Defusekids: From zero to hero
League of legends
Defusekids is an esports organization (now LowLandLions) based in the Netherlands and Belgium that has several teams in different esports genres. The League of Legends team of Defusekids asked for assistance. The team won every tournament in 2019, but now in the new Dutch League 2020 season, with a new roster, things didn’t go as smoothly as planned. While they won their first few games in the beginning of the season, they couldn’t manage to win any more games after that. The internal team structure and trust within the team was slowly collapsing and the possibilities to reach play-offs and winning the season was slowly drifting out of reach. The coach worked many over hours to talk with all the players and tried everything in his power to reinstall team synergy, but it didn’t looked at that moment that the team could turn the tide around.
After starting to lose, the team was very closed off with each other. They were not in sync and seem to didn’t understand each other’s needs and wants to build and maintain trust in each other to perform at a basic level. Because of this there were many intern problems and the frustration got to a point where players were about to leave the team mid season. The real problems that had to be addressed seemed elusive and the players and coach didn’t know where to find a solution. They knew they had many different personalities within the team and that made it hard to get in sync with each other, because of everyone’s different point of view. Because of this dynamic, the coach had to take on many different roles, that was a huge time and energy sink for him throughout the season. He had to band aid the team together to keep the team afloat.
The team wasn’t really a team and there was no perspective. Every one played more for himself and wanted to look good for others. “The others won’t do it, so I won’t as well” was the mentality. They lost to teams that they statistically and in principle could beat. Because no one wanted to change, the team was stuck into a non-productive playstyle. There was no room for new implementations or idea’s and players didn’t took any responsibility for most of their actions. This resulted in losing many games in the competition up to the point where they had to win it every game to have a chance to go to the play-offs.
The team learned about communication is the basic sense of that meaning, so even while there were many differences in personality, they all got handed a tool that made them communicate on the same level, together with great openness and depth in the conversation to truly talk through the problems the team was having. Together with that, they learned a lot about their personal tendencies and overall presence within the team from the team profile that was written around their team dynamics. The team got the insights how each personality influences their role within the team and how each player gets motivated. There was now always an opening to connect with each other. They started to understand each other by seeing the world from each other’s perspective. They experienced that “Aha! Eureka!” moment, while learning more about themselves and their teammates, as well as their coach. They went from disconnected, to frustration, to anger, to exposure, to empathy, to connection, to understanding, to productive discussion in one team session.
The line of progression came back in the team. They could set a goal everyone stood behind. All the players and the coach had better understanding and insights into each other inner workings of their personality and tendencies. The coach had a much better time coaching 1 on 1, by applying insights from the team profile. He could now easily recognize when players blocked in their development and could lead them through it to overcome blockages so development was more continuous. The players understood themselves in a better way, in what their effect on the team is, and how to provide the most value from their natural strengths. With all of these insights combined together, they had a far greater chance to win as well as creating enjoyable moments together as a team.
After the first team session they never dropped a game in the Dutch League from that point on. They won it all, including the national Dutch League competition. They as well won the play-ins of European Masters. The solo que performance of each player went up since the first contact with Donny and players became more consistent in their performance overall. The team had a total growth of +1331 LP that split, with 115 being the lowest and 515 being the highest increase, with a peak of +1835 LP. This was in a time span of two months. The players became more open and autonomous and took more responsibility for themselves and the team. After European Masters, one player got contracted in the German European Regional League for the well-established professional team named SK Gaming, another one in the Spanish European Regional League at eMonkeyz and a third player in the English League at Barrage after this seasons performance.
"Donny is a great guy with great knowledge. Without him we wouldn't have won the Dutch League. The biggest thing that impacted us was knowing each others intentions and how that helped us get in sync with each other."
- Fayan "Gevous" Pertijs
Former coach of: Team Vitality, Splyce, Movistar Riders, RED Canids, EURONICS