Expert take: Age and motivation in Counter-Strike

Last month we found that age correlates with a decrease in fragging power for CS:GO's best players. But is there causation?

In our first article we proved — albeit rather unscientifically — that an increase in age does correlate with a decrease in performance when it comes to star players. What we didn't do is attempt to explain why this seems to occur, given the multitude of factors and my personal lack of expertise in the topic. This is why we're diving into the topic of age in esports once more, but this time with the aid of sports psychologists and players themselves.

Nearly all of our experts are optimistic that esports careers will be prolonged in the future

Is the drop-off physical or mental?

Our experts generally agree that the observed decline in KPR as players age is probably to do with mental factors rather than physical; the difference in reaction time between a 24-year-old and a 29-year-old is too small to justify the difference we saw in KPR between the two age groups. Michelle Pain, psychologist for AVANT in 2020, found that "in her experience, it isn't lack of reflexes that get you in the end." Edward Cleland of Mind Body Esports, who has worked with Complexity, 100 Thieves, Evil Geniuses, and Renegades, re-iterated this, choosing to emphasise how "age is a poor predictor for a growth mindset."

Former professional player Jacob "⁠Pimp⁠" Winneche echoed this sentiment: "You have F1 drivers in their mid-30s driving cars with 350+ kph. You may get slightly slower, but it's not defining for your play." Nathan "⁠NBK-⁠" Schmitt agreed, saying that age mattered "to a degree, but not necessarily because of in-game level decay." Another player to concur was Fredrik "⁠roeJ⁠" Jørgensen: "[Reflexes are] nothing [...] compared to psychological things" in terms of "having a hindering effect on your career."

This was not a universal opinion, however — Troels Robl of Heroic believes that "the physical limit is the first hindrance" and that mental challenges come later as players cannot keep up with the mechanical skills of younger players. His father, Vitality's Lars Robl, agrees: "[The decline in KPR with age] is actually first and foremost to do with a physical decline" as players' reflexes, ability to recover, and other general physical factors deteriorate.

There is more to a game with as high a skill ceiling as Counter-Strike than pure reaction time

The stresses of a career in esports

Benjamin Sharpe, Cognitive Scientist and Lecturer in Psychology from the University of Chichester, emphasised the stressful nature of a career in esports, pointing to his recent paper that showed esports players recorded lower sleep quality and higher depression scores when compared to a non-athlete. Career dissatisfaction, whether that is from poor performance, interpersonal issues in teams, the public nature of competition, or huge amounts of travel is understandably linked to anxiety and stress.

The public narrative that players in their mid-to-late 20s are close to retirement can also increase stress for players, according to MAD Lions' Martina Čubrić: "Our beliefs have a strong impact on our performance at all ages." Stress is a familiar topic in CS, with players such as Lukas "⁠gla1ve⁠" Rossander, Andreas "⁠Xyp9x⁠" Højsleth, and Nicolai "⁠device⁠" Reedtz all taking breaks from competition citing burnout and mental health. Many players, though, do not take these mental health breaks, something that clearly leads to shorter careers.

Workloads

Though most of these stressors are applicable in traditional sports too, workloads in esports remain even longer — and arguably just as intense mentally — than athletes' training schedules. A 2016 study found that 61.3% of elite esports athletes trained for more than 5 hours per day, which is less than the often-quoted 8-hour workday but still a serious amount of intense training.

It is more than just practice, too; the tournament circuit is jam-packed with events. Tier one teams are faced with the prospect of travelling to several LANs a month, whilst those in the tier below are denied real breaks as open qualifier after open qualifier is scheduled.

Endpoint's Callum Abbott warned against such long workdays, at least in the basic form of day-long scrims: "Very rarely (if ever) will a pro football player go to a venue with their whole team to play against another whole team for 5 days back-to-back (like we see in esports in scrims) [...] They may train for long periods of time, but this will be partitioned into different aspects such as fitness, strategy and technique with regular breaks incorporated, but we see less of this currently in esports."

device's health issues have kept him sidelined for 5 months now

The habits of CS:GO's first players, with practice from 6 PM to midnight after-school commonplace. "My retirement had nothing to do with my age, but everything to do with my desires, my workload, my stress levels, and my lack of desire to continue at the time," Pimp explains. "I peaked at 17 or 18. Most of my opponents were the same age, a few older [...] Had I played in an era where teams would practice from 10:00-16:00, [and] thus be allowed to have a life outside of gaming, I'm 100% sure I'd have lasted way, way longer."

