The sun is shining and the annual Summer Cup is just around the corner. Personally, I've been waiting for this since the last Summer Cup, which was my very first one. It was a great experience for a rather new face in the community and having the chance to play with more established players was an important opportunity to develop. The Summer cup is also much about networking, getting to know new people and welcoming fresh faces into our community.
Captaining a team is never easy, there's a lot of responsibility involved and keeping a bunch of guys with different personalities happy poses it's challenges. In the Summer Cup, even more so as you will be bumping into completely new acquaintances. It's part of the charm with this whole tournament. Chemistry is obviously one of the most important success factors in any team sport, I once heard a smart man state that you can't put five Malkins on the ice and expect a win. As a captain, it's difficult to fit the pieces together when drafting players that are completely unrelated and have never taken a stride together before. In the Summer Cup, there are so many factors that weigh in and that's what makes it such an interesting tournament.
Chemistry is key.
Discussing with some of our Summer Cup 3 captains, I learned that having at least a couple of skilled players who have some kind of history together (read: chemistry) can make all the difference in the world as it gives a massive advantage on the ice. The philosophy of building the team can vary a lot depending on the captain. I talked to @Aze and @Snapster, who have established themselves as something of defensive leaders in this game and their first priority was drafting players to create a coherent unit that will work well in both ends of the ice. on the other hand, @Hazard-laser mentioned that he would like to stack his roster with big offensive weapons that could outshoot any opponent. We'll have to wait and see until tomorrow how their plans turn out.
The summer cup is a couch GMs dream.
When asking about the guys' expectations for the upcoming tournament, each one said they wanted to be successful and win games. Some had more predefined goals than others. A common factor, however was that meeting new people and networking is one of the most exciting things about the Summer Cup. AzeStiNE stated that he sees himself as a very analytic player and likes to observe other players, playing with them is the best way to do this. It could very well be said that captaining a Summer Cup team is a perfect opportunity for any passionate couch GM.
Being a newcomer is tough.
Being a complete newcomer in the scene joining the Summer Cup can be a challenge. If you don't know anyone it is hard to get going. Despite being difficult, this tournament is a great chance to get noticed. AzeStiNE compared it to a similar situation that free agents are in at the IIHF World Cup - it's an opportunity to play a few games and show the people out there what you can do. As a new guy, it is very likely that you won't get to play too many games. It is a difficult situation to be in, but the best advice our captains could give is that you should take it as a learning experience and watch the guys who have been in the game for a longer time.
This is a unique tournament in the virtual hockey scene and we would like to keep going and make the tournament even better. We're looking forward to the draft tomorrow and hope to see all of you in the stream. With 434 players participating, this summer cup will be the biggest of it's kind, we're excited to have so many new faces joining and it's going to be great meeting all of you out on the ice!
Edited by Kenu