“GG EZ”: Is being Tilt-Proof and Chill a teachable skill?

Just like traditional sports such as soccer or tennis, Esports has its own idea of “bad
sportsmanship,” which is commonly referred to as “tilting.” For anyone unfamiliar, tilt is a word
used to describe the enraged feelings of a player who then takes that rage out on the enemy or
ally team. Tilt is most commonly seen through mean spirited comments or actions (like team
killing, purposely dying, spamming pings, baiting… The list could go on).

As an Esports coach, I see tilt during practices and casual play from time to time. To be
honest, I would be lying if I said I didn’t get tilted on occasion myself. Being so involved with tilt
and tilt-culture, I know that it can negatively impact my teams and their performance during the
season. So, I asked myself… Is being “Tilt-Proof and Chill” a teachable skill?

The younger the player the easier it is for healthy coping mechanisms to be introduced
regarding tilt. “[Esports lets] adults… teach students… good sportsmanship, like how to
communicate, or how to lose well (“Gamers Are the New High School Athletes,” 2018).” One
study conducted by Rafael Burgueño states that our middle through high school years are “to
prepare students for the effective exercise of citizenship in a democratic society” and develop
“sportsmanlike” behavior (2020).

Related, researcher Guo Freeman found in his study that players of multiplayer Esports
titles found best to “team-up” with people met “through existing offline social networks”
(2017). Because of this, the anonymous factor of the online games are removed, and the desire
to be a “democratic” citizen of the team is increased. Overall, sports and Esports are a good
platform for students to prepare “prosocial” behaviors (Huk, 2019).

To that end, in the same study conducted by Burgueño, it was found that there are six
key features needed for students to achieve “high level” sportsmanship. Those being, seasons,
affiliation, regular competition, culminating event, record keeping, and festivity (2020). All of
these key features were found while observing a physical education class with team games.
Could these features be applied to Esports to achieve same or similar results?

Having worked with teams before, I can easily see adding a six-feature curriculum to
young Esports teams. A senior game, regular scrimmages, prizes for mechanical achievements,
matching uniforms… All examples of how the six features could be integrated.

Teaching being tilt-proof is essential for preparing passionate players who want careers
in competitive play, as it would habitualize the professionalism that is needed in the heat of the
moment while on stage. Not only that, but teammates who work well together perform better
throughout the season, granting everyone involved a well deserved confidence boost.

And really, the fact is, not being yelled at in all chat makes gaming a lot more fun for everyone.

Coach Malbon is a Gamerabble Freelance Coach and News Contributor

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