In professional e-sports, practice makes perfect. The more hours one dedicates to improving their technical and tactical abilities, the better they will perform. But on game-day, with fans cheering and hundreds of thousands of viewers tuning in, a team’s preparation can only go so far. In order to perform in such high pressure situations, a team’s ability to focus is an important attribute that can’t be overlooked.
Professional Team Liquid jungler, Christian “IWillDominate” Rivera says the being on the losing end, more often than not, can hurt your focus. “It’s sometimes difficult to retain focus when you’re losing multiple games in a row,” he says, “[but] on game day you only have 1 game so the challenges are different”.
And boy did “Dominate” step up to the challenge. “Dominate” led Team Liquid to open up their season undefeated and in first place with victories over Team Impact and Counter Logic Gaming. “IWillDominate’s” performances this past weekend certainly proved his jungling ability — and focus — as he was voted the LCS Week 1 MVP.
It’s likely that “Dominate’s” changes during the offseason helped his play. “Dominate”, along with the rest of Team Liquid, took on the Quest Nutrition “60-Day-Challenge” to improve their diet and exercise habits and the early results from the players’ newfound habits seem promising.
A gamer’s ability to concentrate is affected by his diet. Diets high in protein, vegetables, and nuts have shown to aid in the improvement of memory function and cognitive ability, allowing gamers to play longer and perform better. This can help players focus ability both in game and during practice.
Top laner Diego “Quas” Ruiz says that “practicing on an empty stomach” is one of the biggest challenges he faces when preparing for a professional match. Due to the intense nature of competing in the League of Legends Championship Series, players often prioritize a 14-hour practice day ahead of keeping their bodies well-fed and their minds sharp. He continues to note that as the day wears on, his quality of play decreases substantially.
Supplementing a proper diet with exercise can also go a long way to improving a gamer’s ability to perform on game-day. Proper exercise boosts the brain’s ability to create brain cells and John J. Ratey, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School states that “exercise is really for the brain, not the body. It affects mood, vitality, alertness, and feelings of well-being.”
The combination of a proper diet and regimented exercise has helped showcase fantastic play from professional gamers. “IWillDominate”, “Quas” and their teammates Alex “Xpecial” Chu, Kim “FeniX” Jae-hun, and substitute AD Carry Yuri “Keith McBrief” Jew showed immense poise and focus in this weekend’s opening matches; certainly some of their performance can be attributed to feeling better through an improved diet and proper exercise.