(Pocket-lint) – Gambling is big business. Mobile games are estimated to have been worth around $93.2bn (£73.7bn) in 2021 alone, console games $50.4bn, while PC games are estimated to have brought in around $36.7 billion last year.
That’s $180.3 billion in 2021 alone. And it’s growing. It’s no longer a niche activity enjoyed by teenagers in their bedrooms – no matter what some would have you believe. It’s the most profitable entertainment industry right now and its tendrils touch just about everyone. Even those who claim to have no interest in games could pick up Candy Crush on their smartphone or Wordle on a work computer.
We are also now in a time where player prowess is no longer limited to a high score table on an arcade machine in a kebab shop. Not only can they brag about friends and foes online in multiplayer skirmishes, but they also have the opportunity to use their skills on a professional stage in the world of eSports.
Professional teams for games like CS:GO, Valorant and Fortnite are starting to become household names after years of growth for the sport, while professional football teams have even formed their own eSports teams to compete against the best in FIFA. . There is also a lot of money to be made at the professional level.
However, as the stakes increase, so does the pressure. And that’s where people like Edgar Chekera come in. As Performance Manager at Guild Esports, he looks after the psychological well-being of professional gamers, supporting them to cope with the stress of competitive gaming.
We spoke with him for the Pocket-lint podcast and he was kind enough to give us some pointers on what a player can do outside of training on a game themselves, to improve their chances of success – whether professionally or just at home playing on a console. Hope this helps you too if you take your game seriously.
Fight against professional burnout
“Burnout is a really big problem with eSports because you can play for hours,” Chekera told us. “So it’s important to introduce self-care strategies.
“Get people to understand what they like to do outside of just playing. That’s normally done in traditional sports as well, like making someone understand that you’re not just an artist – there are also things outside of performance that you do well, and enjoy.
“I also seek to help players understand [questions like] ‘who are you?’, ‘what do you appreciate?’, ‘what matters to you?’. It could be family, it could be friends, it could be making art, it could be quite creative.”
Sleep and nutrition
Although the stigma of eSports is that it is an unhealthy activity, playing at its best actually requires the opposite.
“I tell players to ask themselves ‘how much sleep do you need?’ and look at nutrition,” he explained. “Nutrition is going to be important. If you eat badly, you’re going to easily feel exhausted, your mental resources are going to be wiped out.
“[It’s also important to] introduce strength conditioning practices, even if it’s just a bit of walking, getting the lungs pumping.”
“I think anyone who goes into any form of high-pressure environment needs to learn to be a little more self-aware,” Chekera added. “[For that] I really push the use of reflections.
“Structured reflective practice could be reduced to simple questions and a step: ‘what went well today?’, ‘what didn’t go so well? “, then develop an action plan.
“I think the last part is normally the hardest part for people to do, because it’s like a skill. We’re kind of used to being told what to do and going through the motions. But, thinking kinda gives you the reins a little bit more where you introspectively think, like, ‘Okay, this is what I potentially need to work on. And, more specifically, these are the strategies that I can use.'”
“I think the last piece of advice is to be a little more mindful, to be present in the moment. No one is forcing you to do it, you do it because you enjoy it.
What is Nvidia Advanced Optimus and how can it save your laptop battery?
“Really embrace this moment you’re in because, even though it’s a pressured situation, it’s a bit of a privilege. Just try to enjoy it as much as you can.”
You can listen to the full conversation with Edgar Chekera of Guild Esports in episode 156 of the Pocket-lint podcast available now.
PC Gaming now has a dedicated hub page!
PC Gaming Week in association with Nvidia GeForce RTX may be over, but you can still find all of this great content as well as all future PC gaming news, reviews, features and more on our dedicated hub page.
Written by Rik Henderson.