Mental Edge

A Winning Mentality for eSport Tournaments

Think about the variables


There was a recent incident at the ESL Pro League Finals, which brought up a problem that’s becoming more common. And while Dallas played host to a very exciting competition, one couldn’t help but wonder if the issue should be taken more seriously, namely, the crowd.


Are the crowds at eSport tournaments interfering too much?


Whether crowds should be more controlled within a tournament setting is not the focus point of the article, but there is a connection. Now, at the ESL Pro League Finals, the athletes stated they could hear the crowd through the noise cancelling headphones. This is bad for two main reasons.


  • It’s distracting the athletes
  • The crowd is giving away valuable information


For spectators, one of the big attractions to eSports is being in the position of the all-seeing eye. While the athletes have no idea what’s waiting around the corner, the onlookers know exactly, hence the great adrenalin rush.

It’s the explosive crowd that ultimately establishes a memorable moment in history, but how do you prevent the crowd from shouting information the other team shouldn’t be hearing?


Crowds are Part of the Variables


There are many other examples that can be used, such as the signs fans held up at Dreamhack Bucharest, and sending info to Virtus.Pro. But the bigger picture you have to take away as an athlete, is that this is just one of the variables that influences a winning situation.


Sticking with the crowd for a second, and assuming it’s a lively group screaming in the background, there’s no telling how they are going to affect your performance. With a CS:GO tournament final, there’s simply no room for distractions, but it’s not like you can’t get up and tell the people to be quiet. These are your fans, chanting your name through the noise cancelling headphones.


The Other Variables


By itself, the overwhelming crowd is very influential. Now take into account everything else. What type of mood are you in? Do you feel hyped, relaxed, or just nervous? Are you confident or doubting your ability today? Your internal dialogue from the moment you wake up, to the moment you sit down in front of the PC to start kicking-ass, will also be influential.


And what about the breakfast you had on tournament day? Did it energize your body and supplied the right nutrients? Or was it a greasy hamburger that left you feeling bloated and downright sleepy?


You can even go as far as to ask how much sleep you got in, because it can actually mean the difference between losing and winning.


The Bottom Line


If you want to adopt the right mentality for winning at eSport tournaments, and become the next best professional athlete, you have to accept all the variables. It’s not impossible to win every single match, but it’s highly unlikely. In the eSport arena every loss has to be regarded as a lesson, otherwise you’re not going to last very long.


Take into account all the variables that can help you win or bring you down, because some of them you can control, and others you can’t. You can choose to eat a healthy breakfast and try to get enough sleep, but you can’t control the screaming crowd. You can’t control a sudden pain spiking through your arm and causing you to respond slower.


Once you can wrap your mind around the fact that winning isn’t just practice, practice, practice, you’ll have a much better chance of reaching your goal.