I am in a good place.
In the spring split, I joined a new team across the board: Splyce rebuilt their roster around Kobbe. Fast forward to September, and we made Worlds.
It hasn’t fully sunk in yet.
We had a successful journey, one that showed how important it is to build synergy between players and teammates. Team performance comes down to how people gel together.
In a way, I remember my time in Unicorns of Love fondly because of that, although we failed to make Worlds three times.
We played together for a year before we joined the EU LCS for the 2015 spring split, and we knew that we wanted to play together. Even when Kikis left us in the 2015 summer split, we had a solid structure where we could rebuild.
However, I also remember that our synergy broke in our last split together in 2017; we underperformed because we didn’t really believe in each other. In the end, we went our separate ways and had new starts.
My start in Schalke 04 was tough, because synergy wasn’t there in the spring split. When we brought Amazing, the bond we built was great. He was a leader figure in and out of the game; he was there for everyone and listened.
Even though there were a lot of arguments during the summer, it helped us figure things out—and make the summer split finals.
Those experiences helped me learn a lot about what made a team successful, specifically when it comes to synergy.
If you love playing together with your teammates, or love hanging out with them, you’re always there to back each other up and it shows in-game. Whenever we have discussions or arguments, both sides look to understand each other.
Rather than taking a defensive stance with each other, we are free to talk about topics in detail, knowing that we have one another’s back in the end of the day.
If a player bashes another, you get stuck in an endless loop of self-doubt: you will not improve, and you will not get out of it—bashing included.
When pointing out mistakes, it’s very important to point out a solution. Without that, there’s no improvement, and trust falls out. You see that in a lot of bottom teams; nobody tries to build someone else’s confidence from the ground up.
When Splyce approached me, it was very important for me to know the roster I would work with, coaches included.
I first spoke with the coaches for one hour and a half, with both sides exchanging questions. Quickly, I noticed that the staff had synergy; all of them had separate roles, but worked well together.
There is no other team with such a big staff working behind the scenes; we have six people—or more—providing us data constantly after scrims and helping us progress.
After talking to the coaches, I was open to working with young talent, because I believed that we—the coaching staff and I—could help them develop.
As long as we made sure that we had players who had a positive mindset, it would be fine. So, I was more vocal about that, and about who I wanted to play with.
I wanted to play with Norskeren, and I was vocal about it, because of how positive and how nice he is, on top of being skilled. And although I didn’t know Humanoid back then, I trusted the coaching staff with that decision; he was a rookie, and we could form him.
The organization gives a lot to their players, whatever they wish for and whatever they need. That took worries off our minds.
We built synergy at the very beginning: everyone was nice and was looking forward to play with one another. If there is a new meta pick popping up, chances are we’re already working on including it in our play.
Although we had a slow start to the spring split and a quick exit in the summer playoffs, having friendly players you can discuss the game with helps a lot. When we’re in a slump and someone talks about it, it’s more along the lines of: “let’s get out of it, and work together as a team.”
Slowly, step by step, we can improve our way out of those.
Each setback brings something new on the table to improve, whether that is Teleport usage, team fighting, and so on. And we work on that: things that used to be weaknesses in the spring split became strengths in the summer.
Despite people undervaluing us a lot, I knew I made the right choice to join.
After a while, it became less about doubting that we were a good team. Instead, people saw us as a team that could only win in the late game.
I like it when I’m in a position where I can speak up, knowing that people would listen to my opinion. That’s why I find myself in a better shape in Splyce.
Whatever I call for in-game, people will trust me and follow through, and when I mess up, I will look back at it and improve. It goes both ways: if someone else makes a call, I’ll follow through.
As a rule, the best teams are not built by five stars, but by five people who can work well together.
You need to have a player who can speak up when things go south, and you need to make sure that coaches can speak up as well. Positivity and focus on improvement should be the main basis you build a team upon.
The same applies to the coaching staff: if you have a star on the team, make sure the star doesn’t have privileges over the others. Treat everyone equally.
And with everyone leaving their egos at the door, good things happen.
Image Credit: Riot Games
Adel Chouadria assisted in the creation of this article