Full Sail University

Full Sail Collaborates with Orlando Health to Give Esports Athletes an Edge

The university and healthcare organization are supplying Full Sail Armada athletes with smart watches to give them customized advice on performance improvement.

Skylar Richards, Dr. Shawn Stafford, and Dr. Haifa Maamar sit in a recording studio. They each have a microphone in front of them.

To an outsider, it might look like esports athletes don’t need to worry about the same performance metrics as traditional athletes. But esports competitors rely on traits like reaction time, stamina, and rapid decision-making to compete at the top of their game. That’s why Full Sail University and Orlando Health are providing Full Sail Armada athletes with WHOOP smart watches to help these varsity competitors track their daily activities and health metrics with the goal of improving their in-game performance.

Sleep impacts everything in life. Just about every negative ailment that we have going on in our lives, it’s all hit by sleep."

During a recent edition of Full Sail's Tech Tuesday series titled "The Science of Performance Metrics in Esports", Dr. Haifa Maamar, Full Sail’s Executive Director of Emerging Technologies, sat down with Skylar Richards (Orlando Health Manager of Performance Health) and Dr. Shawn Stafford (Full Sail Course Director and IRB Chair & Director of Research) to discuss the unique needs of esports athletes and how the WHOOP watch can help them achieve their goals.

The WHOOP watch tracks health metrics like heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration, and sleep quality. Since performance metrics like reaction time, accuracy, and decision-making are easy to digitally track in video games, esports athletes can compare their in-game achievements with the data from their WHOOP watches to identify health metrics that detract from their performance.

“We'll take reaction time as an obvious [performance metric], the ability to react and how fast we should react [during a game],” said Skylar. “If, for example, I reacted slowly every time that day and then I can see that my sleep score was the lowest it’s been in a while, now I’m seeing a detractor to my performance that can be addressed.”

The panelists also talked about how important sleep is for esports competitors and how the WHOOP watch can help them keep tabs on their sleep quality.

“Sleep impacts everything in life. Just about every negative ailment that we have going on in our lives, it’s all hit by sleep,” Shawn explains. “Controlling that sleep component helps you [perform optimally]. A system like this that’s wearable, that’s really keeping track and giving you data, now it’s not just in your head. It’s on your phone and tracking you and [saying], ‘Hey, wake up,’ or ‘Hey, you need to take a break,’ or that you need to exercise or do a breathing meditation.”

The Tech Tuesday participants also discussed how wearable tech can use individual metrics to help esports teams as a whole, how stress and psychological factors can affect esports performance, and additional ways that wearable tech can assist with medical interventions.