Hani Al Salha

Research Project

Influence of Team Communications on Team Performance in Videogames


Hello, my name is Hani and I’ve been playing videogames for as long as I can remember. This medium of entertainment allows for players to become professionals at what they love playing, and to possibly make it their career. The reason I chose to research this topic is because I have a genuine interest in what allows a good team to achieve victory after victory. Throughout this project, I have learned not only about various research methods, but also about team communications strategies that can be applied to my experience as a competitive gamer.

Research Summary

This project examines the influence of team communication on team performance in videogames. With the eSports industry rapidly growing each year, insight on optimal team performance can shift the standards of competitions. As players enter videogames at a younger age, developing efficient team communication strategies ensures that the field of eSports remains competitive for years to come.

Incorporating primary research from an eSport’s team’s gameplay and team communications, I analyzed the word counts per minute and the presence of themes to determine if team communication impacts team performance. The data analysis shows a positive trend between the words per minute as well as frequency of most themes and the likelihood of the team winning. A high occurrence of non-game related comms in losing games suggests that the team’s negative outlook on the game results in less effort in communicating effectively, resulting in further losses.

The methodology of the project uses a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methods. Examples of quantitative variables include number of words per minute, number of occurrences of a theme, and number of wins/losses across 40 matches Examples of qualitative variables include the themes of communication. I reviewed footage of a professional eSports team playing scrimmage matches where I collected data about their communications and performance, which was evaluated with the previously mentioned variables. The qualitative data was collected through manually viewing footage to identify themes that are repeated throughout the matches. Quantitative data was collected using YouTube’s transcript feature and by manually tracking how many words the transcript captures per minute and how many instances of a communication theme occurs; win/losses are tracked using the same method.

Across the 40 matches, the team spoke an average of 8.4 words per minute more in the 20 winning matches compared to the 20 losing ones, In a competitive game like Overwatch, callouts matter most in intense team fights, which is why these 8.4 words per minute might matter more than you think For example, one word such as “hold” indicates to the team that they should stop pushing the enemy and focus more on defending, possibly changing the tide of the game Another thing winning games saw an increase in is the frequency of communicated themes such as Retreat, Offensive, Hold, Shoot, and Objective commands, as well as Enemy resource, enemy position, and personal callouts The only two themes that were more frequent in losing games are health callouts and comms that were not game related This can be attributed to the team receiving more damage from the enemy, leading to them alerting their teammates of their condition, as well as the team’s morale being decreased due to them foreseeing the game as already lost, leading to less comms about the game The correlation between the variables and the outcome of the game represents how the team’s communication changes depending on the team’s outlook on the outcome of the game.

The aim of this project was to answer the question “Does team communication influence team performance?” and the results indicate that there is at least an association between the two In the context of a professional setting, the frequency of communication is considerably higher in winning games, which can be attributed to more critical information being communicated among the team
Similarly, there are more occurrences of game-related commands and callouts in winning games, which also leads us to assume that their communication does influence the result of the match.

Research Poster

Lightning Talk

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