Building a team culture in the Oceanic Pro League
Updated: Apr 20
Written in the perspective of Scott "Westonway" Farmer, Pentanet.GG's OPL Head Coach. We all play the Oceanic Pro League (OPL) for one reason - to perform at our best and chase the glory that comes with an OPL title. We all have the same goal, but there are countless ways in which players, coaches and organisations view the road to success.
So, how does a team overcome a divide in viewpoints on how to achieve success?
PGG core values
Pentanet.GG is a company that values teamwork, sustainability, supporting one another and a positive environment. These cultural principles are considered essential - from our players to our marketing team and beyond, everyone at Pentanet.GG shares our core values.
Evaluating if potential recruits would fit the culture was done through a number of methods. Interviews were held with all players, with a key focus on their values and views on how to achieve success. Past teammates provided insight as to what a player was like to work with, as well as each player generating a reputation within the professional community.
Of course, there will always be some difference in views between players and coach. In order to ensure these differences don't fracture the environment, it's imperative that we build a shared team culture.
At PGG, we created an agreement on key points of the team's function and environment from the beginning - building this framework together gave everyone ownership the confidence to hold ourselves and each other accountable.
As a team, we agreed that in order to achieve success, the players would need to outperform opponents through significantly stronger teamwork. The agreement was also that the environment should be positive, supportive, and embody an emphasis on a positive work life balance amongst the hard work we put in every day. All players contributed to the culture and put aside their own views to support this shared view of success.
Keeping culture alive during adversity
Deciding on a culture can often be the easiest part. The hard part comes in ensuring everyone is accountable and that the culture is maintained.
The strength of our culture was tested at many points throughout the split. The first major test came early on in the split, when we were winning almost all of our practice scrimmages, but were unable to produce the results that we were achieving in practice. A team meeting occurred during this time, where an agreement was made to change our in game playstyle, but overall the team was very supportive of the other aspects of the culture.
The second major test came towards the end of the split when we suffered a string of defeats in both practice and on stage, ultimately resulting in us missing playoffs.
Even after our most frustrating performances, very rarely did anyone break from the culture. In the rare instances where these breaks occurred, it was quick and easy to correct thanks to our cultural foundations and mutual alignment.
This was arguably the point to be the most proud of with our team, the team remained supportive of each other, combating poor results with helping their teammates and remaining positive and committed to the cause.
In spite of the disappointing results this split brought, the team can be proud of how well they responded to the tests placed on the team which, for many other teams, may have torn the environment apart.
Looking towards split two, the team is still highly committed to the idea that in order to win, we will need to perform better together, as a team and have the best environment. It will be our aim to improve based on these principles and bring a better performance for split two.