Room for Improvement: Change It Up

Strategy

Improving gameplay isn’t all about developing tunnel vision on whatever game is hot at any given time. Diversifying one’s genres can solve multiple problems all Esports personnel eventually have, such as fatigue and frustration.

Building one’s skills doesn’t always revolve around playing the specific game in question, but rather sharpening techniques across different titles. For example, playing strategy games can help enhance one’s abilities in first-person shooters.

The Total War series, for instance, requires a near-constant state of awareness during battles, especially when larger armies are involved. Every unit has a strength and a counter, and adapting one’s strategies to the opponent and reacting to the enemy’s movements often demands meticulous micromanagement. Tunnel vision in such circumstances will frequently lead to ignoring other parts of the battlefield, resulting in either defeat or inflicting more casualties than necessary.

The vigilance compelled by strategy games can train one’s observation skills and will transfer to other genres, such as first-person shooters. Being able to soak in the entire field-of-play is critical to assessing all of one’s advantages, and can sometimes make up for slow reaction times. Change it up.

Puzzle

Anything that can make someone think on their feet is complementary to all sorts of gameplay. Something as simple and RNG-based as Tetris can sharpen one’s wits. Reacting to the puzzle piece provided and sliding it into a decent spot keeps the mind focused, always ready for the next problem.

Shifting this kind of focus into Esports provides the concentration necessary for higher levels of competition. Paying attention and knowing what to communicate with one’s team efficiently cannot be stressed enough. With puzzle games being all about efficiency, juxtaposing that skill from puzzles to shooters is a seamless transition. Change it up.

RPG

Role-playing games provide various points of consideration, but the primary two are relaxation and ability selection. Take titles like Skyrim and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (AC Odyssey), for example. In both games, players are thrust into a monumental open-world environment, where they can continue the main storyline at their own pace. Tackling side quests or just exploring while engaging in combat and upgrading the player-character is enough to keep one busy in these games.

With this kind of content, time pressure is all but negligible, allowing gamers to relax and focus on self-paced progress. Relaxation is a big part of competition, from mainstream sports and Esports to a big exam for which students prepare. Practice or study hard, then do something else for a while. Clearing one’s mind can make or break a competitor.

Ability selection plays a crucial role in RPGs and some first-person shooters. Skyrim and AC Odyssey contain a leveling system in which players can upgrade their abilities to suit their playstyle.

Prefer to be a stealthy archer? Skyrim’s Sneak and Archery trees are the place to spend talent points. Prefer melee combat over stealthy assassination? AC Odyssey’s Warrior tree is the point of interest.

Selecting abilities that suit one’s playstyle will allow players to create synergistic builds and give them an edge that is unique to them. The same holds true in titles like Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII (please go back in time and make it IV). Using a faster reload ability might help gamers get out of tight spots, or deeper bullet penetration can help take people out through walls. Change it up.

Change It Up

Branching into different genres is a great way to maintain one’s skills while also breaking up the monotony that will inevitably occur from playing the same thing over and over. Everyone needs a break, but how much of a break does one need? That depends on each individual to assess for themselves.

However, from experience, going 24 hours without at least playing a little bit of the game in which one wishes to be competitive can be detrimental to one’s skills. Even if a player only loads up the game to practice against the AI for a couple rounds, at least they are practicing. After that, play something else or take a break from games altogether for the rest of the day. Keep that muscle memory on point.

Also Be Consistent

Practicing five or six days a week is common. Some gamers even take it up a notch and train hard every single day. That notwithstanding, taking even one of those days to dial it down a little and switching to another genre can be enough. It can give the brain sufficient respite while also maintaining some skills.

So, practice hard, play and compete harder, and don’t forget to change it up.

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