Meditation gives esport athletes a competitive edge

When it comes to esports athletes playing at the highest level, even the smallest things can make a difference in the outcome of the match or tournament. We are seeing an increasing number of professional esport players turning to meditation to gain a competitive advantage. And there are good reasons for that.

The benefits of meditation are invaluable and practically limitless when looking at its fullest potential. The benefits apply to both the professional player and the casual gamer just playing for fun.

By the end of this article, you will have gained a deeper understanding of how meditation can positively impact your cognitive functions and performance, and practical insight into how to get started.

Recall more information using your working memory

During a competitive match, you will come across a lot of valuable information about how the enemy is playing. It’s useful to remember as much of this information as possible. Your working memory is what allows you to temporarily hold and recall the information. When you have a strong working memory you can more easily come up with creative ideas for how you can play differently to outplay your enemy.

Many studies in meditation have shown a significant improvement in working memory. Therefore, meditation can have a positive influence on your gameplay by improving your ability to process and use important information.

Sharpen your focus by improving your attention skills

Focus is clearly an important quality to have when you want to perform optimally in CS:GO or any other competitive game. To perform at a high level you need to be able to maintain a high focus over a longer period of time. At the same time, you need to be able to pay attention to multiple sources of information at once, such as what the enemy is doing, what your teammates are saying and any other relevant cues coming from the game. High levels of focus help you process information more effectively, leading to you reacting faster and making better in-game decisions.

The scientific literature clearly shows that meditation can make your mind sharper and enhance your ability to focus directly on what’s important. Meditation can therefore improve your performance by providing you with the great benefits that come with a strong focus.

Fell less frustration by becoming better at regulating your emotional state

It’s normal to feel frustrated when things don’t go as planned or you’re not performing as well as you expected. Maybe something in your personal life is causing distractions and impacting the way you play, or you may not have been able to put in as much time to practice your aim lately. If you don’t manage to let go of the frustration, you risk getting stuck in a negative cycle where the frustration increases and you end up getting tilted. In the worst case, your frustration can bring the whole team down.

More studies have found that meditation can help you learn how to regulate your emotional state and avoid the negative effects of frustration. It’s like meditation builds a mental shield that prevents you from getting tilted and dragging the whole team down.

How to meditate?

Meditation is a simple and straightforward practice, but can sometimes be frustrating if you feel like you’re not doing it right.

Don’t get frustrated when your mind wanders, it’s part of the process and it totally normal. Instead, think of your brain as a muscle that gets stronger by doing mental repetitions of refocusing your attention, similar to how a muscle gets stronger by doing repetitions in the gym. The more repetition you make, the stronger you will get. In this case, you are strengthening your brain’s ability to maintain focus.

The following is a basic technique that will teach you how to meditate.

  1. Find a quiet and comfortable place where you can sit or lie down
  2. Close your eyes and focus your attention on your breath
  3. Breath deeply and slowly
  4. Observe the physical sensations of the air coming in and out
  5. When your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to the sensation of your breath
  6. Continue for a set amount of time

For how long should you meditate?

A high-quality study done at New York University examined the effects of a 13-minute daily guided meditation. The study found that 8 weeks of daily meditation significantly improved people’s mood, attention, working memory, emotional regulation, and decreased anxiety. Other studies have found similar effects. So based on this study, you only need 13 minutes daily.

If you find it hard to do 13 minutes of daily meditation, you can gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable with the practice. Instead of stressing about how long you meditate, you should focus on building the habit.


Basso, J. C., McHale, A., Ende, V., Oberlin, D. J., & Suzuki, W. A. (2019). Brief, daily meditation enhances attention, memory, mood, and emotional regulation in non-experienced meditators. Behavioural brain research

Quach, D. jastrowski Mano, KE, Alexander, K.(2016). A Randomized Controlled Trial Examining the Effect of Mindfulness Meditation on Working Memory Capacity in Adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health

Chiesa, A., Calati, R., & Serretti, A. (2011). Does mindfulness training improve cognitive abilities? A systematic review of neuropsychological findings. Clinical psychology review

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