E-Sports – How Does It Stack Up Against Traditional Sports?

E-Sports are video games being played professionally at a highly competitive level. The industry has been around for quite a while and growth over the years has been massive. The people involved in the industry comprise around 474 million in the year 2021.

As you go on reading, you will be shocked by the physiological and psychological benefits of eSports and also the similarities noticed while comparing it with traditional sports! One interesting study was conducted at the German Sports University by Professor Dr. Ingo Froböse. He founded the eSports project and over the years established himself as one of the leading researchers in eSports. The results of the study revealed certain shocking facts about how competitive gaming affects an athlete.

“We were particularly impressed by both the demands placed on the motor skills and their capabilities,” Froböse said. “The eSports athletes achieve up to 400 movements on the keyboard and the mouse per minute, four times as much as the average person,” he added.

He said that this was a level of strain that had never been observed in any other sport, not even in table tennis players, who require a high level of hand-eye coordination. The study also further concluded that the amount of cortisol (stress hormone) produced in the body while playing was about the same level as that of a race-car driver and this was combined with a high pulse (160-180) which is equivalent to what happens during a sprint.

So in Froböse’s opinion, “eSports are just as demanding as most other types of sports, if not more demanding,” he said.

Many other studies conducted by top universities in countries like Australia and Canada have also shown that playing certain video games can improve cognition, spatial awareness, visual acuity, spontaneous decision-making skills, reflexes, motor coordination, etc. The benefits seen from gaming also transfer to various tasks you perform in real life like driving and surprisingly even in real sports! Further research has also shown that gaming also causes physical change and an increase in Grey matter in various regions of the brain. A study conducted by McDermott et al showed that the participants who played action video games had better memory retention in contrast to non-gamers. They also displayed higher precision with visual-spatial short-term memory tasks. Another study conducted in 2013 found a positive correlation between problem-solving abilities and school grades.

Ultimately we see that there are a large number of similarities between traditional sports and eSports, and the various studies conducted show the positive impacts of action games on a person’s mind. There weren’t many studies conducted on eSports a few years ago but since the industry’s growth rate is at an all-time high, we now have vast amounts of research to choose from. 

Gaming is an amazing hobby to pick up and will immensely benefit you if done in the right amount. Overdoing anything will negatively impact your life.   

“Too much of anything could destroy you, Simon thought. Too much darkness could kill, but too much light could blind.”

― Cassandra Clare, City of Lost Souls

Image – @shadejay