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The esports sector is in a great place at the moment. In 2022, market revenues exceeded $1.3 billion for the first time. What’s more, competitive gaming is finally becoming accepted as a legitimate sport. In 2023, Singapore will host the first-ever Olympic Esports Week, paving the way for esports to become a staple of the Olympic Games.
Esports and Fitness Training
Being a master behind the keyboard is all well and good, but the best esports players also embrace physical conditioning to improve their performance. A typical esports player will need to practice gameplay for around eight hours a day. Obviously, all this screen time needs to be balanced out with a healthy lifestyle and fitness training.
Core strength is one area that many professionals tend to focus on. Strength conditioning exercises like crunches, sit-ups, and the plank can all help improve posture. Common gaming injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis also need to be avoided during training. Good posture can help minimize these issues, but most esports athletes will turn to stretches to offset them.
This is where the worlds of traditional sports and competitive gaming begin to deviate. In conventional sports, athletes may turn to supplements and high-energy diets to support training schedules. However, esports players should be focusing on their diet. Blood sugar spikes need to be avoided, with a diet rich in slow-releasing carbohydrates the best option. This not only helps maintain physical energy levels but also ensures mental alertness remains high throughout punishing training regimens.
Sleep is Important
Eight hours of sleep a night isn’t practical for everyone, but an esports athlete should be aiming for a minimum of six. Even if a full eight hours isn’t achievable, a consistent sleep schedule is a must to maintain performance. Halo player Michael “Flamesword” Chavez of OpTic Gaming and Status Quo fame suggests leaving hitting the day within two hours of finishing training. Are you still struggling to unwind? Chavez also advises you to think about thermostat settings, revealing: “I set my bedroom temperature to 67 to 69°, which I’ve read is optimal for recharging one’s brain.”
Balancing Training with Everyday Life
It’s easy enough for casual gaming to overtake everyday life. However, most esports professionals will stress the importance of drawing a line between gaming and social commitments.
Former Forge Esports pro, Callum Swan lays it out clearly enough: “It’s important to keep in touch with other interests and create a retreat for when you need to relax from gaming. Make sure that it doesn’t compromise any aspect of your health.”
In the lead-up to a tournament, it’s easy to overcompensate with endless hours in front of a computer screen. However, Halo pro, Will “BUK 57” Buck from Pacemaking Pandas has this to say about productivity: “Make the most of all the time you spend gaming, and (make sure you’re) not just doing it for the sake of playing. Ensure it’s productive.”
Still think that competitive gaming is an easier option than track and field? If you’re considering a career in competitive gaming, you’ll need to rethink your health and fitness, as well as your skill at the keyboard or controller. Looking for some inspiration? Find a full list of esports teams profiles here.