Comparison of Reaction Time Between eSports Players of Different Genres and Sportsmen

Comparison of Reaction Time Between eSports Players of Different Genres and Sportsmen

Peter Bickmann (German Sport University Cologne, Germany), Konstantin Wechsler (German Sport University Cologne, Germany), Kevin Rudolf (German Sport University Cologne, Germany), Chuck Tholl (German Sport University Cologne, Germany), Ingo Froböse (German Sport University Cologne, Germany) and Christopher Grieben (German Sport University Cologne, Germany)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/IJER.20210101.oa1
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Abstract

Quick reactions are considered important in both, traditional and electronic sports and research findings suggest that reaction time can be optimized by both sports activity and playing action video games. In this study, reaction and motor times of 18 professional and 21 non-professional eSports players from different genres and 36 non-professional traditional sportsmen were compared using the Vienna Test System. No differences between the groups were found in simple visual, acoustic, and choice reaction times. Differentiated by game genre, players from sports simulations had significantly shorter reaction times than MOBA players in the acoustic and choice reaction test. The results of this study suggest that traditional sports and eSports may improve reaction times to a similar amount. Furthermore, various game genres require different reaction times or may affect related abilities in different ways.
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Background

In the context of this study, eSports is defined as competitive gaming. Players train and improve mental and physical abilities to improve their chances of success against other players on electronic devices such as computers or gaming consoles (Wagner, 2006). Competition in eSports is often implemented in tournaments, but can also take place within a game, for instance through a ladder system. In recent years, the scientific acceptance of eSports has also increased in different fields of research. The subjects investigated include the eSports market and sponsoring (Mangeloja, 2019), consumption motives (Bányai et al., 2019), motivational and participation factors (Braun et al., 2016), or the competition of eSports (Lipovaya et al., 2018). Research was also conducted on the characteristics of eSports players and essential skills for high performance. Along with in-game skills, for instance a sound knowledge of the game or “mechanical skills” (Donaldson, 2015), eSports players require high cognitive skills (Happonen & Minashkina, 2019; Himmelstein et al., 2017), to meet the games’ requirements, for instance quick decision making or high attentional skills, in fast paced eSport titles (Voss et al., 2010).

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