You sit down to play a game of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. You’ve got the perfect mouse, with a stellar polling rate, thousands of DPI, and weight and shape adjusted to fit your hand. You wrap your hand around it, and slide it across your perfectly smooth, massive mousepad, while your other hand drums a beat with the staccato clicks of your mechanical keyboard.
Your monitors stand ready, their fast refresh rates ready to beam the upcoming action into your retinas over one hundred times per second. You relax in your ergonomically perfect gaming chair, waiting for the action to begin, taking a sip from your favorite energy drink formulated to perk you up and keep you in the action.
You seem ready to head into the server and score that next headshot. But are you wearing the right clothes?
A new project is trying to make sure you are. [RE:Activ] Wear eSports Apparel will provide “the most powerful gaming performance gear” to give gamer’s an new edge where they’ve never needed one before.
Should the group’s $15,000 Kickstarter receive funding, they plan to offer socks, shirts, and arm sleeves (arm sleeves? that’s a thing?) using KYMIRA technology and Calliant fibers to create clothing that keeps energy in the body. The details are explained using words like “thermo-reactive compounds” and “holofiber,” but the upshot is that it should provide increased circulation, thermoregulation, relaxation of skeletal muscles, and improved endurance.
“Long-term exertion in the gaming environment leads to the stiffening of muscles, decreased mental alertness, and diminished physical performance,” reads the group’s promotional material. But with [RE:Active], you can maintain your reaction speed, improve endurance, and shorten recovery times.
It’s clear performance sporting gear provides some benefit to players in more physical pastimes, but it’s hard to take this kind of product seriously for their more sedentary esports brethren. Still, as esports continues to increase in competitiveness, players need every edge they can get to stay on top of their game. Plus, many esports venues are often frigid—keeping up with the heat produced by rows of computers takes the kind of air conditioning that keeps a yeti comfortable.
Of course, [RE:Activ] isn’t the first company to dive into the esports performance apparel market. Gunnar Optiks hit the scene in 2007, producing eyewear designed to minimize the eye strain of staring at a monitor bombarding your eyes with photons and electrons for hours and hours. Gunnar’s glasses get mixed reviews in terms of their benefits—some people definitely think they help. Others think it’s a bunch of baloney. The same will likely be true with [RE:Activ].