3 min read

2023 Gaming & Esports Recap #1

2023 Gaming & Esports Recap #1
Hey everyone

As this 2023 is coming to an end, I thought it is a good idea to recap what we’ve learned. In this episode, let’s take a look at the overarching framework of performance factors, as well as environmental, organizational, and technological factors found to impact gaming performance – from the country you’re born in to technology to stress and health. Let’s dive right in!

🪟 A Framework

When investigating anything from a scientific basis, it’s always great if you have a model, theory, or framework at hand that helps you to broadly understand what’s going on, or what may be missing. Earlier this year, I introduced the IMO (Input-Mediator-Outcome) framework. The framework highlights three levels, as you can see in the figure below.

Inputs consist of the individual, team, organization, or environment. Within those, a multitude of factors may directly or indirectly influence performance (the outcome) such as the player’s health status, his tournament experience, stress level, the organizational resources available (that can then be used by the team or individual to increase performance), noise at the tournament stage, or viewers watching.

Mediators consist of processes or anything of that matter that evolves over time like team cohesion, communication, or trust. Then, inputs and mediators are the two blocks that generate the outcome – in our case performance. Performance can have multiple criteria, such as KDA, win/loss ratio, tournament placements, world ranking etc.

By using the framework, each and every factor we can look at that may impact gaming performance (foster or hinder), as well as any output criteria can be placed within this framework, making it a valuable tool. But now, let’s take a look at the episodes from this year that highlighted a factor found to improve or hinder a progamer’s or recreational gamer’s gaming and Esports performance.

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➡️ Inputs – Environmental, organizational, and technological Factors

  • The country you were born and live in. It was found that a 1% increase in GDP per capita translates to a 2.2% increase in prize money won per capita, making some countries have more successful gamers than others. Life expectancy and the population had an impact too. If you want to know which country is the most successful one, check out the episode here.
  • Balance: As every gamer knows, balance is an important topic. When looking at the SC2 prize money distribution per race, we see a clear distinction. Over the years, the balance has gotten better and isn’t as volatile anymore. The full episode can be found here.
  • Another big topic is other players and their behavior. When playing any game, you’re to some degree at the mercy of what they do. In this episode, we saw how aggressive acts (e.g., toxic behavior) impact a gamer’s performance, how you can read your opponents, and why you should stop being toxic yourself.
  • In this episode, we looked at a paper using AI to improve gaming performance. What they found that an adaptive version of Counter-Strike gamers train with was far more effective in increasing their performance than playing the regular version. It can be concluded, that AI is and will be a strong component in training gamers and teams in the future.
  • In one episode, brain stimulation was the focus, finding that it can actually improve performance of various gaming related tasks such as flicking. It was also found that brain stimulation works better on some groups with certain experience levels than others. Which group benefits the most? Read it here.

🕹️ Sum-up

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As you can see, there are factors that contribute to progamer's and the average gamer's in-game performance. Those environmental and technological factors are somewhat outside our control. However, it is important to be aware of them, especially when dealing with other gamers in-game. You may not be able to (fully) control them, but you can control your own reaction and response to it.

Next week we'll continue our 2023 recap, looking at individual factors such as stress, health, and personality traits.

Hope you all have a good time later today partying. Cheers,

Christian 🌝
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