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In my last blog I talked about Community Involvement. If you haven't watched the I suggest that you check it out before reading this... Now that you know how to get involved if you're already apart of the community, I want to talk about community growth. How do we get more people to play the game? Watch it? Support it? This blog is mainly geared towards console shooters, but can be applicable to any title with a competitive aspect. Strategy & Educational Content As usual, I'm going to be using Gears of War 3 for my examples. This game has a very small skill gap, what I mean by this is that gun skill isn't very hard to master. Unlike most shooters, GoW3 has more of a mental skill-gap, therefore content should be focused on showcasing decision making and strategy just like Starcraft. Many of the decisions players make are instincts, and second nature to them for playing the game since GoW1. This creates a bubble for newer players to get involved if GoW3 is their first title because they don't make decisions based off of experience, and instincts. Amateur Tournaments Although showcasing the best talent in the game has it's advantages when trying to bring new players into the community, I believe that it's very redundant and only helps so much. Showcase matches are great for communities that are thriving with amateur players working hard to go pro and spectators alike. If the top players even want a game to compete in, they'll start helping the amateur players and creating tournaments with the Amateur player in mind. The reason why finding Amateur talent is so crucial is because it creates amazing stories, drama, and finds players such as Snipedown, RyanNoob, and many more. Communities can't run on 16 pro teams, there needs to be the Amateur community presence who attend events and watch the tournament after they get knocked out. Cameron of Fnatic believes that Amateur Teams are the Unsung Heroes of eSports. I agree 100%. AM Tournaments give players a chance to prove themselves, and gives them the confidence to keep playing and grinding. Props to NJ Rod, Cream, and Goldenboy for creating tournaments like this. They get it. Social Media and Word of Mouth Social Media has been a great tool for eSports and it’s growth these past few years. Having a presence on Twitter, facebook, and YouTube has become mandatory for most sponsors and partners. I’ve noticed many players in the console community not using it to it’s fullest potential. These players are generally the ones saying ‘I need more followers’ or Advertising their twitters on their streams, youtube channels, or xbox live profile. What I’m getting at is that players need to start using their twitters to promote other content that’s not their own. I know it’s important for you to have that Twitter follower number very high, but what’s the point if you don’t even tweet relevant information to your communities growth? For Example, if there was a community ran tournament, montage, tutorial, or stream why not tweet it out? As a top player, your social media activity is looked at more often and by more people, you’re much more influential because of your status in the game. Top Player Etiquette and Manner As a top player or known player in the community you’re looked up to by the amateurs and up and coming players in the community. If you’re starting arguments on twitter or complaining about the game, how do you expect your fans or followers to act? You need to set an example in the community. If a SC2 player acted like some of the Console players do, there would be a 200 page thread on Team Liquid talking about professionalism and maturity. If you want your game to be taken seriously by sponsors, brands, or leagues, start acting serious and think before you post something on social media. The shit talk and blame game doesn’t make the community very appealing to newer players trying to get involved in the community because the people they look up too are acting like 12 year olds. Follow me on Twitter for updates on when I post blogs and eSports news! @vVv_RobZGod