Aspire: The Starcraft Learning Consortium
Aspire – to long, aim, or seek ambitiously; be eagerly desirous, especially for something great or of high value
Consortium – an agreement, combination, or group (as of companies) formed to undertake an enterprise beyond the resources of any one member
Entertain, Educate, Dominate. Not many organizations offer opportunities to those with fewer options, who have yet to unlock their potential in terms of skill and professionalism. For these players, there isn't a framework in place where they are given proper guidance, support and training in order to pursue those goals. While other well-known organizations have "Academy" teams, they don't live up to the high standards of excellence that vVv sets for our members. vVv Gaming aims to educate, train and raise our own dedicated and talented members. Therefore, the idea of Aspire: The Starcraft Learning Consortium was born to provide a more official, organized training structure for those who truly wish to become Professional Gamers. Since succeeding as a professional gamer requires true dedication, organization and commitment, Aspire is designed to provide the tools and training necessary to our players. Through a structued development environment, internal coopetition and external competition, players receive an opportunity to reach the skill needed to enter the competitive scene, while growing as players and professionals.
Every team needs its own organization. We will have proper leadership, support roles in the team (such as coaches and casters), and the very important body of the team: the members—students—who will make up the bulk of the team. Without proper organization, teams usually fall apart. It is important and necessary to remember that we are as strong as the weakest link of the chain. For this to succeed, we will need serious commitment from everyone involved.
The Aspire Captain (Manager) must be adept at organization, ready to lead and motivate players to succeed. The Aspire Manager must be a dedicated StarCraft 2 player in order to offer game advice to developing team members. The manager must provide a voice for the team, as a public representative, if you will. All members should be able to put their best foot forward, but the manager should be additional skilled in handling public image and dealing with the SC2 community at large. vVvBabyToss (P) will be heading up the consortium at launch.
Since the purpose of the consortium is to offer a training environment, a good, dedicated coach is necessary. The coach's responsibilities include helping the members progress, monitor their strengths and weaknesses and give advice. This position is demanding and it should be reiterated that dedication is necessary for this role to succeed. Coaching, training someone, takes much more than just being a Master or Grandmaster player. As in real-life, the coach needs to be able to customize a teaching style tailored to an individual. Just barking orders at your student won't make you a good coach, on the contrary, it will hinder their development, as they'll stop thinking on their own.
A good coach questions his or her students, why they made certain plays, how they'd react when scouting specific things. A good coach teaches how to catch the fish, instead of just feeding the hungry with the fish; that way, they'll be well-fed for the rest of their life, as the saying goes. A good coach motivates, guides, inspires and leads, but doesn't hold anyone's hand.
I can't avoid putting a huge emphasis on the fact that the person having this function truly has to enjoy seeing others grow and like helping others. More about coaching can be found in the following article; I suggest you give it a read if you are considering taking up this position. The Aspire Coach would also serve as Manager's direct 2nd In command and assistant, working closely with him or her.
- Protoss Coach - vVv HyunA
- Terran Coach - This position is currently open
- Zerg Coach - vVv ToXSiK
Being a member of Aspire shouldn't be taken for granted. vVv Gaming wants to be represented in the best possible way and Aspire Members should strive to excel in practice, progression and competition. Being an Aspire Member should be taken as a privilege: getting direct support, a good training environment and solid organization. Above all, being an Aspire Member requires actual commitment from a person.
I want to make it clear that this position is for those who want to put in the time to grow and develop; this is not for those who would join and leave after a week. There will be a minimum number of games per week required - each of the members having their own forum topic to log their training, where they'd post their uploaded replays weekly. That'd be both to ensure the member is truly investing time into training, as well as to keep an eye on their progress.
Finally, the player's league (bronze, diamond, etc.) shouldn't really matter for admittance into the consortium, however, as said above, the dedication and willingness to truly work do. vVv firmly believes that no matter where you start, you can go far, as long as you are smart, well organized and work hard. vVvGlon is an excellent example of this.
Our initial roster will include the following people:
Jana "vVvBabyToss" Otahalova
Manager and Captain
Chris "vVvPoser" Clauson
Carlos "vVvPrimeTime" RIos
Adam Son "vVvSonTran" Tran
Walter TJ "vVvFearful" Lopez
Nathan "vVvWakai" Pigeon
Race: Terran http://babytossfight...z/members/t.png
A well-spoken, knowledgeable person, experienced in casting StarCraft 2 matches should fill this position. Their main purpose would be to cast in-house tournaments and showmatches between Aspire Members as well as clan wars with other teams. This person should be able to promote Aspire events on to the larger SC2 community, as well as fuel the actual competitive spirit within the team; so the members know their efforts matter.
To enhance the competitiveness in the team, there will be in-house tournaments every 2 months. That's how long each ladder season lasts, and it provides a good benchmark of how each member is progressing. To add a flavour to it, there will be a scoreboard kept on the website to show ranking throughout all of these tournaments. Nobody really wants to be at the bottom of the list, so it also encourages members to stay active, while maintaining a positive competitive atmosphere, as well as team spirit.
Many amateur teams make a big mistake: lack of events to keep the members interested. The team needs to stimulate the players, so they go and work even harder. This is where the clan wars come in. This is where the Aspire members get the feeling of competitiveness first hand and it becomes good competitive experience for them. Competition is then ingrained in their minds; they do not want to badly represent and are encouraged to practice hard, to not get all-killed in every competition. Entering Team leagues is also a possibility. To further make the results of the Aspire team meaningful, they'd be tracked on the vVv Gaming website.
Clan wars would be scheduled once per two week period, typically on weekends, starting between 7-8 pm EST. This however, would be open up to discussion once the consortium is fully formed and all positions filled. Clan wars would be organized either by the Coach or Manager, depending on availability.
There would be two Aspire Team practices per week, where the members, the Manager and Coach would meet up on Mumble and in game to work together toward improving. The team members are encouraged to help each other, as well as the leadership and coaches adding their input and advice. Members decide one or two things they wish to work on and try to pursue that solely during the practice. The purpose of these practices would be to encourage teamwork, get the team together and to work on improvement of the individuals.
-Days and times to be decided at first meeting
Depending on availability of the coaches, there would be an option to have personalized coaching for an individual, should the member require it. It'd depend on the agreement between the coach and the student, but generally, no more than one session a week would be recommended, and two sessions max per week for the whole consortium; both for the sake of full schedules and to provide adequate time for the player to 'absorb' and practice what he/she was taught during the session. We also want to ensure members are teaching each other as much as possible, as teaching is the ideal method of solidifying knowledge learned during practice.
Part of our goal is to monitor and provide regular feedback to Aspire Members. Feedback will be based on observations by the Coach and Manager and will be provided in the form of a progress report every two weeks. Players will be able to look at the progress they are making and easily determine areas they are doing well and areas that need improvement. The progress reports will include feedback on a variety of different areas, including progress with SC2 skill, interaction with fans, ability to deal with gaming psychology, etc.
As said in the previous paragraphs, being on the Aspire team is both an advantage, priviledge and mainly, commitment. vVv Gaming values cultivating our own talents, but we also do not appreciate wasted efforts. Players who go inactive, do not attend the in-house tournaments & practices, or simply stop progressing could be replaced in the program. Likewise, inappropriate behaviour, disrespecting fellow teammates or not following the chain of command can lead to member's expulsion from the consortium.
Remember, there would be time invested into the Aspire team members, so the same is required from them. Signing up and then not being active just takes an opportunity from someone else who would truly wish to invest that time.