Esports organization OverActive Media has agreed a partnership with Firstbeat that will see them use Firstbeat Sports’ advanced performance analytics to aid player development, well-being and performance.
Headquartered in Toronto, OverActive Media oversee more than 40 esports athletes and are the only esports organization in the world to own teams in the three biggest franchised leagues, including Toronto Defiant (Overwatch League), Mad Lions (League of Legends European Championship), Call of Duty Toronto and Splyce.
Over 23,000 athletes from 1,000 elite teams across the sporting spectrum rely on Firstbeat’s cutting-edge heart rate variability-based analytics to aid player training and recovery guidance. This now includes professional gamers for the first time, as OverActive Media’s roster join the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and recently crowned Stanley Cup champions, St. Louis Blues.
Supporting the players
“In esports, we’re now at a point where teams need to be investing to ensure the well-being of the players,” says Pat Sauer, Senior Manager for Performance Systems across all OverActive Media teams. “The lifespan of a pro player in esports is pretty short on average. Right now, a 25-year-old player is potentially at their peak or getting close to retirement. The information provided by Firstbeat is in support of the longevity of players.”
The Firstbeat Sports solution offers individualized physiological insights for real-time and post-analysis and will be used by all OverActive Media teams to assess internal load and personalize training and recovery. Players will wear the Firstbeat chest heart rate monitors during practice and during competition. The data provided will be used to “benefit the players in the long run”, explains Sauer.
“Using Firstbeat, we can not only see how the players are reacting to being on a live stage but how they are dealing with the in-game stress. People look at HR data and attribute it to more traditional sports. But they don’t understand that, not only in an athletic environment but on a personal level too, your HR is linked to your mental state – whether you’re dealing with anxiety or are calm and relaxed.”
The bigger picture
OverActive Media will also have access to the Firstbeat Bodyguard 2 device (available as part of Firstbeat Sports packages) to monitor stress and recovery over a 24-hour period. Getting the bigger picture beyond practice and tournaments allows coaches – and the players themselves – to adjust routine based on objective data. The Bodyguard 2 device provides insights into stress, exercise, recovery and sleep and highlights the impact of an individual’s lifestyle and routine.
“The number one thing we want to get out of using Firstbeat Sports is to understand what the players are going through that even they don’t know they’re going through. I want to be able to see the raw data that separates the human emotion and just gives me the physiological side of things.
“No professional player wants to come and say something negative about themselves. Using the data isn’t a negative thing it is a tool to help us direct and focus in on what individual athletes need to perform.”
“We’re excited to be working with OverActive Media,” explains Firstbeat Key Account manager, Matt Tardif. “Esports is going from strength to strength and people are beginning to appreciate that professional gamers are professional athletes too. How they train, their daily routine, and their physiological load all contribute to good performance when it matters most. Firstbeat’s analytics aim to help give coaches – and the players themselves – insights that can help players perform better, recover effectively, and fast-track player development.”
The raw source code
As esports continues to develop and the infrastructure surrounding players catches up with more traditional sports, OverActive Media are leading the way in using data to establish effective routines, replicate game scenarios in practice and building a historical database of information that helps inform future decisions to boost performance.
“The Firstbeat system is the gateway to this raw data. Firstbeat is like looking at the raw source code of a program or the CSS files of a website. It goes beyond the pretty colors to show what is really going on on the inside.”
About OverActive Media
OverActive Media (OAM) is an integrated global company delivering esports and video game entertainment. OAM combines team ownership with audience engagement to better connect with fans, franchise partners and corporate sponsors around the world. OAM owns the Toronto Defiant of the Overwatch League, a League of Legends European Championship series franchise and recently won the rights to a Toronto-based Call of Duty League franchise. OAM also recently fully acquired Rochester, NY’s Splyce Inc., which operates regional teams in various other esports, including Rocket League, Smite and Starcraft II. OAM is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.
Firstbeat Sports is a single-platform athlete-monitoring solution that provides data on training loads, intensity, fitness testing, performance readiness, stress, and recovery in one place. Over 23,000 athletes representing over 1,000 teams around the world rely on Firstbeat Sports for their advanced physiological metrics.
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