Dan "⁠apEX⁠" Madesclaire has gone on record to 1PV of how reducing his workload has improved his life balance, something that is surely a key reason why he is still competing at the very top of CS:GO, though now as an in-game-leader rather than a domineering entry fragger. It is an approach common for many of the game's top players these days, and a key reason for that is the game's increased professionalism.

Professionalism

Given the continued oversaturation of events, it is a relief that, for most teams, the 8 hours of scrims of years gone by have been replaced in many teams by 3 or 4 high-quality scrims supplemented by tactical work and time in the gym. The impact of Astralis' sports psychologist Mia Stellberg en route to victory at ELEAGUE Major Atlanta is well documented — perhaps overly so — but much of what she said at the time rings true to modern approaches: "I think the biggest problem is that players travel 200 days a year and quit at 24 because they simply burn out [...] I've made the boys run and go to the gym, forgo Red Bulls and burgers, and tell them to go to bed in time."

Now, professionals like Stellberg are part of the furniture in organisations; Martin "⁠STYKO⁠" Styk told HLTV that getting in talks with "physiotherapists, nutritionists, and athletes from other sports" are a must for players now, while he has spoken at length on his blog of the importance of sleep, posture, diet, and hand exercises even he ignored for the first half of his career, something re-iterated by the psychologists we spoke to.

One member of that Astralis side was Peter "⁠dupreeh⁠" Rasmussen, who has a higher rating 2.0 in 2022 aged 29 (1.10) than his career average of 1.09 — he is a shining example of a player who has managed to extend their career without sacrificing fragging power. Lars Robl, who has worked with dupreeh since 2018 throughout the Astralis era and now at Vitality, told us that working with dupreeh has seen him revisit his "DNA" as a CS:GO athlete: "Peter is aware of not relying on his past successes and to renew his — what we define as — conditions for functioning."

Yet, sports psychology is not a magic wand — Markus "⁠Kjaerbye⁠" Kjærbye, MVP of that win at Atlanta, retired at 23, saying he "no longer had the hunger and determination to compete at the top level." He later told Dexerto that he had not listened to his body or respected his mental health in his career, in the same interview he announced he was returning from his retirement. "Just sitting down and only playing Counter-Strike is not what brings out the best version of myself," he said.

Kjaerbye's MVP and victory at the 2017 ELEAGUE Major, when he was just 18, has thus far been his career peak

A work-life balance

It does not have to be stress or demotivation that curtails a player's career, of course. More positive aspects of what comes with age, like family and relationships, can also reduce a player's propensity to compete. gla1ve took paternity leave in 2021, while one of the primary factors in Nick "⁠nitr0⁠" Cannella's decision to switch to the more NA-friendly travel schedule of VALORANT in 2020 was to be at home with his newly-born child more often. Increased responsibility is an inevitable product of age.

Managed correctly, out-of-game 'distractions' can actually prolong and improve careers: The grind that accompanies a teenager's path to pro carries a "huge risk that these young athletes do not develop an identity other than that of an athlete", explains Lars Robl. "That might be sufficient as long as the athletes have success in the game. But when they reach the point where they lack success I often see them continue too long towards a "dead-end" because the alternative to the identity as an athlete does not exist and that is even scarier than the dead-end they are facing. And that is what leads to burnout, depression etc." Again, both Robls are in agreement: "If all [a player] has is esport and esport is not going well then life is not going well."

Battling this phenomenon is not easy; the 15,000 hours Ilya "⁠m0NESY⁠" Osipov has sunk into CS:GO already is a direct reason he is one of the best AWPers in the world at the age of 16. What can be done, then, to make sure someone like m0NESY does not burn out?

A key factor for Lars Robl are the role models who can "show — even though they do not possess it themselves — what it takes to be a professional athlete on the esport scene," "paving the way for the next generation." It is often assumed that the professionalism of the upper echelons of the scene, with shining examples like that of Finn "⁠karrigan⁠" Andersen or Patrik "⁠f0rest⁠" Lindberg and the YouTube content of Jonathan "⁠EliGE⁠" Jablonowski and STYKO, will create a virtuous cycle whereby good habits will trickle down to up-and-coming players, but it is no guarantee that young players will come to this conclusion themselves.

However, as the 'wild west' of esports is gradually brought more in line with conventional sports, these players are coming into contact with health professionals and better habits earlier. Infrastructure like the WePlay Academy League motivates organisations to find players earlier in their development, thus being able to drum in correct practice earlier.

