Two championships, two titles: in 2022, the LDLC OL team largely dominated the French League of League of Legends (LFL). This success, the structure probably owes in large part to the performance of its two leaders, the midlaner Jeremy “Eika” Valdenaire and theAD carry Thomas “Exakick” Foucou. It also owes it, perhaps, to innovative methods: in 2022, LDLC OL decided to emphasize mental preparation by training its coaches. One more example of the progressive awareness of e-sport on the subject.
However, mental preparation has rarely been put in the foreground in the middle. Florian Ménier is the co-founder of the company Nove Perform, which offers training modules for mental preparation in sport and e-sport, and collaborates with LDLC OL. He details: “In e-sport, there is an interest in mental preparation. The concern is that sometimes it is absolutely not the priority. Some structures do not even have a physical trainer. In building a team, we turn first to the players, then the staff. And, when the structure encounters obstacles, we call on physical trainers. Often, the last wheel of the carriage is the mind”.
“Other bases to put”
Despite everything, the teams are gradually taking hold of the subject. Firstly, because e-sport is becoming more professional: the teams are increasingly surrounded by more substantial staff or external contributors, focused on physical and therefore mental preparation. Also because some structures choose to rely on traditional sport. The French team Vitality has thus made a specialty of enrolling former champions. In 2021, ex-handball player Bruno Martini held the position of “e-sports director” for almost a year. Canoe-kayak world champion Matthieu Péché joined Vitality in 2019 to become the team’s manager. counter strike.
The latter testifies to a “confrontation of two worlds”, on his arrival within the team: “Historically, the managers were a bit the friends of the players. I was there to shake them up, to change their vision of the profession. One of my first missions was to bring back rigor, to put a framework, schedule and physical. We had two or three confrontations because I have a method of my own, but it was wanted. The aim of the game is to give them extra-sporting tools”. On mental preparation, Matthieu Péché quickly noticed shortcomings: “When I arrived, there were other bases to put in”.
An environment to understand
The Vitality manager, like others before him, had to adapt to the specificities of e-sport. The environment, which is rather young and often precarious, poses challenges that are sometimes different from those of traditional sport. “In the world of e-sport, things are going so fast: some, when they started, won keyboards, slept under their desks… Now, we sometimes play in rooms with 10,000 spectators. It touches the ego. Hence the interest of having someone who knows how to talk with the players. Matthieu Péché also insists on the large number of competitions, which allow players to get up quickly after difficulties. Or who, on the contrary, make them mentally enter into “vicious circles”.
Florian Ménier, for his part, underlines the permanent changes in the profession: “In e-sport, there is a strong seasonality, a big turnover of players. Sometimes doing a season is already very good, because there is no contract over several years. On the mental preparation, we therefore need to be on an immediate response. Not on an experimental trial and error that lasts six months, and which misses the season because we have not managed to manage certain problems of player blockages ”.
“My role is sometimes Pascal the big brother”
To progress in the field of mental preparation, the methods differ. That of Vitality and Matthieu Péché remains classic: the structure provides external contributors who can be called upon at any time by the players. The rest of the time, the team staff counter strike, made up of three people, makes the connection. “Mental preparation is also part of everyday life,” explains Matthieu Péché. My role is sometimes Pascal the big brother: sometimes you have to be tough, other times listen attentively. The majority of my job concerns all the things of daily life, and the management of small unforeseen events. “As a story of the heart, or hate messages received on social networks, he explains.
Difficult for all that to call oneself a mental trainer, for these coaches still little trained in the thing. If Matthieu Péché has the advantage of experience – world gold medals being proof – many coaches in e-sport rely “on their personal knowledge”, necessarily more limited. Hence the idea of Florian Ménier to train coaches: “With us, there is not a third person who comes in. It is the team put in place that is gaining competence. This allows, if we recruit a player, that the coach knows directly how to help him, without us.
Ball, racket and controller
Nove Perform thus offers training, and draws up reports specific to the players and the games played, to help coaches find the points where they can progress more quickly. The questionnaires, given to the players, vary according to the games. “The players of League of Legends don’t go not use the same tools as the players Fifa Where Hearthstone. We have our analysis grid behind, we know what we want to look for. On LoL, a one-on-three battle situation may be encountered. It’s not something you’re going to encounter in another game. It’s the same difference as between rugby and gymnastics. »
This experience made the trainer realize one thing: in mental preparation, sport and e-sport are ultimately not very far apart. “There are different demands between esports and sports, and even between games. On the other hand, whether the player has a ball, a racket or a controller in his hands, we remain on human mechanisms. I.e. stress management, breathing, etc. These are completely normal physiological mechanisms. “ Matthieu Péché abounds, and allows himself a valid metaphor for both environments: “A team is like a rocket. We, the staff, we are the launchers, and we come off after takeoff. The players, on the other hand, arrive in orbit and only have to click”. The head in the stars, but especially on the shoulders.
I am John Casanova. I am an author at 24 news recorder and mostly cover economy news. I have a great interest in the stock market and have been writing about it for many years. I am also interested in real estate and have written several articles on the subject. I am a very experienced investor and have a lot of knowledge to share with others.