darkmode

Elevating performance

in esports athletes

An independent collective of performance experts, helping you to push your boundaries and challenge your limits. It's time to get in the zone.

STORY physiology

Manage Your Surroundings For A Better Gaming Experience

Ergonomics
Lighting
Screen Settings
Speech Understanding
Gaming Chair
Gaming Setup

Introduction

From the amount of the light emitted from your monitor and in your gaming environment, to the way you sit during a session and the sound that enters your ears during gameplay, your surroundings can make a huge difference to your performance. 

In this story, we’ll tell you what to tweak and how to best manage your gaming set up to ensure your player experience is top notch, so you can get on with being the best esports athlete you can be.
.01

Sit Right And Boost Your Gaming Performance

Extended periods of sitting without movement can have profound health and performance effects. Sedentary behaviour not only increases the chances of suffering from serious health conditions like diabetes and heart disease, but shortens life expectancy. It also leads to thinning of brain regions associated with new formation, thus making new tasks or games more difficult to learn. 

Additionally, there are other, more immediate consequences to inactivity. Sitting for prolonged periods of time dampens blood flow to the brain. This decrease, even temporarily, can lead to lapses in concentration and declines in performance. 

Exercise, on the other hand, boosts blood flow to the brain and results in greater math scores, concentration, and ability to form new memories. However, adding exercise to a lifestyle with high amounts of sedentary behaviour does not reverse the negative consequences.

The good news? Taking frequent breaks to get up and walk can prevent performance declines. Additionally, sitting with optimal posture has been shown to improve brain function. To ensure proper posture is maintained, gaming setups can be ergonomically adjusted with a few straightforward rules. These two simple tips will not only prevent decays in performance, but prevent back pain and other health complaints that can and will interfere with gameplay.

Lindsey Migliore

Doctor & injury expert

.02

Controlling Lighting For A Better Gaming Experience

Our eyes are made up of various structures which work together to capture light and provide us with vision. As sense organs, they contain receptors that react to light, intensity and colour. This enables us to see in both dim and brightly lit environments (except when light is absent).

An extremely important part of the eye is the retina. Made up of light-sensitive tissue, it contains different kinds of cells called photoreceptors. The most vital of these cells are known as rods and cones. While rods are responsible for motion detection and night vision, cones respond to light of different wavelengths and help us see in full colour. Together, rods and cones convert light into electrical signals, which the brain turns into visual images. 
Scientists recently discovered a third type of light-sensitive photoreceptor called ipRGCs (Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells). These are especially sensitive to light at short wavelengths, known as blue light, and provide information to our sleep system that helps regulate the body clock and synchronise our sleep-wake cycle. And so, exposure to such light in the evening from screens can mislead our body clock into thinking it should still be awake. This can also affect our alertness, moods, and task performance. 

Therefore, choosing and regulating the ambient light in your gaming environment as well as the light emitting from our screens is paramount. It won’t only offer a better visual experience, such as seeing in-game details, but the resulting physiological effects could significantly affect overall performance.

Joseph LaPlaca

Sports vision optometrist

.03

Optimise Screen Settings To Enhance Your Performance

Ensuring your display is adjusted to the correct settings before a session of gaming is more important than you think. The monitor is the player’s window into the gaming world and so by paying attention to how it’s set up and fine tuning it accordingly, players will experience greater in-game viewing details, achieving conditions which will maximise performance. 

To get the most out of the details on screen, you might need to dig deep into your monitor’s settings. If you want all the details you can simply ensure the settings are all set to their highest. There are exceptions, though. For example, if you play FPS games, it is better to put your refresh rate in place of your resolution.

The loss of detail does not harm your gaming performance, and the 165Hz vs 60Hz results in tangible performance improvements.

If, on the other hand, you are playing a slower game, it may be preferable to have a higher degree of detail, which could make a big difference to the overall screen resolution. So, if your computer and graphics card can handle it, then also set your texture quality to ‘high’.

While the various display adjustments won’t make you a better player, they will definitely improve the conditions of play, helping you to perform at a higher level.

David Guldager

Technology expert

.04

Improving In-game Communication Through Sound

In esports, speech understanding - and how well we can receive a message within a gaming environment - can be the difference between winning and losing, as it can affect your ability to hear in-game sound cues, such as your teammates speaking, and vice versa. 

An important aspect in understanding speech is distinguishing between signal and noise. The signal is the meaningful information we want to interpret and the noise is interfering sounds. Theoretically, speech understanding is related to the ratio of speech energy to noise energy, called the speech-to-noise ratio (SNR). The higher the SNR, the easier it is to understand speech. 

Noise also has negative effects on cognitive and task performance, especially for tasks that involve listening, remembering, calculating or conversing. Unfortunate effects can occur with complex, multi-facetted tasks that require prolonged attention and continuous performance, like esports. Generally, noise requires greater listening effort, resulting in more fatigue. Noise can also cause the impairment of task performance, persisting even after the noise is eliminated. 

With all this in mind, it is of utmost importance for players to be in control of the gaming setup and environment because - when it comes to optimising their performance - they must be able to understand how signals and noise work in order to eliminate or reduce the latter. This, in turn, will keep communication clear and ensure no important information is misunderstood between team mates during gameplay.

Brian Moore

Speech & hearing scientist

.05

Is The Gaming Chair An Essential Purchase?

Gaming chair choice can have profound consequences for everyone from the casual weekend gamer to the professional esports athlete. The same care should be put into its selection as is placed in starting items in League or Buy Phase purchases in Valorant. 

Do you need memory foam and plush leather? Probably not. What you actually need is a chair that fits your body, and made for extended periods of sitting. Early gaming models were created from repurposed luxury car seats. These bucket-style chairs can restrict vital movement that is essential for health. Newer models have not strayed far from this origin story, and often place a higher premium on style than ergonomics. 
To find a model that won’t hold your performance back, remember the most important component of a chair is one that fits your particular body type. Nowhere is this more important than concerning seat height. Feet should rest comfortably and flat on the floor. If this cannot be achieved, choose another model or commit to utilising a footrest. 

While the usage of armrests are hotly debated, one thing is for certain: they need to be adjustable. Other components, like lumbar support, backrest and seat angle, cushioning, seat size, and neck support should not be ignored, and will differ between people based on size and preference. 

To choose the correct chair, follow a few simple rules and remember, the best product for your favourite streamers or gamer might not be the best option for you.

Lindsey Migliore

Doctor & injury expert