The study found that physiological responses to playing Overwatch depended on skill level

Examining physiological responses to college age Overwatch Gamers have found that many skilled players tend to start the game with elevated physiological stress responses, and modify them during play. In contrast, the physiological stress responses of low-skilled players tended to increase as the game progressed. The study has been published in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Competitive electronic gaming or eSports is gaining momentum as a recognized sport. The rise of esports into a multi-billion dollar industry has been attributed to the advent of streaming platforms and the high-value advertising and sponsorship revenue that came with it. Esports is one of the 24 competitive sports included in the 2022 Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China.

After its rise in popularity, scientists became interested in studying esports athletes to understand the stress associated with participating in esports in both competitive and non-competitive environments. The first studies focused on health concerns, given the sedentary nature of esports, primarily studying its players League of Legends (LOL) As one of the most popular esports games of the time.

Recently, there have been calls to focus on FPS players, as data shows that these types of games tend to elicit a greater nervous system response than multiplayer battle zone games like LOL.

Overwatch It is a competitive first-person shooter game developed in 2016 by Blizzard Entertainment. Researcher William J. Kraemer and colleagues hypothesized that a player’s skill level would influence biomarkers of stress when playing the game, due to anxiety and agitation associated with competitive performance.

“We have a large collaborative group of scientists and esports athletes at OSU, yet so little is known about the core game our players are playing. So we wanted to get some preliminary data on this topic,” explained Kramer, senior advisor for sports performance and sports science at OSU. University sports department.

The researchers asked 32 gamers, ages 18 to 32, who had at least some gaming experience Overwatchto participate in the study. They were randomly divided into teams of 6 players, with each team participating in one Overwatch Team competition game in the laboratory. The researchers took their saliva measures to assess cortisol and testosterone levels immediately before and after the match. Your heart rate is monitored continuously while you play.

before studying, Overwatch Participants’ skill level was assessed by asking them to report Overwatch Rank. Diamond-ranked players (the top 20% of Overwatch players) were considered to be highly skilled and the rest were considered to be low-ranked.

The results showed an 11.3% decrease in salivary cortisol and a 17.2% increase in salivary testosterone after the match compared to previous levels. The heart rate was also higher after the match than it had been before the match.

When considering skill level, the results showed more pronounced differences in pre-match testosterone levels among the high-skilled players compared to the low-skilled players. While testosterone levels increased during play in the low-skilled group, the high-skilled players tended to start the game with elevated testosterone levels and the variance in testosterone levels only among the high-skilled players tended to decrease somewhat during the game.

The authors report that “the finding that highly skilled gamers may up-regulate testosterone concentrations before play resulting in no changes in play itself may explain the lack of significant pre- and post-game effects.”

The results indicate that Overwatch And other eSport games are physiologically demanding for the players who play them. It appears that stress-related demands and adaptations occur and are associated with game success. In addition to the stress of the games themselves,” Kramer told PsyPost.

“At first glance, the negative nature of electronic games may indicate little or no physiological stressor,” Kremer and his colleague wrote in their study. However, it is clear from this study that even collegiate players experience elevated heart rates and changes in pituitary and gonadal function when playing. Overwatch in a competitive format. “

The highly variable response patterns observed for cortisol suggest that changes in the sympathetic response may persist with increasing experience in competitive play. Furthermore, skill level may influence arousal levels of testosterone including adjustments to play in less skilled players.”

The role of testosterone in physiological arousal may be related to success in sport due to the need for psychological aggression and physiological adaptations for competitive play. This study sheds new light on its role in competitive esports. However, it should be noted that the study was conducted during only one game, that reactions to games with different characteristics may not be the same and that it is possible that the laboratory setting and the audience’s presence during gameplay may have some influence. on the results.

It remains unclear whether “game preparation and physical fitness influence the ability to better compete with sports and also improve the health of e-athletes who compete in an unstable environment for both gaming and exercise sessions,” Cramer noted. “We are just beginning to understand how to prepare and improve player development for this particular sport and more work will need to be done.”

“The Arousal/Stress Effects of the Electronic Gaming Competition ‘Overwatch’ in a Collegiate Gamer,” was studied by William J. Kraemer, Lydia K. Caldwell, Emily M. Post, Matthew K. Beeler, Angela Emerson, Jeff S. Volek, Marsh, and Jennifer S Vogt, Nick Vogt, Keiju Häkkinen, Robert U. Newton, Pedro Lopez, Barbara N. Sanchez, and James A.


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