Is esports performance wear pointless?
2019. The endless argument over esports being a legitimate form of sports, esports players being legitimate athletes, their feats receiving equal recognition etc, etc, rages on. No-one expects a resolution to this discussion to be met anytime soon, as the participants are sports fans, who become needlessly heated on a whim and vehemently defend their positions to the death.
The esports industry waits patiently, not particularly bothered about the answer, the interest and engagement exists regardless. While the industry as a whole is carrying on as a rapidly growing industry should, not looking backwards or sideways, some mini features of traditional sport are being “rediscovered” by esports teams. Training facilities instead of grim shared player houses, regulated and balanced diets instead of fast food, and now: Performance Wear.
Agreed, “Performance” is one of the key weapons used to discredit esports by traditional fans. Lack of physical ability and movement is for many in itself justification enough to remove the word “sport”.
Granted, while the mental acuity required to succeed in LoL or CS:GO is immense, all that will be visible to the observer are some rapid wrist and finger actions. That’s what she said. However this doesn’t mean that the body doesn’t need a little help while seated and playing for hours. Meaning, in essence, you need somewhere to wipe your clammy, clammy hands.
While, if we are honest with ourselves, this is all that’s required, a few companies have gone above and beyond to try and deliver some good gear for gaming enthusiasts everywhere. Except HP, they really half-assed the Omen Apparel and it shows, that’s why you’ve never heard of it. Feels weird ordering a hoodie from the HP site anyway. I’m not Richie Rich over here.
Youtubers Markiplier and Jacksepticeye have their own brand, CLOAK, described more as ‘clothing for people who game all day’ and as fitting a neglected niche. Athletes, lovers of the outdoors and yoga fanatics all have clothing brands designed for them, so why not gamers? The sentiment makes sense, and the collection seems varied enough.
Going for a different tact is RE:Activ, an apparel designer with esports specifically in mind. Player health is at the forefront of the designs, and are engineered to aid prevention of conditions such as RSI and Tendonitis.
So how far will this go? Will esports players in the 2030’s be sporting sweat absorbent morph suits? Will gloves become the norm for competitive play? Or will the pan flash and everyone will go back to hoodies and twitch T-shirts? For now, I’m going to put my shorts on and smash Wii Sports Tennis. Like a REAL athlete.