THE ESPORTS ROUNDTABLE IS A PODCAST THAT HOSTS DIFFERENT GUESTS EACH AND EVERY WEEK, DISCUSSING ALL THINGS BUSINESS IN ESPORTS.
The latest installment of The Esports Roundtable sees host Joe Hills welcome guest Taylor Johnson, Director of Player Development & Performance for Infinite Esports & Entertainment.
Varying from what’s become a tradition on the podcast, Johnson delved into his professional past and it didn’t massively revolve around esports. His story is a little different than most when you consider that he previously had a career as a coach in traditional sports. Johnson has a background in multiple sports, including American football, martial arts, and rugby.
These days, his responsibilities includes evolving the organisation’s personal and professional development, esports performance development including nutrition and mindset, and putting together a bridge program to help players stay successful once their competitive gaming years are over.
Both the physical and mental development for athletes is an emerging area in the esports industry as of late. Well known organisations such as OpTic Gaming, of course, and Team Vitality have recently invested in training facilities that aim to improve player’s performance and overall chances of sustaining a career in esports should they wish to do so.
Typically in esports, importance is placed on player’s mental wellness and not so much physically – it’s understandable in one sense since competitors are typically only use their hands to compete, but there’s a serious point in a person’s mental well-being having a link to their physical condition. Many people believe more goes into being the best competitor you can be than merely practicing your game of choice, being in a good condition in all aspects of life may well impact your overall performance. It’s an area that’s definitely receiving more attention as time goes on, and it’ll be interesting to see the results.
Johnson hopes to really dig into the cognitive aspect of esports. He notes that those behind traditional sports know exactly how to prepare athletes day-to-day so they’re optimised for actual competitive games, but in terms of mental preparation and optimisation, it’s still relatively uncovered. He plans to work with researchers and cognitive experts to develop this understanding.
Johnson commented after his time on The Esports Roundtable: “Structure and routine is fundamental to great performance – we are super happy with all our players so far and look forward to that emotional connection to them winning trophies and taking what we’ve taught them into their lives after pro.”
Speaking to Esports Insider, Joe Hills, Founder and Host of The Esports Roundtable, also commented:
“Taylor and the guys at IPI are really changing the game for esports performance. Taking a structural approach to building programs that can be replicated across the industry has huge potential impact on the healthspan and career length of players + their happiness and performance along the journey””
Hills is the Founder of Looking for Group, an esports executive recruitment company and has worked to achieve placements for many high profile individuals in the burgeoning esports industry.