05. eSports

Becoming a Stronger Opponent Mentally in eSports

December 10, 2021

How strong are you mentally to face eSports opponents in League of Legends, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive? Part of preparing for competitive gaming is honing your skills. However, mental wellness can help prepare effectively for eSports events. Good mental health may also improve your performance in other competitive activities, including online casino games.

Gaming may require you to sit all day. Thus, eSports players are more likely to be obese and in need of weight loss programs and experiencing sharp stabbing pain in knees than the general population. So, it’s also essential to stay physically active to help you prepare mentally for eSports events. Continue reading to discover how to flex your “mental muscles” when preparing for eSports competitions.  

Take More Breaks

Spending more time doing a particular activity may seem to improve focus. That’s not really how it works. Research shows that taking breaks from activities, such as studying, may improve focus. If your concentration drops during eSports sessions, consider taking a mental break, even if it’s 10 minutes every hour.

You have several options. Try getting a drink, eating a snack, or taking a walk. When you return to your gaming session, you may feel more focused and motivated. Research shows that taking breaks may help students focus better when studying.

Taking breaks seems to improve academic performance. However, further research is needed to determine if taking breaks while gaming produces the same results.  

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Stress is the human body’s response to change, challenge, or demand.  While stress often has negative connotations, learning effective stress management can help counter high-pressure situations. Suppose you’re preparing for an epic eSports event. You can take steps such as muscular relaxation to help you keep calm.

Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises can help lower the adverse effects of stress on your mind and body. Let’s say your stress levels are spiraling out of control before an eSports world championship. Relaxation techniques can help reduce stress to lower levels.

These techniques provide several benefits. For example, they’re often free or low-cost, doable nearly anywhere, and low-risk. Relaxation technicians may provide several physical and mental benefits, including:

● Lower blood pressure

● Slow down the heart rate

● Maintain normal blood sugar levels

● Boost confidence to handle problems

● Improve mood and concentration

● Manage stress hormones’ activity

● Slow down the breathing rate

● Lower fatigue

Get Enough Quality Sleep

Research shows that sleep deprivation can produce a negative effect on cognitive performance. It will help if you get 7 to 9 hours of sleep as often as possible. Getting a good night’s sleep may also help improve other aspects of your health related to physical, mental, and emotional well-being.  

Getting a full night’s sleep may be challenging due to various factors. Some examples include health issues and a busy schedule from preparing for a big eSports event. However, research shows that healthy adults generally need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.

Here are some tips to get enough sleep:

● Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature

● Avoid heavy workouts right before bedtime

● Go to bed, then get up at roughly the same time daily

● Wind down before sleeping with a warm bath, book, or music

Do a Concentration Workout

Alpine F1 eSports driver training on NeuroTracker

Children who have problems focusing often do these mental workouts, although adults can benefit from them. With these workouts, you are required to devote full attention to a particular activity for a set period, such as:

● Tossing a small ball

● Doodling for several minutes

● Blinking as little as possible within three to five minutes

● Focusing on the flavor of hard candy

These concentration workouts are simple activities, making it easy to lose focus. When doing the exercise, take note of when you lose focus and what steps you took to refocus.

Or for something more structured, NeuroTracker is one example of a cognitive training tool used by professional gamers to boost concentration under pressure. Scientific research also shows it can reveal gamers' unusually high-level mental skills.

Try Meditation

At first, meditation may seem to have nothing to do with gaming. However, meditation can help improve focus, enhancing your gaming performance.

Research published in Clinical Psychology Review showed that mindfulness training that focuses on attention may help improve concentration and focus.  

Meditation can involve various activities, including yoga and deep breathing exercises.  

Despite the studies showing that meditation may help improve focus, more studies on meditation and gaming are needed.  

Consume Some Caffeine

Good options for beverages include black coffee, green tea, and raw cacao. Studies show that drinking caffeine may help improve attention and concentration.

Make sure not to consume high amounts of caffeine, as you may experience symptoms such as heart palpitations or jittery nerves.

It would help if you also avoid certain beverages, like sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks. Besides the high sugar content, some beverages include synthetic caffeine.

Exercise Regularly

Besides the physical benefits of doing workouts, you may experience mental benefits that improve your gaming.

Physical exercise may impact the brain’s white and gray matter. These brain cells perform different cognitive functions. In turn, cognitive processes such as thinking, attention span, and memory may improve.

More research is needed on regular exercise’s ability to help improve focus while gaming.

Listen to Music

Sound effects are a significant component of today’s video games. However, playing relaxing music in the background may help boost concentration.

Research indicates that listening to music while studying may help enhance your study sessions.

For example, listening to nature sounds, “spa music,” electronic music without lyrics, and classical music in the background may improve your studying.

When selecting music, consider genres that won’t be distracting. Examples include listening to music with lower volumes, slower speeds, and without lyrics.

More research is needed on whether listening to music may improve focus when playing video games, such as eSports.

Work on Your Mental Focus

Achieving and maintaining focus may help you perform better during eSports events.  

A recent study showed that playing League of Legends for one hour increased focus among subjects.

The study also showed that expert gamers experienced more brain activity than non-gamers.

While short gaming sessions may improve mental focus, other steps and activities may also improve concentration in preparation for eSports events:

Create a focus-friendly environment: Factors such as noise levels and room temperature may affect how effectively you can focus.  

Focus on your top priorities: While having gaming goals is essential, it’s critical to concentrate on the top items on your to-do list. Then you can focus your time and effort on those goals.

Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is about “staying in the moment” through thoughts, emotions, and sensations.

Set clear eSports goals and a plan: Do you want to win your next game, qualify for an eSports event, or become a professional gamer?

Final Thoughts

Improving your eSports gaming can involve more than long practice sessions. Staying focused, using relaxation techniques, and getting a good night’s sleep can also help make you mentally tougher and ready for your next eSports practice session, game, or competition. Up your game with brainpower!


1. How to Manage Stress with Mindfulness and Meditation

2. Relaxation techniques: Try these steps to reduce stress

3. One Hour of Video Gaming Can Increase the Brain's Ability to Focus

4. What is mindfulness?

5. Sleep deprivation: Impact on cognitive performance

6. How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?

7. Does mindfulness training improve cognitive abilities? A systematic review of neuropsychological findings

8. How Meditation Can Help You Focus

9. The science of taking a break

10. Can music help you study and focus?

11. Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans

12. Working out boosts brain health

13. Why do we need sleep?

14. NeuroTracker Reveals the Secrets of Pro Gamers’ Brains

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