Pro esports training methods are also ideal for desk workers. Even if you don’t play video games, caring for yourself like a pro can raise your computing game to a higher level. Here we review the latest performance-boosting techniques used by top esports teams.
The most obvious performance hack is a good gaming chair. Using one provides healthy support for the spine over long sitting periods. That reduces muscle strain while keeping players comfortable and relaxed. As a result, they’re able to sit longer, feel better, and be more productive.
Once you make the switch to a good gaming chair, the performance boost will change the way you think about work. Once that novelty wears off, many other performance hacks exist to take your game to an even higher level.
Four pillars of performance at a desk
Esports conditioning expert Taylor Johnson shared optimization tips with Red Bull. He listed four pillars of performance, summarized below:
- Nutrition: eating clean improves cognitive functioning, processing speed, and reaction times.
- Recovery: overcome the physical risks of long sedentary periods; heal aches and strains.
- Physical: develop strength and stamina to work harder and recover faster.
- Mental: learn how to handle adversity and depression to preserve balance.
Performance hacks beyond the chair
Beyond a good chair are products that support various pillars of performance. Here are some of the popular hacks employed by pro gamers in 2021:
Meal Replacement Drinks
The typical pro esports player is around 21% healthier than the average person. Across the board, pro esports players drink and smoke less than national averages. Studies have found the top 10% of pros are more physically active than lower-level players.
This conflicts with the stereotype of gamers as fat, Doritos-munching basement-dwellers. For instance, Korean esports Team T1 is one of the most successful teams in history.
Recently, the team announced the launch of the T1 Core Meal. It’s a nutrition shake designed to keep gamers healthy in a super-fast serving.
The T1 Core Meal packs in 61 freeze-dried raw materials. These include 12 kinds of grains, 18 types of root vegetables, 8 different fruits, and 23 others.
For busy esports players or office workers, it provides complete nutrition in a flash. Mix with water, milk, or juice and consume. Doing will satiate (preventing junk food cravings) while providing clean energy to fuel the mind.
The T1 Core Meal is only available in South Korea.
Garden Of Life
Garden of Life is a popular American alternative. It has over 25,000 Amazon reviews, most of them positive.
Like the T1 Core meal, it’s a powder. Mixed with milk, water, or juice, it offers satisfying nutrition in a shake. In the blend is 20g of plant protein and 44 freeze-dried superfoods. This formula is vegan, gluten-free, and low in sugar.
If too busy to get away from your desk, mix one scoop and consume. That gives you everything you need to curb hunger and power up for another high-performance burst of work.
Handheld Percussion Massage
China is the world’s largest esports market. The League of Legends Pro League (LPL) is China’s top-level pro LoL tournament. In 2020, Chinese esports ranked first in revenue, generating $385 million. In comparison, North America generated $252 million. With so much money at stake, the LPL’s recent deal is significant.
In June, Hyperice was named as the official recovery technology partner of the LPL. Hyperice is an American company specializing in sports recovery technology.
As part of the deal, Hyperice will design a custom “Recovery Room” in Shanghai. There, LPL professional players can experience the latest recovery technology products.
One of its most popular products is the Hypervolt. It’s a handheld percussion massage device with built-in Bluetooth. That lets you connect to an app with built-in and custom recovery programs.
It’s endorsed by Naomi Osaka (tennis); John Taveres (hockey), and Patrick Mahomes (football). Benefits:
- Accelerates warmup and recovery.
- Improves range of flexibility and motion.
- Reduces muscle soreness and stiffness.
- Enhances muscle performance.
The point of these units is to speed recovery. With faster recovery, players should be able to train harder and longer. Is it useful for desk workers?
Generally, stiffness caused by sitting can be fixed by getting a proper ergonomic chair. For those with a good chair who do suffer tightness, Hyperice technology may help.
Blue Light Glasses
Astralis is a Danish CS:GO team famed as one of the best CS:GO teams of all time. They’re also known for the Astralis Performance model. That emphasizes physical, mental, and technical training to help players perform better.
In their pursuit of excellence, the team recently partnered with glasses manufacturer Blux. The collaboration has yielded a range of blue light glasses designed for gamers available on Kickstarter.
The point of these glasses is to mitigate the harmful effects of extended screen time. Research indicates that overexposure to artificial blue light affects sleep, productivity, and well-being.
These glasses filter most of the blue light that emanates from screens. While gaming, reduced exposure keeps the yes relaxed, which helps players feel fresher.
After gaming, the lack of absorbed blue light ensures a good night’s sleep. When you return to your desk the next day, you’ll feel rested, relaxed, and ready to rack up points.
Astralis Sports Director Kasper Hvidt noted his “players always make sure to moderate screen time and get the most out of their sleep.
Blux blue light blockers are going to be a huge part of that. If every player can improve even just one percent, the whole team improves by five percent.”
Blue light blocking glasses are also popular on Amazon. As an example, the Benicci costs $19.97 on Amazon and offers similar features as the Blux VIZOR.
There are plenty of others on offer as well, many with thousands of positive reviews:
AI Powered Intelligent Mattress
Early in 2021, Flinders University conducted a sleep study on esports players. Pros from Gravitas, GenG, Ground Zero, and Kanga Esports took part.
