I want Enigma Gaming to become a top 3 team in Asia: Lukas Gröning

The role of a coach in an esports organisation is often overlooked as it’s a common perception that coaching isn’t necessary to play video games. That couldn’t be further from the truth as esports, just like any traditional sport requires meticulous preparations, both physically and mentally in order to compete at the highest level.

In this exclusive interview, Lukas Gröning, coach of Enigma Gaming speaks about his role, journey as an esports coach, overcoming challenges, competing at the highest level, esports becoming an Olympic sport and his future goals.

Q 1) Esports coaches have not been given their share of recognition, please share your views on how different/similar is the role of an esports coach compared to a coach of a traditional sport?

The role of the coach is not nearly as big in esports as the role in traditional sport yet, but I’m confident that will change with time. The bigger the teams and organisations get, the more important will be the role of a coach. Yet I think the role is very similar. As a coach in esports, you have to focus on the multiple aspects of a team: practice schedule, goal setting, strategies, counter-strategies, player development, lineup decisions. In traditional sports you have a big team of coaches behind this to handle the workload while esports teams mostly have only one coach.

Q 2) Tell us about your journey as an esports coach and how did it lead you to Enigma Gaming?

I started playing Counter-Strike semi-professionally in 2007, since then I have been interested in leading teams and taking care of the In-game Leader role. Due to the lack of structure in esports, we never had the benefit of having a coach and most of the work that a coach has to do fell onto me in my teams. As time went on, it was the part that I began to enjoy most. I liked to work and shape younger and less experienced players.

In 2019, I stepped down as a player and started fully focusing on the coaching role. Eventually in December 2021, I was looking for a new project and I was interested to work in India again with some of my old teammates. After some discussion, the deal between Enigma and me was handled out quite quickly.

Q 3) What are some of the challenges you have faced as an esports coach? How did you overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges is the fact that you sometimes have to work online. As a coach you need to be able to create a bond with the players, to understand them, know their needs as well as their goals. Online makes that progress much harder.

Also read: We aim to become a consistent esports team: Sabyasachi Bose-Antidote

Q 4) What are some of the most important qualities/traits/values that are required in an esports athlete for them to compete at the highest level?

Esports is a rough environment, if you don’t enjoy playing a lot (by a lot I mean A LOT), you won't be able to compete against the best. It is also important for the players to take responsibility. Often in casual games, players blame teammates or their surroundings (like lag, ping, pc, fps) for their mistakes. That will hinder the progress of understanding their problems and improving. Staying always open to new things and learning, having a beginners mentality is also a very important trait to be able to compete at the highest level.

Q 5) Esports is already a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games, do you see it becoming an Olympic sport one day?

At this point I think esports can not be an Olympic event due to their definition of what qualifies as an Olympic sport in terms of physical activity. As esports keeps growing and gaining more importance every year, I am quite sure there will be changes made and esports will eventually become an Olympic sport.

Q 6) How do you believe esports coaching will evolve in the future? What are your short and long term goals?
I think that in the future it will become just like any traditional sport, it’s just a matter of time. In the short term my goal is to do good with my current team Enigma Gaming. I would like us to be top 3 in Asia and on a personal level, I would like to improve my coaching and interactions with the players. Learning how to work with the tools better: discipline and motivation. For the long term I want to build a solid coaching model and I really want to assist some players to climb to the elite level of Valorant (or whatever game I might be coaching in future).


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