For the first time in South Africa, a new company called Reach, in collaboration with Esports Industry SA, aims to bring sports science training to South African professional gamers to help enhance their gameplay.
“We want to create a healthy body, healthy mind for gamers,” says Reach sports scientist, Barry Bridges. “Looking at aspects such as a player’s nutrition, hydration, sleep quality, movement and breathing patterns, will highlight any problem areas that need work.”
Changing perceptions of esports athletes
The image of a professional athlete is one of physical strength, fitness and conditioning. In stark contrast, the public’s perception of gamers revolves around a basement couch, some cold pizza and pasty skin. Globally that is changing as esports athletes get the training they require to function at their physical and mental optimum.
“We know that poor sleep breaks down the neurophysical body and makes you slower,” continues Bridges. “Bad hydration means you are less lubricated resulting again in slower movement as well as making a player more injury prone. Proper physical and mental training improves concentration levels, stamina, reaction agility, performance, longevity in the industry and overall performance and wellness.”
Overseas teams are becoming more health conscious
Internationally there is a paradigm shift in how players are prepping for games and those taking their physical and mental health seriously are seeing an improvement in big match day performances.
“As esports continues to grow in SA, Reach will assist players to function at peak performance with better recovery afterwards,” concludes Bridges. “It’s all about taking better care of the players.”
Reach and Esports Industry SA are sending wellness questionnaires to gaming organisations in order to start assessing problem areas with players’ health. In order to participate, contact firstname.lastname@example.org