Infrastructure in Counter-Strike keeps improving with the advent of events like the WePlay Academy League

Financial stability

Another change for today's up-and-comers is that a career in esports today is far more stable than in years gone by. For Michelle Pain, this is an especially important point, as she believes a major reason for early retirement was how "esports careers are unstable, and in some regions (mine in particular, in OCE/ANZ) financially non-viable [...] Professional esports players — like in traditional sports — have pressure in their mid-20s to 'have a normal life' (unless they are spectacularly and financially successful) from their family and friends."

Yet, we have not completed this journey. Teams like Bad News Eagles, Looking For Org, and Party Astronauts have competed at tier one events in 2022 without an organisation supporting them. But, progress has been made. Now 28, roeJ was proficient at 1.6 but told Thorin of how he only began playing CS:GO at 23 after watching tournaments that proved "it could be a way of living."

Bad News Eagles have qualified for the Major without the backing of an organisation

Experience is good, actually

Our experts were also at pains to point out the positives experience brings to a team. Anthony "⁠ImpressioN⁠" Lim is "more confident than ever" at 26 due to improved knowledge both of the game and of how to improve. Pain echoed this, saying that "with more experience, you can become 'wily' and [...] compensate for decreasing reflexes using pre-aim and a better understanding of angles." Experience, according to NBK-, also means that players can "fill spots easier, supporting youngsters that [...] can overtake games" while Troels Robl pointed out that age also forces players to think in different ways — "you don't need to react as fast if you can anticipate the action of your opponent."

Leadership is another thing that seems to come with age, as Edgar Chekera spells out: "Older players [have] developed the ability to communicate more effectively with not only players but also coaches. They seem to be more aware of their emotions and have resources that can help manage them in the toughest of situations." Čubrić points to several studies that show "anticipation of movements, strategy, team leadership, and cognitive skills such as verbal abilities, spatial reasoning, simple math abilities and abstract reasoning skills stay intact or even improve in middle age."

Late bloomers like roeJ and Rafael "⁠saffee⁠" Costa, meanwhile, prove that age does not always have to be a weight on your shoulders. "In terms of maturity, way of working and [...] functioning well in a team environment I definitely think my age has helped me," roeJ told HLTV. "But then on the other hand not really being able to grind 140 hours every 2 weeks to be able to reach my absolute individual peak is one of the bad things [...] Life is just so easier when you're living at home being young and you don't have much to worry about in life other than doing what you like." On the value of maturity, Čubrić agreed: "[Our] brains are fully developed by the age of 25. That means that emotional bursts, impulsivity and ‘high highs & low lows’ are less likely to happen once over 25 years of age."

Maintaining motivation through metas

Another reason that age might correlate with a decrease in performance is simply that old habits die hard. Counter-Strike is a fluid game that has meta shifts every event; players who have been active in the scene for so long actively have to 'un-learn' things that they have done for years. In an interview at ESL Pro League karrigan raised this point: "You also have to think about the level people are playing at right now compared to five years ago. It’s so tough to stay individually in form." STYKO, too, argues that the game is harder now: "Years ago some teams were easy to out-aim and win based on that. Now, you have to think about all different tricks and strats at any time, even against full-eco, to make sure you do not lose your fight that eventually could cost you a round and a game. Complexity of the game went up, focus has to naturally follow."

The challenge of staying in-meta and skilled enough to compete with the new generation is one that either makes or breaks a player's career, and the buzzword we hear all the time around this point is motivation. For Pain, motivation is all about goal setting — "if a player is unmotivated [...] you need to make sure there are achievable steps that lead to success in [...] the next step on their journey," something especially applicable to karrigan, who is still hunting the era that could make him the greatest in-game leader of all time.

karrigan, at 32, is the IGL of the best team in the world

NBK-, though, believes that players need to be able to perform even when they lack motivation. "You're always as good as your last tournament result and to keep a competitive level you have to work on your discipline every day. Motivation comes and goes, consistency will bring you further." This was similar to the point of Chekera, who said that he "likes to emphasise that commitment will always trump motivation [to his players]." He added that "if you're looking to constantly be motivated, you're looking at something that is really unstable."

Can the impact of aging be prevented? Or merely delayed?

As we said in the last article, every career is different, as is every peak. The topic of age is unbelievably nuanced, despite the clear trend observed in HLTV Top 20 players peaking in their early 20s. Counter-Strike is a game and scene that evolves rapidly, and the 'peak age' for star players of 20-24 I theorized in the last article may seem naive or downright stupid in ten years' time, as more and more players take the advice of STYKO and their sports psychologists. This is a point Pimp emphasised: "CS:GO has only been out for less than 10 years, how can we possibly know [...] if Aleksandr "⁠s1mple⁠" Kostyliev or Mathieu "⁠ZywOo⁠" Herbaut are going to be 'stars' in five years' time?"

