CaptCoach - Manager and Coach, Smite
Behind the scenes with Job “CaptCoach” Hilbers, former SMITE coach and manager
HYPER: Let’s begin with the basics: who are you and what is your involvement with esports?
CAPTCOACH: My name is Job Hilbers, but in the esports industry I am better known as CaptCoach. I am a former SMITE coach and manager, and have briefly been involved in the competitive European Overwatch scene. Currently, I am working outside of the esports industry, but looking for a paid job, however small, in any part of the esports industry.
HYPER: Tell us a little about your work as a coach for Avant Garde and Team Titan. What’s the daily routine look like for an esports coach prepping a team for a big tournament?
CAPTCOACH: It is interesting that you mention both teams in the same sentence as my duties with Titan differed greatly from my duties within Avant Garde. This is mainly due to the coaching subfields that I was exploring during my time with each team. With Titan I was very new to coaching, and so was the entire esports industry. I mainly focussed on team dynamics, communication, drafting, and warding. While with Avant Garde I did not focus as much on team dynamics and communication, but rather delved straight into the strategic and tactical side of esports.
When I joined Avant Garde I really wanted to continue establishing the strategy side of my coaching and explore more in-depth systems that I had adopted from regular sports. The latter is still a big hobby of mine, and I continue to develop this even though I do not have a team to teach my strategies and insight into the game to.
HYPER: There’s been some controversy recently over “doping” in esports: what can be done on an organisational level to discourage the use of performance enhancing drugs in esports?
CAPTCOACH: I think a big part of performance enhancing drugs in esports is that they are legal and accessible. For organisations this means that they have to take a stand against performance enhancing drugs on their own accord. Of course the ability to win is desirable and therefore performance enhancing drugs can offer a temporary solution, but truthfully you cannot take pride as a player nor as an organization in winning while using performance enhancing drugs. For league organisers I think it is crucial that they put high fines and permanent bans on those people who use performance enhancing drugs.
HYPER: You’ve done work on how to reduce toxicity within the SMITE community – could you give an overview of what your findings were, and how – if at all – they apply to esports communities more generally?
CAPTCOACH: While I cannot delve into the specifics of my research the main conclusion is that videogame developers should look to create safe environments for their playerbase to play their game in. In the end the online or digital playground is no different from actual playgrounds. As digital environments come with anonymity players forget they are interacting with people. Helping players to realise that there are humans on the other side of their game should be a priority for videogame developers. Did you know that people who display toxic behavior, even in a small form or shape, tend to lose 40% more games than people who display neutral behavior? People who display positive behavior tend to win about 15% more games than people who display neutral behavior. So in essence, it even benefits individual players who are playing the game if their goal is to win as many games as possible.
HELPING PLAYERS REALISE THAT THERE ARE HUMANS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THEIR GAME SHOULD BE A PRIORITY FOR GAME DEVS