Learning to communicate brought my team a miracle (and tickets to California).
Starting out 0-2 hurts. We knew we’d have to win the next five series straight. Improbable already, it would only amount to passing through the 800-team group stage. My team was competing in a card game, so we knew better than most that the odds were stacked against us.
For those wondering, the name of the game is not Hold’em. It’s Hearthstone: a similar game that rewards counting your outs, and reading your opponents.
But, back to the start, how did we go from being in last to getting those live finals tickets to California? What could have changed to take us from being a 0-2 team, and at that, one that had been almost swept in both series, to advancing through the group stage, the regional playoff, and the thorny single-elimination bracket?
Something was happening. It happened when we brought our heads together to talk.
We began to find the switch. To find it we had to talk, we had to communicate our thoughts. My teammates and I searched every corner of our minds, from data-driven research to what we thought the other players had had for lunch, and if we did that, we could find it.
We were now finding outs were none had existed before.
As our communication improved, the better we became. Still, a miracle switch is just that, it bought us only time. This was the time we needed to reach eight winner-take-all game 5s, by far the most played by any team in the tournament. We had grown, and in the end, we won every single winner-take-all game 5 we played.
I attribute reaching the live finals championship to my teammates for having the patience to listen to more of my bad ideas than good.