Deciding to start a clan or gaming team can be fraught with many pitfalls. Not only will you need to recruit members for your clan or team, but you will also more importantly need to manage, encourage and nurture your gamers to produce great results. Gaming is a very fickle sport, and depending on the style of gaming you yourself love, you need to find a right mix of gamers and personality types. The following guide will enable you (The potential clan or gaming team leader) to avoid the common mistakes that far too many clans or gaming teams make, and hopefully allow you to get a group of gamers together that are unstoppable.
There are two types of clans / gaming teams.
- Casual clans or teams. These are generally a group of friends or acquaintances that regularly game together. They often play across multiple consoles and games. These gamers are in it for the social aspect of online gaming. They play regularly and tend to have a favourite game.
- The serious gaming clan / team. These people are very difficult to find. They are often underground and are dedicated to s single game. Often only socially connected to other hardcore gamers. These gamers are aiming for world ranking status in their game of choice.
Even before starting your clan or gaming team, you need to choose what type of gamers you are going for. Either way the following steps are always the same. For ease of writing, I will base this article around the casual clan or gaming team. Oh and one last thing before you start. It is an absolute myth that you as the clan leader need to be the best player at a game. All you need is a sense of community and a willingness to ensure that your team or clan has some serious fun!
Starting your clan or gaming team on the Xbox 360, PS3, PC or Wii.
As a clan leader of a casual clan or gaming team, you need to not base your team on only 1 specific game. This is one of the biggest mistakes a team can make. (and you haven’t even started). Your clan or gaming team is going have to be able to play and enjoy a range of games from say Call of Duty 4 and Battlefield Bad Company to Skate and GTA IV. The wider variety and diversity of games that you and your team are willing to play, the more interest your members will have in being part of the clan /team.
Naming your clan or team
Once you have decided on a range of games that you feel you love and want to play in, you will need to come up with a clan / gaming team name. Try and steer clear of obvious names such as “The COD4 clowns” or “Battlefield Bullies” These types of names are limiting your clan to a particular game. Remember, all games get old and people like variety. You need to create a name that will cross over many games and last for a few years. Try being creative and funny. Also avoid numbers or Leet speak if possible. You want your name to be remembered by your opponents. If all else fails, try a team name generator!
Recruiting members seems difficult, but it is actually very easy. You don’t need to be a superstar in a game to get noticed. The key to recruiting members for your clan or gaming team is to play a few maps or rounds with random people. Once you have established which gamers are local (in your country as to avoid lag in clan matches) Put it out there that you are starting a clan. Let them know your clans name and even place it in your tag. At first this will seem foreign, but you will soon see that gamers are a very community orientated bunch. Gamers want to be a part of a clan or team because that is what online gaming is all about. Make friends with the people you are playing with an exchange your gamer tag, PSN name etc. Ask these guys what they like playing and how often they play. Remember that your potential members don’t need to be the greatest players you have ever seen. All you are after are gamers who have fun and are willing to be part of a team. You will soon start getting members for your clan. If you regularly play with a group of friends ask them if they would want to join your clan. Explain to them that you want to play more organised matches against other teams.
Clan Ladders / Gaming leagues
The most important thing for a clan or gaming team is to be active. Active clans last as they always have a weekly match or practice. Joining a clan ladder or gaming league is vital for keeping your new clan focused. You want your members to feel they are competing in organised regulated matches. Clan ladders offer a wide variety of games for your clan to compete in and your members will feel that your clan or gaming team is official.
Communication is vital for your clan. Your members will have commitments outside of gaming. You need to have a way to let your clan know when you have a practice night or clan match organised. I recommend using a forum. You should be able to find a forum that will host your clan. Some gaming web sites will even give you your own section to run a clan in. MSN or emails are good to. Also remember to get all your members mobile phone numbers for emergencies or in case a member has failed to turn up to an important match.
A good Co –Leader is vital to your clan / team. You need to choose a member that has commitment and a sense of organization. Your Co-leader should be able to replace you in a match that you are unable to attend, so they need to be familiar with all the players. When choosing a Co-Leader, look for someone who the other members respect and listen to.
As a Clan leader you really need to support your clan or gaming team. Make sure you listen to all your members and make them feel valid. Remember, your members are likely to have a lot more experience in some games than you so take on board suggestions and tactics. Make sure that all members get a chance to lead your team from time to time. It gives them a feel for running a clan and will help them have an overall understanding of how your clan functions.
There are some easily identifiable pitfalls that a lot of clans fall into. Clans often fail due to the following:
- Too many leaders – Just have you and a Co-leader.
- Inactivity – Ensure you have regular practices and matches.
- In fighting between members – Remove members who cause problems immediately.
- Members not feeling part of the team – Share around responsibility and listen to your team or clan.
- Bad reputation in matches – Remove members who don’t listen or constantly cheat.
- Poor sportsmanship – Ensure your members do not bad mouth other teams, even if your clan or team is being abused.
- Immaturity of members – Avoid younger players who tend to not work as a team.
- Lazy Co –leader – install another member if you feel you are not being supported.
- No Practices – All clans or teams need practice. Practice can be as simple as making time to just play friendlies a few times a week.
If your clan fails it is because of you. You are ultimately responsible for your clan and poor leadership will do it every time. All of the above common pitfalls that can lead to clan splits or inactivity can all be avoided by taking action when you see a situation occurring. Be a firm leader, but fair. Reward members equally and get the better players to provide tips to the less experienced members. Make sure that your clan understand that in a match they are to listen to you or your Co-leader at all times
By this point you are probably thinking that being a clan or team leader seems a bit daunting or it will take the fun out of gaming. It won’t. Always remember that win or lose, gaming on a casual level is all about fun.
Some last tips:
- Start off recruiting anyone interested.
- Try and keep your clan tight, the best clans tend to not have more than 20 members.
- Once you have a solid member base and a crew you feel works. Don’t be afraid to let members go who are not meshing well with your team and the other clan members.
- Never get angry with a member in public.
- Always keep calm, even when getting your butt kicked in a game.
- Be honest with your members.
- Clan members will come and go. Be positive and encourage them to branch out on their own.
- Always remember that clans do eventually come to an end. The loss of your first clan for whatever reason will suck. Just start again and remember everything you learnt the first time round.
If you follow this guide you should be on your way to having a great clan with a few good years ahead of it.
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