Q&A with Carmel eSports coach Jeff Chou on winning recent state championship titles 

Maryam Hafeez

How did you prepare your team for the state championships? 

You can see the size of the room, with 105 players and eight different games that we could be in, it was impossible to fit everyone in here. So what we had to do was split our practices to two practices a week for each game and then one day was a competitive official match day. 

What do you think was the most important factor in your team’s success? 

Honestly, it was definitely the teamwork and the communication that built over the course of the season. They started to actually coordinate and work with another to get to where we are.

How did you keep your team focused and motivated?

We’re playing video games for the most part, so that’s pretty engaging in itself. So if they didn’t like it, they wouldn’t have been here playing. 

What are some of the biggest challenges you would say your team faced this season? 

It was mainly logistical issues, especially with our network. The school, I understand, wants to prevent students from gaming throughout the day, but because we are still on the same network, we had to do a lot of bypasses just to be able to play, and sometimes they didn’t always work. So that was probably our number one challenge and number two was simply not being able to meet with our members every day consistently, because we have so many people and limited equipment. 

What qualities do you think were most important in allowing your team to succeed?

Honestly, having a safe and structured environment where our coaches are asking the right questions and getting them to think about the game as more than just gaming, and more from a strategic perspective. Just getting them thinking about the right things, asking the right questions, to just kind of guide them towards the next step. 

What plans do you have for next year to replicate this success? 

This year was a trial year, so we figured out a lot of different things that we need to improve upon as well as some things that worked well. We kind of just tried everything, there wasn’t a consistent method, and so we’re just going to implement all the little things and hopefully those improvements that we learn from this year will help (next year).