Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Committing to a Date & Time

Edit: Renamed the title of this post. I think 'Competitive Gaming for the Grown Up Gamer' is a much bigger area than discussed here. Certainly much more involved than just "Clans can't organize themselves anymore, and it pisses me off"... which would probably make a great TL;DR; for this post.

The biggest problem you face as a clan organiser is making sure you have a core team that can all play at the same time. It becomes an even harder task when you're playing with a bunch of grown ups. All that pesky "real life stuff" going on. When gaming becomes a hobby and not a second job.

Back when we used to play Counter Strike as a clan, we dabbled in the competitive leagues. We'd be set against people from all over Europe; of varying age ranges; who lived in different time zones; who juggled different responsibilities.

"Our match day is Tuesday, practice at 8pm match at 9pm GMT."

Honestly, we weren't that busy with real life that we could only make one night a week - but as a 'skeleton team' of 5 it was about finding that 1 day where everyone would be online. The single night of the week where family got told, social life put on hold, where working late nights wasn't an option because "Tuesday night is gaming night."

So yeah, this actually happens. Your hobby is gaming & competitions are fun; you have a busy life yet you want to make the hobby work. So you set aside time to make it happen. Done. I think it's something perhaps the younger players don't worry about, nor the bigger clans with readily available replacements... but it's something we had to consider.

"The league's starting a new season and their match day is a Tuesday!"

Here's where I get to the point (thank goodness, eh). So Tuesday night comes around, we'd been practicing de_dust2 for an hour or so - their war arranger appears 30 minutes before the game:

"Sorry, we need to reschedule. Can you do tomorrow at 9?"

Now... I know stuff like this happens. Things come up. Unavoidable things. For all the "I'm busy Tuesday night!" claims in the world, if we were really needed - gaming is just a hobby. I get it. I do. You might call this common courtesy, or you might think I'm throwing away points - but if we don't have a team, I offer to forfeit the game. That's just what I do. Our screw up, our penalty.

Yet here's how the conversation unfolds:

"Sorry, we need to reschedule. Can you do tomorrow at 9?"
- Sorry, we can't play tomorrow. Tuesdays are our only gaming night.
"Ok, how about Saturday?"
- No really, the only night we can play is Tuesday. I can't guarantee we'll all be online any other night.
"Come on, stop being unreasonable and just reschedule it for another day!"

Suddenly we're unreasonable? My gut reaction, "Hang on, you little shit. I've cancelled a drinking session; he's taken wife aggro; and he's not eaten yet... just so we all make it online. Yet we're being unreasonable, after You want to reschedule?"

I keep my opinions to myself.

Worse, I know that this wasn't a one off incident, because it happened maybe 4 times in the first 6 weeks. I reached a point where I updated the Bio of our clan to specifically highlight that we can't play any other night than Tuesday.

It made no difference...

"But our LeagueABC match is on a Tuesday, we can't play both!"
- So play this one, and re-arrange your LeagueABC match.
"LeagueABC rules won't let us re-arrange, we'd have to postpone it to the end of season. You guys are really unreasonable..."

I can understand how it may seem... but we've joined a league specifically based on the nights advertised. This seemingly accepted culture of not playing on the nights advertised. The commonplace swapping out nights for other nights. Unreasonable for only being able to play when you're supposed to play.

So at least this is all in the past, right? Counter Strike ey, bunch of kids with no lives who can't organise their way out of a paper bag, right?

Last night...

"Hey guys, REALLY sorry to do this - but we can't play tonight. Could we re-schedule for another night?"
- Sorry, the only time we can get on is tonight...

Maybe I'll start up a new league, with strict play dates & zero reschedules. Just need an accurate way of tracking which clan turned up on the night. I'd play that.

Mneh. Maybe I'll stick to FIFA.

1 comment:

  1. This is why I think competitive gaming just isn't possible when you're an adult. When you're a kid you have all the free time in the world to dedicate to it but when you have a job and other responsibilities it just isn't feasible.