Optimizing esports healthcare is only one component of improving the safety and sustainability of esports. It’s also important to consider the wide variety of factors contributing to and associated with top-tier esports performance (although you may also remember the difficulty in defining “performance” in esports!).
This article examines the factors that contribute to esports performance, specifically in the popular game League of Legends. Performance analysis is crucial for athletes and gamers alike, as understanding the key elements that lead to success can help them train and improve their skills to achieve better results in competition. However, there is a scarcity of research in the field of esports performance analysis, and the available studies cover a range of different games, making it challenging to draw conclusions specific to any one game. This study aims to fill that gap by focusing on League of Legends, one of the most popular esports games globally, with the goal of understanding the factors that contribute to successful performance in this game.
The study analyzed 90 games played by an elite team of five male players, focusing on 4638 plays made during these games. The researchers had three primary objectives: to analyze differences in performance and heart rate (HR) based on whether the team won or lost; to establish differences in HR based on player role, involvement in the play, and team benefit; and to determine the physiological changes that players undergo based on the type of action performed.
The results of the analysis showed that the most decisive factors contributing to performance in League of Legends were tower destruction and kills, both of which were strongly correlated with the final outcome of the game. Interestingly, while there were no differences in HR between games won and lost, there were significant differences in HR based on the player’s participation and the action performed. Actions that directly involved the player and favored the team showed the greatest differences in HR, specifically the destruction of structures closest to the nexus base, team fights, and obtaining neutral objectives such as Baron Nashor and Elder Dragon.
This research highlights the importance of understanding the physiological demands of esports performance and the specific actions that lead to success in different games. By analyzing the key performance indicators in League of Legends, players and coaches can focus their training and gameplay strategies on these elements, improving their chances of success in competition. Additionally, the study’s findings suggest that monitoring heart rate during gameplay could provide valuable insights into the physiological demands of different actions, potentially informing strategies for improving performance and preventing injury or burnout. Overall, this study provides valuable insights into the factors that contribute to successful performance in esports, a growing industry with significant potential for professional athletes and amateur gamers alike.
Some important takeaways for health and performance professionals include
Mateo-Orcajada, A., Vaquero-Cristóbal, R. & Abenza-Cano, L. Performance and heart rate in elite league of legends players. Multimed Tools Appl (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11042-023-14415-z
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