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First things first, the competitive scene of eSports is starting to grow at an exponential rate. Tournaments are getting bigger, the prize pool is starting to become more than a player can spend in a lifetime, and the fan base is constantly growing in a lot of competitive games. But with these in mind, there are a lot of factors that the fans and regular players don’t take into consideration and I’m talking about the state of mind of an average gamer.
The player has to be focused and determined to be able to reach success in a specific game. It doesn’t matter what game you are playing, it can be Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Starcraft 2 or DOTA 2, if you are not in your right mindset and you can’t control your emotions, you can never be a good enough player for teams or sponsors to take you into consideration. Of course, talented gamers might have it easier because their skill sets allow them to focus less, but the rules of a right mindset still apply. You can be the most talented gamer, but if you’re not able to control your emotions you are going to lose in high-pressure situations.
Anger dominance in gaming
From YouTubers with high rated gaming channels to professional gamers in important tournaments, you can always observe and identify that anger is a dominant emotion and the lack of its management leads to poor gaming capabilities. The problem itself is not with anger when it comes to gaming, it mostly comes from the fact that gamers are not thought to manage their anger correctly. How many times haven’t you seen players rage quit or viral videos about gamers destroying their PC equipment in anger or even professional gamers in major tournaments losing, not because of their skill sets but because of their poor anger management?
Misconceptions about anger
Anger is considered to be a negative and destructive state of mind mostly because angry people tend to say or do irrational things that shock other people. But the problem doesn’t come from the emotion itself, it comes from the lack of knowing how to use the adrenaline-like feeling that anger gives us to become more open-minded. Researchers have actually found some benefits that can come from anger, which if acknowledged by gamers, could improve their play style.
Apparently, researchers think that anger actually opens your mind towards disconfirming information which could lead to learning new things about yourself or a new strategy for example. Also, when angry, it appears that our brains are more creative, leading to new styles of playing instead of the mechanical ones. Even so, most gamers don’t actually know how to use their anger to improve the way they are playing but instead end up losing in high pressure situations or even destroying their careers. Although many people believe that video games increase violence many studies have shown that the rates of actual crimes have significantly dropped when violent video games had higher rates of sales.
One of the biggest research studies made on the psychology of violent video games actually proved that teens with “clinically elevated attention deficit or depressive symptoms” were calmed down by playing video games because they “reduce their aggressive tendencies and bullying behavior.” All in all, it is proven that by managing anger gamers could become not only calmer but also have higher success rates. So rather than trying to tell professional gamers to not be angry they should be taught to use their anger to improve their playing style.
Personality traits might increase your anger
Learning how to manage anger should be one of the most important things for a gamer but from a psychiatric point of view, some people have a lower tolerance towards frustration which could make their emotional states more unstable. Each and every individual has a different type of personality and there are specific traits that can lead to a lower capacity of controlling stress, an unbalance between desire and what you are actually capable of doing, and explosive ways of reacting to high-pressure situations.
Most gamers have an introvert type of personality which usually correlates with a more anti-social behavior which in fact is a disharmonious personality trait. By having a specific type of personality, a person might manage anger better but in most cases it leads to having a harder time managing their violent emotions. The best way to help gamers use their anger is by encouraging them to evaluate their specific personality traits from which specific ways of teaching them how to control their anger could be derived.