You are battling toward the nexus in a 5v5-ranked game late on a Wednesday night. You have to work the next day and know you are not going to get enough sleep. But fear not! Your dedication to League of Legends is helping more than just your online rep. It’s helping you to be a better team player by teaching you these five valuable lessons in communicating under pressure.
1 You’re ready to fill the gaps
If your team gets thrown a lot of projects each day at work, you have to quickly prioritize your tasks and assess how your team’s skills align. When you understand each other’s strengths and abilities, new challenges are easier for your team to tackle. In League of Legends, you get matched with random players in solo queue. You then have a couple of minutes to pull an all-star team together. In real life, as in League of Legends, you often have to work with what you are given. You don’t always get your first pick in a project, nor are all people easy to get along with. So you have to figure out how to help fill the gaps on your team without sacrificing your skills.
2 You know how to align your objectives
Getting ready for a team fight? Attack Baron? Clear enemy jungle? Kill Teemo? In the Summoner’s Rift, you are constantly aligning your team around the most immediate and impactful objectives. If one teammate is missing or not on board, it could cost you the fight or, worse, the game. In a fast-paced work environment, your team needs to work together effectively. Playing League of Legends has taught you to understand what your objective is and to be clear about what it will take to complete it.
3 You understand that flaming gets you nowhere
You are working late on a project that’s due tomorrow. Your colleague realizes he made a mistake that will keep you in the office longer. Option 1: ignite a pillar of flaming anger in your conference room with a snarky “GG noob,” dividing your team and setting yourself up for an even longer night. Option 2: take the mistake into account and refocus your team around the objective. If LoL has taught you anything, it’s that not sweating the small stuff under pressure can make the difference between victory or defeat.
4 You speak your team’s language
If you are trying to get out of the Bronze league, you have to know what it means to build an adc, stack mr, and go backdoor. Knowing the lingo saves time and makes you sound competent. In the office, you might Slack your colleague, “Hey Chad, what’s the ROI on the FB account for tomorrow’s Q1 meeting?” Just as in online gaming, every company has a list of acronyms they use around the office daily. Being able to speak that common language helps everyone get on the same page quickly.
5 You know when to stop beating a dead Warrick
Not all of your projects are going to be a success. You fail, and you learn. However, it’s important to know when to call it. League players understand that if a team has lost their top, mid, and bottom lane on the Rift, defeat is predictable and it’s time to call “gg.” You can beat your head against the wall and drag your team with you, hoping for something to change, or you can take your losses and analyze them so you know what to do differently in the next match.
You might not benefit from putting “Diamond League Player” on your résumé, but you can be confident that League has taught you l33t team communication skills you can apply IRL. So, when you’re on your third cup of coffee and your boss asks you why you’re so tired, tell her that you stayed up late working on effective communication strategies. Or . . . maybe not. Just grab that caffeinated beverage and buckle up for the day!