William F. Belk1, Veronika Pribyslavska1, Gregory S. Cantrell1, Eric M. Scudamore1

1Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR

The eSports community has experienced extensive growth in popularity and competitiveness. With yearly prize pools exceeding $200 million, eSport athletes often search for means of improving performance. Many competitions require quick action with a high degree of accuracy. Interventions that improve reaction time (RT) or accuracy of competition-specific tasks are most valuable. Numerous studies have reported an increase in RT after aerobic exercise, albeit none have investigated within the context of eSports. PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to quantify the effects of a 15-minute cycling protocol on point-and-click RT and accuracy. METHODS: A sample of 30 male collegiate eSport athletes ages 18 - 35 will perform three RT tests and three point-and-click assessments in an aim trainer program, AimHero. Each assessment will be preceded by either no exercise (control) or a 15-minute cycling protocol at a clamped workload of 45 - 55% heart rate reserve at 50 rpm in counterbalanced order. RT will be assessed using a simple online assessment that requires a mouse click when the color of the screen changes, but no movement of the mouse. Three AimHero assessments will follow RT testing, each consisting of 60 stationary and random targets that populate one at a time. Participants will be instructed to click all targets with the fewest misses possible, as quickly as they can. The AimHero program will provide accuracy data (number of hits / number of total clicks) and average time between each hit target. A one-tailed dependent t-test will be used to determine differences in composite scores between trials. Cohen’s d effect sizes will be calculated to determine the magnitude of the exercise effect. Tests will be conducted on a custom-built PC equipped with an Intel Core i56500 CPU processor and AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card connected to a 144hz MSI G271 monitor. RESULTS: Data collection is currently in progress; however, the hypothesis is that 15 minutes of cycling will increase RT and click accuracy in eSport settings compared to no exercise. CONCLUSION: The results of this study could provide information to eSport athletes which may improve their performance in games. If positive results are found, eSport programs might implement an aerobic warmup prior to competitions to gain an edge over their opponents.

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