Competitive eSports Players-Training Needs

Goals

To determine the training needs of competitive esports players, including ther physical and mental training needs, diet, preferences and mechanisms of interactions with othes (i.e. other players, coaches, role-models, and influencers), motivators and pain/points, and products available to meet their training needs. Additional goals for this research include; providing information from scholarly resources regarding the effects of esports on the brain and motor function as well as providing 2 to 3 case studies reflecting the training programs of competitive sports players.

Early Findings

Time Spent in Game Training

  • Practice schedules in eports are still quite varied and "fractured." Some professional esports players will actually practice their gaming skills between 4 and 6 hours, while others have touted practicing 12 to 15 hours per day. Practice times generally vary for different games and genres.
  • Some professional League of Legends players are practicing 12-14 hours-a-day, taking time only to eat and have video chats with family members, aonly getting about 5 hours of sleep a night. In fact, two Korean teammates, Chae “Piglet” Gwan-jin and Kim “Fenix” Jae-hun, are well known for pushing the their physical limitations during practice times.
  • An article published in the BMJ Exercise and Open Sports Journal states that collegiate esports player practice times ranged between 3 and 10 hours. This study consisted of a survey administered to 65 collegiate esports gamers from 9 universities in the US and Canada.
  • Another way that esports players define practice time in gaming is by number of games. This approach is also subject to degrees of variation among individual players, with some playing 4 to 6 games daily, others 10, and some reach 20 games daily.
  • Practice times are often separated in terms of "boot camps" or team practice and solo practice. This is further evidenced by the BMJ survey, where 3 to 4-hour team practices were often reported, after which team members then practiced on their own. The average total practice tme for collegiate esports players was 5.5-10 hours.

Exercise as Part of Training

  • Physical exercise has also become an important part of e-sports training at both the collegiate and professional level. According to a research study entitled, Do E-Athletes Move, out of 115 participants, 55.6% stated they felt that adding a physical component to their training programs improved their gaming performance. Exercise not only helps meet the physical stress demands of esports but studies show that adequate physical exercise improves mental clarity, focus, and cognitive ability.
  • In fact, an average of 1.08 hours out of a total training time of 5.28 hours daily was spent on physical activity.
  • Team Clutch Academy's Cody Sun, describes his physical workout regimen as including stretches for his lower back, and strengthening exercises for his wrists, hands, and neck. In fact Fusion has recently acuired basic weight equipment to be used at their practice facilities. This equipment includes basic cables, dumbbells, deadlift weights, and other basic weight training equipment. They are also in the process of budgeting for a team personal trainer.
  • Research shows that the heart rate of an esports gamer can sometimes rise to 160-180 beats per minute, well over the normal range of 60 to 100 beats per minute. Also, the increased secretion of the anti-stress hormone cortisol, can lead to negative effects on the body. These effects can be counteracted by training regminens involving physical exercise.

Diet and Esports Training

  • A healty diet, particularly rich in protein, antioxidants, and omega3 fatty acids, improves brain function, focus, physical stamina, and clarity and cognition. The days of e-sports players practicing long hours and dining on convenience foods, such as fast food, take-out, and pizza are being replaced by eating propoer diets rich in certain nutrients.
  • Recommended foods for optimal brain health include blueberries and other dark berries for their antioxidant properties, nuts and fatty fish like salmon for their omega3 content, and avocados and green leafy vegetables that are rich in B vitamins, magnesium, and folic acid.
  • Origen, a League or Legends team, consisting of 5 members, hired Kasper Hivdt, a prior captain of Denmark's handball team to be it's sporting director. As a result, Hvidt brough on a staff of experts in health and wellness to assist with the physical needs of the team. The experts include a nutritionist, a massage therapist, and a licensed medical doctor. The nutritionist plans the teams meals and snacks.
  • During tournaments, Hvidt will distribute vitamin B supplements, magnesium supplements, and protein smoothies also contiaining nootropic nutrients like matcha and acai.

E-sport Training Personnel

  • According to the esports survey published in the BMJ Joural of Exercise and Open Sports, the sports team model contains professionals from various disciplines that team members interact with. These include physical and occupational therapists, primary care sports medicine physicians, psychologists and mental health professionals, ophthalmologists, nutritionists, and athletic trainers. Team members will interact with at least one of these disciplines on a daily basis.

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