If you want to get the edge in your gaming experience, then Gscience is here to help.
Ryan Scollan, a pioneering performance and health analytics in the esports world has already made great strides in several pro teams including League of Legends Summer champions Gamers Origin.
“It’s one of my passions. I’ve played video games since I was 11 years old,” Scollan said in an exclusive interview with RealSport101.
“It combines my two passions of competition and the science behind performance.”
Ryan, a 25-year-old Loughborough Sport and Exercise Science graduate has recently won the Young Innovators Award and is applying his knowledge and skillset to the gaming world.
“Trying to understand the problems and how I can solve them, that was the start of Gscience,” said Scollan.
“The prize pools get bigger and bigger, and competition gets tighter and tighter, and all of the problems that we see on the elite level are only going to get worse in terms of burnout and injuries,” said Scollan, explaining his decision to enter the world of esports.
“I realised now was the perfect time to get into the industry, and that I had the knowledge and skills to solve a lot of the problems.
“I reached out to my friend Jamie, he told me I was mad. Now he’s the co-founder of Gscience.”
“All I wanted to understand is can I apply what I have learnt in sports science to esports?
“I very quickly understood that a lot of the low-hanging fruit, not the 1% performance edge that you’re looking for in traditional sports, really had a huge benefit to players' health and in-game performance.
“We can use our sport science methodology to improve player health and optimise in-game performance.”
What is Gscience?
Gscience is at the forefront of athlete performance in esports.
Their Athlete Monitoring Platform, Optimal, is the world’s first esports athlete monitoring system built to unlock gaming potential.
“Optimal, put very simply, is health and performance analytics for gamers,” said Scollan.
“It’s an athlete monitoring system that combines players health and in-game data and provides them with insights into their health, injury, welfare and performance.
“The whole benefit of players using this system is about giving you the data so that you can make better-informed decisions to make sure you perform at your best when it matters.”
This can be significant when considering what is at stake.
“The crazy thing is, in esports when the differences between first and second place can be $11 million in certain tournaments, not knowing whether you’re ready to perform at your best can be a very expensive risk,” explained Scollan.
“In esports, the fact that they’re not using it is absolutely insane.”
Risk of Gaming
Many do not associate esports with a high risk of injury due to a lack of physical activity, but this is a problem in itself.
“One of the biggest issues in the gaming population is sedentary activity, gaming itself is a sedentary behaviour,” said Scollan.
“One of the biggest issues that we see is that pro gamers are getting up, eating and going straight into that cycle and repeating. That’s why we see such high levels of burnout or mental and physical health issues.”
This is simple enough to counteract.
“Just move,” said Scollan. “It could be 10 minutes of yoga in the morning and every two games of FIFA just get up and move.”
While these may seem unrelated to in-game performance, Scollan and his team have shown that it does have a positive impact.
Scollan also has eyes on another market, targeting gamers with the intention of the gaming world becoming healthier.
“The other product we are building is for the recreational market. It’s a product that is focused on motivating gamers to get more physically active by rewarding them with stiff they actually care about, said Scollan.
Keep an eye on the Gscience Twitter for more information on this product when it becomes available.
While practice will increase your skill level in almost any aspect of life, Scollan believes out of game factors are currently the easiest way to improve performance in esports.
“It is about looking at where your low-hanging fruit is to give you the competitive edge. Right now, it's out of game factors.
“Looking at psychology, physiology, nutrition, sleep, recovery, ergonomics. Putting these things together, they start to add up and the cumulative effort of all these small incremental changes that leads to optimal performance when it really matters,” Scollan said.
“Say you’re playing in a room that doesn’t have any windows and isn’t ventilated, an increase in CO2 can have a massive impact on your cognitive performance.
“It’s super important to make sure you have ventilation in your gaming setup to prevent an increase in CO2 or take regular breaks to get fresh air, so it doesn’t impact your cognitive performance.”
This is not the easiest fix though.
“Sleep. If you are not getting enough sleep, it f***s you to be honest. Get enough sleep, that is the one thing I tell people right now,” said Scollan.
“My advice for anyone who wants to have a positive relationship with gaming, wants to get a competitive edge over their mates or go pro, is nail down your sleeping schedule.
“Go to bed and wake up at the same time, it’s okay if you are off by an hour or two.”
Fun and Enjoyment
A key factor that Scollan is keen to stress is that gaming should still be fun.
“Gaming should be used for fun and enjoyment so don’t be hard on yourself if you are gaming a lot,” Scollan said.
“Look at your game time, look at your relationship with gaming, when you have a better understanding of why then you can start to put in the positive habits around it.”
Scollan even shared his techniques for a healthier and happier gaming experience.
“I encourage a lot more people to take journals, write down in the days you feel great what you did to make you feel good.
“On the days you played really well in-game, what did you do leading up to it, did you sleep well before? Were you well hydrated? Did you take caffeine 30 minutes prior?
“Try to become more self-aware, and when you start to understand these things you can build out pre-performance routines if you want to get the edge.
“It comes back to your relationship with gaming, why do I game?
“Gaming for a lot of people is a way out. When you understand why and your relationship with gaming you can start to see the problems.”
The Gscience website is loaded with information on how you can improve your health and performance, and they are free to contact too if you have any further questions.