Preliminary findings showed that esports athletes are not getting enough sleep. Experts suggest 7-9 hours per night for young adults aged 18-25. That best supports optimal mental health and performance.
Thus far, one esports team has taken action on these findings. Schalke 04 Esports is the pro gaming division of German football club Schalke 04. In June, the team announced a partnership with mattress company Emma. The deal grants every member of the team an Emma Motion Smart Bed.
Emma Motion is a smart mattress with a built-in grid of AI sensors. As the body moves during sleep, the sensors analyze and process data in real-time.
That information goes through a Move IQ technology. It compresses or expands foam-based motion fields to keep the spine balanced.
At present, the Emma Motion Smart Bed is only available in the UK (£449.00).
For peak computing, a smart mattress makes a great final piece. Before investing in one, get everything else in order first. Get a good gaming chair, sort out your nutrition, get regular exercise, etc.
If you still need a boost after the foundation is in place, the Emma Motion Smart Bed might be for you.
Our final productivity hack comes in-house from ChairsFX editor Anil Ramsey. He enjoyed mind-blowing results by adding an ergonomic footrest into his desk routine.
At a glance, it appears that a footrest only helps users to sit taller in a chair. In fact, adding a footrest does plenty more. For one thing, using one reduces the pressure on the back of the thighs.
With less pressure on the thighs, more pressure goes into the lower back area. With adjustable lumbar support, it becomes easier to sit in a clean neutral posture.
For another thing, an ergonomic footrest lets you move while sitting. Many ergonomists endorse regular position changes while sitting.
Using a footrest, you can work out your calves and boost circulation – while maintaining focus on your screen. To learn more about footrest performance advantages, see this feature:
The closest thing to a mental ‘hack’ in the esports world is nootropics. These are ‘supplements’ that boost cognitive functioning, creativity, and memory recall. Usually, these are available as prescription drugs or dietary supplements.
Prescription nootropics contain stimulants often used in ADHD medication. These seriously stimulate the brain but cause serious side effects. As well, most are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. On the flipside, several OTC nootropics are very popular among gamers.
Several OTC nootropics are also available on Amazon. One of the most popular is Genius Gamer Elite. It costs $32.98 for 80 pills.
Each comes packed with vitamins, minerals, and caffeine. A dosage also contains lutein (repels the harmful effects of blue light). Package claims include boosted brain power and reduced eye strain.
In the esports world, G-Fuel is the most visible and popular nootropic on the market. There are a few reasons. First, its nootropic elements include l-tyrosine, n-acetyl-l-carnitine, and velvet bean extract. Second, beyond brain-boosters, one scoop (mixed with water) also has 150 mg of caffeine.
Third, the company partners with the biggest names in esports. Big-league streaming ambassadors include PewDiePie, Summit1g, XQc, Nick Mercs, and KSI. Several teams also partner with G-Fuel, including Faze Clan, Luminosity Gaming, and Team Elevate.
In my experience, this stuff tastes good and works well. Each tub contains 40 servings, which you can mix with water or juice. There are several flavors, including FazeBerry, HypeSauce, and PewdiePie LingonBerry.
As a supplement to plain water, G-Fuel is a nice treat. Based on my own tests, you should limit use to a few times per week for best results.
If you prefer a caffeine-free nootropic, check out Onnit Alpha Brain. Endorsed by Joe Rogan, it has over 10,000 rave reviews. One bottle contains 90 tablets, enough for 2 per day for 45 days.
Each pill contains earth-grown nutrients like Bacopa, Cat’s Claw, Oat Straw, and Huperzia Serrata. Listed benefits include boosted memory, focus, and cognitive processing speed. It’s keto-friendly, caffeine-free, and compatible with paleo diets.
Do nootropics work? In my experience, prescription nootropics are extremely potent. In comparison, OTC nootropics have mild to no effects at all.
Even so, many people swear by them. If looking for a mental edge you can buy over-the-counter, one of these nootropics might be for you.
Pro esports optimization hacks are for anybody who sits full-time at a desk. Even if you don’t play video games, these hacks can help you feel and perform better.
Boosting performance while sitting at a desk begins with a good ergonomic chair. With the proper support, users are able to sit longer, feel better, and be more productive. Getting started is easy:
- See our gaming chair or ergonomic office chair reviews to find the perfect model for your needs.
- Follow the steps in our Gaming Chair User Guide to master healthy sitting techniques.
This 2-step process will yield a massive, mind-blowing boost in wellness and productivity. Once that thrill wears off, there are further options to supercharge even further.
Options exist among all four Pillars of Performance. If you find yourself flagging in any of these areas, performance hacks can help.
- Nutrition: meal replacement supplements.
- Recovery: percussion massage, AI-powered mattress.
- Physical: blue light glasses, ergonomic footrest.
- Mental: nootropic brain-boosters.
Will these hacks improve your gaming? Pro esports team Astralis credits its success to the Astralis Performance Model.
It states that away from the computer, players need adequate exercise, nutrition, and sleep. As a result, when at the computer, performance improves dramatically.
That ties directly into the four Pillars of Performance. If you ever need help with any of the pillars, the performance hacks listed in this guide can help.
Check out these articles for more productivity-boosting tips while working from home: