Ways to Reduce Anxiety in Tournaments for Esports Athletes

3 min read

esports athlete anxiety

It is undeniable that anxiety often comes when a tournament is taking place. When on a large stage, the crowd’s cheers can be heard, coupled with the sparkling lights and cameras that follow every movement of esports athletes. This sensation certainly gives a feeling of nervousness.

Furthermore, when competing with a team that have been popular with a large fanbase, or representing a particular region or country; there are more feeling of being afraid to disappoint the supporters.

It is not uncommon for this feeling of anxiety to haunt esports athletes and lead them to the pit of doing mistakes, which will have a big consequence on the results of the game.

It is not enough just to be an expert and understand the playing techniques. Another important thing that is often overlooked is still needed in order to be successful in going through (a.k.a. surviving) an esports tournament, namely the ability to control stress and anxiety that come during matches.

Causes of Anxious Feelings of Esports Athletes

The main cause of the anxiety experienced by esports athletes is due to their own expectations and other people’s. Restlessness can also occur due to playing too long and not getting enough rest before the day of the match, so that the performance of the brain and body decreases.

The following are some of the characteristics of an anxious person, including:

  • Crossing legs.
  • Blinking with rapid intensity.
  • Move legs, hands, and certain body parts continuously.
  • Changing sitting position frequently.

There are several things that esports athletes must pay attention to to overcome this. Their anxiety made them to only pay attention to instructions without being able to act properly. This is due to the feelings of doubt or slow motor response due to anxiety.

In general, feelings of anxiety can cause difficulty in focusing, concentrating, and organizing, frequent daydreaming and looking confused, unable to follow directions well, and making more mistakes.

Dealing with anxiety of esports athletes

Anxiety often comes to esports athletes when they are participating in tournaments. The following are some methods that you can try to help organize and manage anxiety when competing in tournaments.

Keep all bad thoughts away during the game

Before the match starts, the minds of esports athletes will be filled with various things that make you anxious. Such as negative feelings for fear of making mistakes so that will make self-confidence decrease.

Steps you can take are mind meditation to help overcome this. Exercise breathing for 10 to 15 minutes can help to block the negative thoughts and direct your brain to stay focused on something that can be controlled.

Regulate the breathing well

When feelings of anxiety and nervousness come, esports athletes will feel their breathing become faster than usual. The first thing you have to do is to regulate your breathing rhythm.

You do this by breathing in for 5 to 10 seconds which may feel very long when anxiety hits. But this method can help the brain work and breath back to normal.

Maximum preparation

When a tournament is in progress you can only do your best, regardless of the outcome. Making the best of preparations before the start of the match will help you to be more confident and less nervous.

Your brain will also feel calmer if you have prepared everything properly so that you will be more confident during the match.

Motivate yourself

The biggest criticism usually doesn’t come from other people but from yourself. Besides, the biggest motivation also comes from yourself. When feelings of anxiety strike it doesn’t hurt to talk to yourself.

Like giving encouraging words to raise self-confidence and reduce negative thoughts.

Look for the cause of anxiety

When anxiety comes, you should try to find the root cause of the fear rather than trying to deny it. This can be the best solution in the future. Starting to tackle the root of the problem will help before it consumes all your energy and brain.

Get enough rest and eat

Even though it sounds trivial, this is something that is quite difficult for some young esports players to fix. Getting enough rest can give your brain time to focus and function optimally.

This is also supported by a healthy diet so that it provides adequate nutrition for the body and helps in reducing nervousness and anxiety.

Strive for more learning experience

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, the more you practice and get used to it, the more your self-confidence will increase. Most people do not know that problems caused by feelings of anxiety can be overcome with regular exercise.

Training can range from LAN tournaments, losing or winning, to finding a professional team to learn to manage stress.


These tips are not only for young esports athletes who are just entering the competitive world, but also useful for those who are still amateurs to practice in managing and overcoming excessive anxiety and stress when they want to participate in competitions; especially when dealing with opposing teams who are known to be stronger and better at it. Hopefully these tips can help esports athletes to be more confident and be able to bring victory.

Are you still struggling in gaining control over your anxiety? BetterHelp is a great place to start. They can match you with local therapists and counselors perfectly suited to help you.