Indexing Esport Performance

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Indexing Esport Performance

In any novel field of research, the establishment of consistent metrics and standardized definitions is key for comparison across studies. Esports performance is still a new and growing field, and “performance” needs a more consistent definition. How do we index esport performance? What metrics indicate a change in performance? 

In this study, researchers drew on expert opinions to identify the indicators that may best encapsulate performance in the video game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). The study used a modified Delphi methodology, which involves a series of rounds of consultation with a panel of experts, to establish consensus on this research question. The panel consisted of 67 individuals with various esports backgrounds, including researchers, practitioners, and retired or current professional CS:GO athletes. The panel was asked to rate the relevance of various variables in capturing performance in the game, with a consensus reached if at least 70% of the panel voted “highly important” on a variable.

The panel identified several variables as being important in capturing performance in CS:GO. These included reaction time, response time, mouse control, game sense, and strategic decision making. However, there were some differences in opinion between the different groups within the panel, with the athletes panel placing more emphasis on outcome indicators such as game score and kill/death ratio, while the researchers and practitioners placed more emphasis on action performance indicators such as reaction time and mouse control.

The authors of the study suggest that the use of outcome performance indicators may increase the reproducibility of research on individual or team performance in CS:GO. They also recommend that researchers use explicit terminology when studying performance in esports, and consider the use of composite scores to capture the various factors that may contribute to performance. However, they also acknowledge the limitations of the study, including the small size of the expert panel and the potential for new literature to have become available since the data collection period. Overall, this study provides valuable insights into the opinions of esports experts on the indicators that may best capture performance in CS:GO, and highlights the need for further research on this topic.

Clinical Pearls

Coaches and support staff should consider these findings when evaluating and developing strategies for their players in CS:GO

  1. The importance of considering a combination of performance indicators, rather than relying on a single metric, to accurately capture an individual’s performance in CS:GO.
  2. The value of using outcome performance indicators, such as game score, as a robust measure of esports performance.
  3. The significance of action performance indicators, such as reaction time and response time, in contributing to successful outcome performance in CS:GO.
  4. The need to be aware of the potential influence of an individual’s role on their performance indicators.
  5. The importance of considering the potential impact of stress and mental health on performance.
  6. The potential value of adopting a latent variable approach, which incorporates multiple performance indicators that may share commonality of function, in order to reduce measurement error.


Sharpe, Benjamin & Besombes, Nicolas & Welsh, Matthew & Birch, Phil. (2022). Indexing Esport Performance. 1. 1-13. 10.1123/jege.2022-0017.

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Dr. Jennifer Thai


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