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You are here: Home / eSports as Brain Fuel
eSports as Brain Fuel

By B 'HcK' F
Nov 2, 2005 23:31

Well where to begin,
First Hi and welcome to the first part of an article series about the psychological and physically background of eSport.
Today there are many unanswered questions people ask over and over again. How can a Professional Gamer handle pressure ,the ability to concentrate extremely focused over a long time, and how to get reflexes high above the average Gamer?.
And is there a possibility to increase this with some drugs or other helping substances? Do Players already use it? What's the secret that is responsible for the huge gap between average and professional?
Well there are many differences between a Professional and a Semi Professional Gamer you wouldn't notice at first but if you have a closer look and think about it some things will get clearer and clearer.
I worked for years with Professional Gamers and Teams as well as with Gaming Peripheral Manufactures all over the World and still do so, teams like SK , perdox or companys like Razer and Sennheiser , and since the beginning of professional competition in Computer games nowadays better known as eSports, i was always interested in closing the gap between professional gamers and average gamers and make clear to other people how and why this guys are successfully and especially how everyone inside the gaming community can increase his own success. In the last years there are more and more products me and some guys from SK-Gaming and other Gamers all over the world improved to close that gap.
Today I'll focus on the mental and physical aspect of these guys before and during the Game play especially in 1v1 Games and generally.
First of all what happens when you play a Tournament and especially what happens inside the heads of these guys during the game play?.
Let´s come to a typical situation for a Professional Gamer.
There are several situations that actually could happen. There are just two types of Tournaments in eSports which could be separated in On-Line and Off-Line Events.
We will focus on the Off-Line Events like CPL , WEG , ESWC or any LAN Event first. Mentally seen these are the more demanding Situations for the brain and your fitness at all.
So we'll go through the usual steps of a Tournament after you arrive.
The Preparation:
The Setup of your Gaming peripherals and system configuration are the first things you have to do and which you should give a lot of time and attention to because they could cost your team or you a win easily.
If you take a closer look at the guys when they set up their configurations in the Tournament Area you'll notice that there are two types of Gamers. The Experienced Gamer taking time and they already set up their settings on Tournament Machines for 50 times or more, they are relaxed and patient going through their Setup and doing in game tests over and over again and then fine tune again and test and fine tune again and test and so on.
And then there are the so called "First Timers" or less experienced Tournament Gamers , mostly you can see them running around or setting everything up and asking other Gamers for help. That kind of players already spent a lot of concentration and energy before they even played one second they miss later in the Tournament.
Get into the Game:
So now we are here, the brackets are up you know your enemy and sit down at your place and start the Game.
Here is the first important mental step that differs between the average and professional. Some Gamers are just sitting down thinking "Hey no name enemy that will be easy and just in this moment the brain automatically goes to what i call "Easy going" mode. Underestimating your enemy is always wrong even if this guys never showed up at any Tournament and is totally unknown.
Well your brain especially in Gaming works from taking experiences that you have stored over weeks, months, years and your brain can get them quickly and automatically if it needs them.
With underestimating your enemy all your brain does is relaxing and so you`re starting the game like any pcw or Train Match up. Even if you want, it doesn't get in "Tournament" mode where you need a lot of experiences and concentration for just this single game.
And if you loose afterwards you get dissapointed or angry, a normal reaction at all which is totally unnecessary if you'd think and take care about yourself a bit more.
So the first big mental difference between a professional and an average gamer is the fact that there are "Thinking" players and "Playing" ones. The "Playing" gamer will not think about any of his actions in game or before the game he'll just react like dodging from a rocket or getting Armor or health there is no real Multitasking ability in these gamers play.
I think a lot of gamers have this problem and actually this is just one reason why they could never reach the professional level they would love to reach and their idols already have.
The "Thinking" one sits down takes a deep breath or does any ritual he has developed to concentrate all his energy and concentration for the next game, I've seen lots of different rituals during my gaming career. Some closing their eyes and flying around the map inside their brain thinking about what do i do when i start at this Spawn point or the other , some are watching on a family picture or their girlfriend , and as much different gamers are all around the world, there are as much rituals before the Game. eSports and Tournaments generally are not like a Marathon where you need your energy over a long distance. You need to go from game to game and that's why it's so important to have the right attitude and make this clear for yourself.
The Warm up:
So now we are here inside the game, most of the gamers doing some minutes of warm up with their enemy, and there are some little tricks to get your enemy confused or getting him think you are an easy to beat enemy which gets him in the "Easy going" mode making it easier for you to win.
