Overwatch Coach Jacob ‘Spilo’ Clifton Explains Why Thinking Is Most Important

Splo, a muscular guy with ruffled hair and a hoodie, looked mildly concerned as he spoke via webcam. “You’re being kept away from the things you really love for fear of disappointing yourself or letting others down, and that can actually be pretty disappointing because that’s really where you enjoy the most but cannot have. there.” He’s streaming live on Twitchlook at one guard 2 The match via Discord call with Winston is highly ranked players have difficulty playing ranked mode. It sounds like therapy, but it’s part of Splo. guard training process.

At 28 years old, Jacob “Spilo” Clifton had a teaching career, formerly guard ever step into the picture. He taught gymnastics in high school, became a head coach at an MMA school for all ages, and even tutored advanced math. No wonder his career with guard brought him to the place guard League, and now he’s a sought-after expert in assessing players of all levels.

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Splo’s life and career with games has given him a specific perspective on innovation. Like many people are attracted to guard, Splo has little first-person shooter experience; he spent his time doing the big world PVP in Lord of the Rings Onlinelike “best warg in the world.” After being forced to try out Blizzard’s popular game by his brother-in-law in 2017, Splo was immediately hooked. The game is both fast-paced and tactically dense; In an interview with Polygon, he described how it felt guard offered the “perfect combination” of those elements while still requiring no mastery of first-person shooter mechanics.

Splo’s Journey into Competition guard start small. “You know, I’m the typical Bronze player,” he said. “I actually had a lot of competitive anxiety. I don’t like ranked games. I just love playing Quick Play.” Splo’s own learning journey to become better guardcombined with his love of teaching, which first led him back to making videos on YouTube, similar to when he posted clips from Lord of the Rings Online day. While he initially earned more light contentHis videos still focus on the things that helped him progress as he rose to the top of the competition.

Create guard content on YouTube is an “oversaturated market,” as Splo told Polygon; Instead, he decided to start coaching, as well as form a community to share knowledge. What happened next was the “growth” of his growing love for the game. “Basically, over time, as I coached better, as I played the game better, I started doing more and more training sessions and I ended up doing all of those training sessions. . [for my community]. That’s basically where the transition begins,” he explains. At that time, he said to himself: “I love doing this, maybe I will be like an educational streamer. Maybe this is something I can do for a long time. I started watching [season 1 of] guard League, so at the same time, maybe I can do that at some point.”

The London Spitfire Overwatch League team celebrates on stage after winning the Overwatch League Finals at Barclays Center on July 28, 2018 in New York City

Photos by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Blizzard Entertainment

Splo eventually built a following on Twitch, as well as working as a professional trainer at both guard Opponents as well guard League. He attributes his “communication ability” to what helped him learn to coach at that level. According to Splo, some of the “most rewarding times as a team coach” come from working with shy players for a few months and witnessing their personal growth. He recounted an experience coaching one guard The league player then returned to him in the post-season. The player told Splo that he had a lot to think about and that he wouldn’t have been able to finish the season without Splo’s help and support, and that has really changed who he is. . “That made my week,” says Splo. “That’s all for me, knowing that – you feel like you have a permanent impact, you know?”

In addition to esports that require long hours of work and changing locations, Splo’s interest in personally impacting players has led him to leave his job as a full-fledged eSports coach and return. stream as well as interact directly with players seeking feedback. “Sometimes I just want to talk to people,” he said. “You know, sometimes the best part of my coaching is when I’m having frank and honest conversations, comfortable, or when I feel like I have significant influence on someone personally, or even just stupid things when I chat. with people on Twitch chatting about patch notes.”

guardand now precaution 2, could be a scam; while it is visually cartoonish, there is a tactical complexity below the surface that makes it feel closer to chess than call of duty. However, that complexity can be easily overlooked or misunderstood, as the game offers very little insight into its mechanics. For many people, being “good” at precaution 2 sounds like an unnecessary amount of time that detracts from the fun factor of the game. But for others, getting “good” is the main draw – though that’s made more difficult by the game’s intensely competitive environment and its often toxic community.

Splo is well aware of the toxicity that can arise in the competitive gaming space, especially those dominated by men. “It’s like toxic masculinity – if you’re not a winner, you’re a loser,” he explains. “So then you’re doing one of two things: you’re winning at all costs, which is toxic in itself, or you’re being dishonest and pretending that everything you do wins, in when nothing is wrong. sometimes lose.”

Back in 2019, guard launched a powerful “replay” feature that gives players the ability to view an updated list of their 10 previously played matches, as well as share them with others via a unique code. An important part of competitive game training is a “VOD review”, in which post-match footage is critiqued on areas for improvement. Splo told Polygon that the replay feature makes it easier to review VOD, by being able to see what people are doing in a game. “But I thinhk [a positive of the replay feature] which has been underestimated, is the ability to go [to a player]’Hey, do you know what’s going on behind you?’” Splo described how he could show someone a play in motion, from the perspective of a bird. “Suddenly everything opened up and it rattled. And they say, ‘Oh, I don’t even know.’ It just gives the opportunity to like, minimize […] it just gives context, better context.”

Splo now does these VOD reviews as a service, and he does some of the reviews live on his Twitch channel. To get a coaching session, a potential client fills out a lengthy questionnaire that Splo uses to get an idea of ​​a person’s goals and lifestyle, and then talks about those things, often is in a substantial part of the training session. Just like the worried Winston player from the beginning of this story, many are more open-minded when Splo talks to them. Despite his extensive teaching and coaching experience, he still seemed surprised by this. “Most of the time, people are really honest with me. I don’t know if it’s just because the people who go to the training sessions feel more comfortable with that. That’s something I’ve definitely always tried and pursued, that’s the level of blunt honesty.”

Splo promotes a degree of emotional vulnerability that may feel unusual for a critique if it is not motivated by concern; his style doesn’t look like someone is dividing a Diamond ranker guard appropriate and like that of a keen diagnostician, probing beneath the surface for more serious potential problems as indicated by current symptoms. He has a deep understanding of the game’s tactical mechanics, but more than that, he just wants to help people deal with what’s standing in the way of their success.

D.Va looks focused as he grips the joystick inside his machine in Overwatch

Image: Blizzard Entertainment

“I guess there are three levels of things we’re attacking. One is the gameplay. That is the least important thing. The second is how you approach the game: your practice, your mindset, your spirit. [attitude], your workout routine, things like that. Those things are much more impactful, much more important. The third one, that’s the most It’s just what kind of person you are. I think that one is much harder to dig out.” He continued: “But like, can we make you more patient? Can we change the way you see improvement? Can we change the way you see confidence?”

For Splo, being able to bring out the best in someone, whether they’re a shy Contender player or a Mercy protagonist who just wants to get out of Bronze, is what sets him apart from the rest of the world. who only know how to become better than the game.

“I try to do whatever I can on that hour-long call, trying to bring whatever value I can to the growing players,” Splo said. “Because some players are great and they are developing well, and they just need a few tips and positioning. Some players have a lot of problems with their humans, don’t they? And they need help with that, too. I guess my job for that short hour is […] to try and find out what will have the most impact on them. Because like I said, even if they leave the session and they don’t rank up at all, but I’ve made them think about who they are, I just find that more satisfying than anything else. true to you.


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