Interview with James Maccormack
In 2016 Bulldog eSports has seen alot of growth in various eSports, in 2017 we are really trying to push out league of legends roster to another level of sucess. We will have more information on our completed roster for the next split very soon, for now we are happy to give you an inside look into the Bulldog eSports league of legends roster with our coach James Maccormack!
So first off can you please introduce yourself, and tell everyone your roll in Bulldog eSports and a little bit about you?
My name is James "Mac" MacCormack, I'm 23 years old and currently working full-time in esports having graduated from the University of Leeds last year with a BA in philosophy and Spanish. I'm currently the head coach and team manager of Bulldog's league of Legends roster, meaning that I'm responsible for recruiting and maintaining the roster as well as the support staff, providing the strategic direction of the team, making sure practice is always as efficient as possible and just generally keeping everything running smoothly.
I also occasionally work together with newts on the organisational side of things, more as someone to bounce ideas off and provide insight into the league of Legends seen as it's not one Bulldog has been in for long.
Obviously youve been under Bulldog eSports for a while now, how has it been?
I've been with the team since October and every season has really been a pleasure to be honest, Bulldog is the first team that I've been head coach for so it's been a pretty steep learning curve for me in terms of how to manage people more than anything else and make sure everyone is happy and comfortable so they can improve as much as possible. Thankfully all the players that we have been lucky enough to work with have been committed, hard-working and overall just lovely people and we've never had any serious problems with team atmosphere or anything like that so even when our results haven't been as good as we had perhaps hoped for the experience has always been enjoyable and productive. Knowing that we have experienced owners who basically have my back whatever the case has also been a huge help for me personally.
So obviously from a management prospective we are all very proud to have you under Bulldog and of what you have achieved, but what do you think is your best achievement to date as a team?
In terms of what we achieved I think although this split we struggled with consistency, it was a really vindicating feeling to show some of the people who doubted us and our players, including the casters at times, that we could take games off of the best of them by playing together solidly as a team. I was really proud of all of the players this split for working so hard to improve when we weren't in a good spot in the standings. For most of the split we practised 5 times a week and we saw it pay off in game 1 versus MnM when we beat them pretty convincingly (only to go on and pick Azir support in game 2).
What is the next event you are attending as a team and what do you hope to get from that event?
Our next event is the summer split of the ESL UK premiership, which is still quite a way away. Preparations are going pretty well right now and Newts and I have been working extremely hard to get the roster nailed down as soon as possible so we can start practising. Obviously in Bulldog the aim is always to win the whole thing, that's something that all of the teams have to have as top priority if they want to stay on with the organisation and is something that trickles down from the owners to everyone that works with the team. We are hoping to have the roster confirmed and contracted within the next couple of weeks so that we can get going on practice before anyone else and come out swinging this time, and the way things are going I don't think it's unrealistic to aim for finals as long as we work hard.
With the team progressing well where do you feel your weakest point is as a squad and what are you doing to improve it?
Right now our biggest flaw is definitely communication. Realistically whenever you change out just one player on the team from a coaching perspective you basically have to start all over again because the dynamic changes completely, different players interact with their teammates in vastly differing ways and so that's something the players have to work on together so they can start to understand each other in terms of how they like to play the game and how their relationship as teammates develops both in and out of game. This is especially relevant to us as Archie was an enormous voice on our comms and an extremely commanding shot caller so right now we are in the process of building that up again from scratch so that the rest of the players can implement what they learned from him and grow into the role themselves. When it comes to training that, is just about consistency and focus. Sometimes it can be draining and distracting to have to talk so much during the game when you aren't used to doing so, so it will probably take time and a pretty strict approach from my perspective to get communication up to the standard that I expect of them.
Is there anything you are looking forward to the most as a team ? Such as an event or a certain series?
Looking forward, I would really like to play on stage. Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend the last LAN we went to in person due to personal reasons, so I was just coaching the boys remotely but I'm really looking forward to meeting all of them face-to-face, they are honestly such lovely guys and the atmosphere within the team is always really fun so I think we'll have a great time at LAN together even if we don't do well (although, we will).
With the next split coming up we are very excited to see how the boys perform and are very proud to have them under Bulldog eSports!