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The Role of Psychology in eSports

Usually, when we think about eSport players we label them as “godlike” people because of their insane speed level of playing games. Their skills are very well developed. Every move is sophisticated and all of these skills together create inspiration for the people.

The psychological demands faced by professional eSports players are insanely hard to achieve. One needs to have a very high competing level in this field. One of the most logical demands from the eSport players is the pressure to perform well. They always need to be in their best shape mentally, in order to perform to the best of their abilities. They are paid very well because of the ability to consistently perform their best. Some of the most successful export players are experiencing the hardest demand in their career and they are dealing with it because sometimes they are battling it out for the prize of $3 million dollars.

Dealing with crowds

It can be hard for professional eSport players to deal with the huge amount of crowds. They are coming with success, everyone knows that. But some of the eSports events have very large crowds so the players also need to be okay with the fact that they will need to perform in the midst of the big and loud crowd. People are even betting on their favorite eSports players from their homes. Gambling on and around eSports is way bigger than many people consider it to be. eSports betting represents one of the most popular products among eSports fans. One of the most popular games from 2013 in eSports is SMITE. The game is also called an online Battleground of God. It became so popular that people are betting on them. That is why in 2020 SMITE eSports betting websites are exploding from the attention of eSports lovers who are appreciating their favorite professionals playing their favorite game. The eSports gambling market is dominated by sports betting, which is almost always the most popular one and fantasy eSports. There was always a high demand for the fantasy eSport sites. The users that end a contest with the fantasy points are also the ones who win the cash prizes.

General psychology of video gaming

In today’s world, playing video games is one of the popular activities in the world. Not only children are playing with them, but adults and even elderly people. Video gaming is so vital for some people that this field transformed into something new - The professional type of online playing. It was called electronic sports that are now shortened as eSports. This is the area where gaming culture is more than gaming. At first, South Korea started competitive video game communities and after that, they have become popular in every country. To understand the nature of online games that are called eSports right now, one can look at the statistics of the video gamers. The number of people who are playing video games is huge. It is more than two billion people in the world.

What kind of skills do they need on a neurological level?

Every human action is coming from the electrical impulses moving at chains of nerve fibers. When the player is hitting the headshot or kills the enemy, an impulse is traveling those nerve fibers down and it is like the energy through a chord, which is also triggering the other fibers. In complex scenarios, the brain needs to react very fast. That is why eSports players are so fast. They are analyzing various unknown information and understand considerable ways and reactions while playing. That is how their chances of winning are increasing when they are playing most of their time.

When the player is starting their career, they react to many things very slowly. And they made mistakes that should not be made in the gaming industry. These are mistakes that are made because they are not fast enough.

After 10th or 100th hours of playing the game, the player is getting more and more sophisticated and of course, faster.

Every time the person practices their skills in playing, they little by little build their experiences in their unconscious mind. In our brains, there are tons of little information and memories. From them, we are learning things. Every muscle in the brain is trying to give us proper solutions to our problems.

Video game players have received some of the interests from academic psychology and it is not a surprise, since it is getting so popular in the world.

Regulating emotions

Coaches, directors, and administrators - all these people are helping the player to survive in the gaming industry. Understanding the mental health implications of eSports is one of the main factors for players.

The fast-growing eSports sector is always taking the responsibility for their players. Helping gamers to achieve their best is one of their duties. The gaming industry is based on patience and fastness.

Some games are still fighting with gaming dependence and the time they are spending on gaming is the potential of their future addiction. Some of the gamers are well balancing their professional life and personal life, but some of them are dealing with negative mental health issues and the physiological influence of gaming against the brain.

Warning signs for gaming addiction include:

  • Playing games for most of the time
  • Thinking about gaming when the person is doing other things
  • When the individual is playing games in order to forget about reality
  • When the person is playing the games in order to escape depression or anxiety
  • Lying family about the gaming
  • When the player is feeling annoyed if they can’t play games as long as they would like to
  • Having anger issues
  • When the player prefers role-playing games
  • Disability to control emotions
  • Having no time for other activities in life

The professional eSports players know how to find the balance. Coaches are also supporting their players by having discipline programs and learning tables participating with some social activities and personal awareness. When the person is playing video games, they need to master their patience and control of emotions. Electronic sports aka eSports is not an easy activity for the average individual. The characters of the eSports players need to include strong mental skills with the motivational nature of being. These will help one not only to win the game but to draw the people’s attention to him\her.

Why brains love games

We humans need to feel some things in our daily lives. It is our need. In order to survive during our existence and evolution, we need some food for the brain and mind. Abraham Mallow was the first person who was talking about human needs in everyday life. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was based on simple needs before the special and high needs in our lives. There is the five-part of the pyramid:

  1. Physiological needs - meaning that everyone needs to eat, sleep, drink, breathe, be comfortable, and so on.
  2. Safety and security needs - To feel protected, to have a safe neighborhood, to know what the plans are or what the future holds for us. To be out of the place where we can be harmed.
  3. Belongingness and love need - To be accepted by other people, to be loved by other people, to have nice and fulfilling relationships, to be part of some groups, and have a loving family.
  4. Lower esteem needs and higher esteem needs - There include to be respected by the people, to get attention from the loved ones, to have a status, power, to express the personality without any fear, self-creation, clothes, self-respect, to be competent, to be free and independent.
  5. Growth needs - May include cognitive needs, self-actualization needs, and transcendence. Meaning that the person is always trying to have the adventure, to understand things, to be educated, to have some knowledge about something, to explore, to travel, to feel the rush of excitement, to realize other’s potential, to be oneself, to be true to yourself, to help others, to help others to understand their potential and self-fulfillment.

In order to make sure why people are so keen on playing video games, one must look inside the human’s nature. When we look at lower needs, things are simple. We want to eat and we want to get rewarded. But there are higher needs too - be respected and be adored. That is when the lot more complex things are coming through. The interested and simple truth is that when we want to be rewarded, we seek things that we can do in order to get this attention and reward to feel accomplished. As long as we feel that dopamine, we know that we won something. Funny how there is actually no difference between winning the lottery and thinking about winning the lottery. They will both fill you with happiness until you will remind yourself that there is no actual money in “thinking of winning”.

Games are for that. For dealing with the issue of the lack of happiness. Not just video games but all types of games are for attention, love, and respect we all need.

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