Brain Training: The New Frontier for Esports

Brain Training: The New Frontier for Esports

Esports organisation Team Liquid and long-time sponsor Alienware have unveiled a Los Angeles athletic performance lab, The Pro Lab, designed to optimize players’ skills and even in-game assignments. This is part of a substantially expanded headquarters facility in Santa Monica, California.

The Pro Lab includes high-end Alienware computers, servers and screens outfitted with BrainsFirst testing software developed in The Netherlands that initially was used with soccer players. Team Liquid already has deployed the BrainsFirst software and other equipment in its newer European facility in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

The software details not just reaction times and speed with controls, but also such talents as attention performance, attention concentration, and the ability to remember simple patterns and differences after seeing them for only a couple of seconds.

With soccer players, the resulting brain maps are starkly different for, say, fast-twitch strikers versus more strategically minded playmakers at the mid-field positions. In similar fashion, there are different skill sets for different roles in titles such as Riot Games’ League of Legends.

The lab also features two “zero-G” reclining chairs, good for decompressing after high-intensity matches, a compression suit, and warm-up tools such as a set of lighted pods that operate somewhat like a whack-a-mole game to engage the brain before a match.

Separately, the company is hiring a chief dietitian to ensure the players are eating well and regularly. The facility includes a dining area and full commercial kitchen. The team also monitors sleep patterns for its players, to ensure they’re getting enough rest before matches. Most players live in a large apartment complex next door to the industrial park where the Team Liquid space is located. A separate space in the facility features a wall-size projection screen and lounging sofa for reviewing matches and scouting briefings.

Team Liquid founder and Co-CEO Victor Goossens said in a release: “There are core skills that we look for in every successful competitor, and this program will help uncover new universal guidelines and (key performance indicators) that we hope will one day serve as industry-wide benchmarks when it comes to player training.”

The Los Angeles facility also has multiple “scrim” rooms where its teams can scrimmage other teams between matches, two production “pods” for its social-media streamers, and space for most of its back-office operations.

For more information, visit The Pro Lab here, and learn more about the Alienware Training Facilities here.

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