First of all never play with all you got in a warm up game. This will result in your enemy being more careful and in some case getting his brain back to the "Tournament" mode. It doesn't care how good you are, if you are a Fatal1ty or VoO or Stelam. Make your enemy think you are weak and easy to beat, never beat his ass up in the warm up mode, make calculated faults but doesn't let it look to easy. The effect of this is that there are a lot of players who will act like i told you above and automatically switch back to relax their brain and spent there energy and concentration on how they think "more difficult enemys". This is a good trick that takes some practice because you have to get all your concentration and power back before the game starts to be at 100% again. This is just a matter of training this ability also called "Skill bluff".
Let the show begin:
So right now the game started you have a good or bad spawn position and your brain begins working. I'll tell you how an average gamers brain is now working. He or she will get to the next Weapon or Armor and pick it up and going through his "route" he has played successful some time On-Line or Off-Line. The human brain also works with behavior patterns besides experiences which is absolutely deathly for an average gamer because almost all Professionals got the ability to recognize this behavior patterns the player has trained. Being incalculable is a big part of every 1v1 game which has to be trained as well as getting the ability to recognize your enemys behavior patterns inside the game. This just needs one thing. Practice. Practice. Practice. And watching better players.
From the view of a Professional Gamer the Game begins with 100% concentration and right after the spawn he has already 2-5 possibilities in mind how to get him in a better or more powerful position than you. How can he do this? Here comes another big advantage of a professional into play. Experience and Listening. A professional gamer listens carefully where you spawned or picked up a weapon and already has several ways in mind how to beat your weapon setup or how to easily counter your moves or predict them. You can see that in several games, if you see how good some players developed this Brain skill by firing prediction shots that hit almost every second to third time. All this happens within a few milliseconds and a good player already knows about the next logical steps you'll take from knowing the Map and the positions of all Items. This again needs practice practice practice as well as thinking and improving your Game style and a aggressive Game style in the Beginning of the Match. Most of the professionals can take experiences from a long years repertoire inside the Brain that an average gamer simply not has.
After an aggressive beginning you can see the most professionals securing key positions like Armor or strong weapons and timing them so you can't get them easily.
Out of my experiences i would say a "Thinking" Gamer will win again a "Playing" Gamer in 90-95% of the games.
And now we come to the interesting point how an average Gamer can get as good as a professional.
You already have most of the answers inside the above text passages. But there are some generally things you can't improve because of the physical aspect of your body.
Some players have a better Reaction time than others, others can listen better than others and so on. But in generally a Game is decided inside the Brain for about 70%-80% of the Time especially because everyone has the same Tournament Conditions. But Hardware like the Razer Copperhead or the Sennheiser PC 160 can balance these disadvantages.
For example the Copperhead has a reaction time of 1ms, usual mice or most of the Logitech ones have around 8-12ms before they react to the movement you give them. So a player with a Human Reaction time of 6ms with a Logitech MX510 for example has a total Reaction time of 18ms and normally you`d have a 4ms Disadvantage with 10ms human reaction time against him. But if you play with a Copperhead for example, you have a efficient reaction time of 11ms and your enemy has an efficient reaction time of 18ms which makes his human advantage a disadvantage of 7ms which can be really important. Same with your Audio Hardware , a high quality Headphone or Headset and Sound Card gives you a big advantage if you compare it to a cheap headset or Speaker System User. Did you ever think about that? I think most of the guys reading this didn't think about the most facts one time.
How else can you improve your Game play.
Well the answer is quite easy. Play.
Gaming is Brain Fuel and that's a fact.
With new experiences and situations your plexus inside the brain improves more and more and this doesn't only improve your gaming it helps getting more concentrated and relaxed in most of your life situations, and i think this could be a later reason to prevent Alzheimer, Parkinson or other brain or nerve illnesses.
I personally have made some tests in the Hospital during this year and the doctors found out that my neural network has improved more than 20% to an average human.
I think you`ve recognized yourself that most of the Gamers playing for years have a very distinct nerve network inside their brains. Professional Gamers are no dumb ass guys.
They are guys with a passion for something they love and they also train their brain day by day with it. Most of them reading books and study. And others are Managers or having their own companys. Well people playing Football can do the same. But if you take a closer look you'll see Gamers everywhere in high educational positions all over the World.
Competitive Gaming is a very interesting Brain Power Workout.
But as we all know a healthy spirit needs a healthy body.
You have ever taken a closer look at Professional Gamers?.
Most of them are in a really good shape and health conditions as well. I don't say they look like an Adonis or supermodel. But from Korea to USA to Germany or Sweden most of the professional Gamers have a good health condition.
And especially guys and girls doing sports taking care of their food and what they eat and when.
So give it a try. Eat healthy. Play a lot and start thinking inside the game and about it and try to improve your game play with all of the above hints and tips, and tell me what you think about it and if it worked out for you.
I personally bet it will and you will agree on most things I've written.
Bjoern Franzen
P.S: Because it's already late and this is a really long text excuse the Grammar and every misspelling as long as you understand what I'm meaning. I'll have a closer look at everything in the next days.



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