more absorbing conflict and pushing my players out of their comfort zone than being friends.

Q: How important is a good environment and the coaching staff for an lcs team? Is the coaching staff the reason behind that (apart from individual player mental strengths)?

I think it’s extremely important. I’d say a few of the most important duties of the coaching staff are:

  • Creating a work plan where players grow constantly individually and as a team. Train outside the comfort zone but execute inside it.
  • Create a communication system and teach individually every player how to communicate efficiently.
  • Create a culture where practice is sacred and you have to give 110%
  • Give resources to the players and expose them to mental challenges so that the team has mental resilience.

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