Ultimately, though, it is a case of delaying rather than preventing age-related decline. Even for a professional with as good habits as STYKO, the effects of ageing are felt: "You sometimes struggle to stay focused for 12 hours and keep playing — something that was no issue when I was 19 or 20." He added, "I personally struggle when I do not take breaks each hour for a couple of minutes [like] in open qualifier marathons [...] the commitment to the game has to be absolutely 100% at any given time and that is exhausting." roeJ commented on this too, saying that "not really being able to grind 140 hours every 2 weeks to be able to reach my absolute individual peak is one of the bad things" that comes with age.

Like in nearly every scientific piece, the only conclusion we can reach is that more research and data are needed. Can the current generation of players, who have had access to healthcare professionals throughout their career, carry on posting superstar numbers into their late 20s and early 30s? We will just have to wait and see.

Read more
When do Counter-Strike players peak?

You can find the psychologists who contributed to this article here:

- Michelle Pain: Twitter; Website
- Benjamin Sharpe: Twitter; His Research
- Callum Abbott: Twitter
- Edward Cleland: Twitter; Website
- Edgar Chekera: Twitter; Website
- Troels Robl: Twitter
- Lars Robl: Twitter
- Martina Čubrić: Twitter

To see the full interviews with everyone who contributed to the article, click here.

France Nathan 'NBK-' Schmitt
Nathan 'NBK-' Schmitt
Age:
28
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
2050
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.67
United States Nick 'nitr0' Cannella
Nick 'nitr0' Cannella
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
1369
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.66
Denmark Markus 'Kjaerbye' Kjærbye
Markus 'Kjaerbye' Kjærbye
Age:
24
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
1519
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.66
Brazil Rafael 'saffee' Costa
Rafael 'saffee' Costa
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.22
Maps played:
364
KPR:
0.81
DPR:
0.61
Denmark Fredrik 'roeJ' Jørgensen
Fredrik 'roeJ' Jørgensen
Age:
28
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
865
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.69
France Dan 'apEX' Madesclaire
Dan 'apEX' Madesclaire
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
1953
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.70
Denmark Andreas 'Xyp9x' Højsleth
Andreas 'Xyp9x' Højsleth
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
1934
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.61
Sweden Patrik 'f0rest' Lindberg
Patrik 'f0rest' Lindberg
Age:
34
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
2083
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.65
Russia Ilya 'm0NESY' Osipov
Ilya 'm0NESY' Osipov
Age:
17
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.20
Maps played:
221
KPR:
0.79
DPR:
0.61
United States Jonathan 'EliGE' Jablonowski
Jonathan 'EliGE' Jablonowski
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1582
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.68
Denmark Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussen
Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussen
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1903
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.65
Denmark Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.16
Maps played:
1793
KPR:
0.78
DPR:
0.62
Denmark Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Age:
32
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.91
Maps played:
1972
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.69
Denmark Jacob 'Pimp' Winneche
Jacob 'Pimp' Winneche
Age:
26
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
976
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.64
Denmark Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossander
Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossander
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
1642
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.66
France Mathieu 'ZywOo' Herbaut
Mathieu 'ZywOo' Herbaut
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.27
Maps played:
970
KPR:
0.85
DPR:
0.62
Slovakia Martin 'STYKO' Styk
Martin 'STYKO' Styk
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
1527
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.66
Singapore Anthony 'ImpressioN' Lim
Anthony 'ImpressioN' Lim
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
663
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.68
Ukraine Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Age:
24
Rating 1.0:
1.25
Maps played:
1532
KPR:
0.86
DPR:
0.64
going to be the first 50 year old major winner
2022-05-04 22:45
6 replies
i wanna see old man f0rest still popping heads in his 50s
2022-05-05 02:17
1 reply
+1
2022-05-05 11:03
So well written!! These players have no identity other than esports athlete. And when they quit cs theyre a total nobody in their town, back to square 1😅😅👌well written!!
2022-05-05 07:31
3 replies
#77
 | 
Germany Fubert
That's your takeaway from this?
2022-05-05 08:14
They maybe dont know anything else then playing cs but it doesnt mather because they will live of their savings in the future. "A total nobody in their town" everyone in sweden knows who f0rest is even if they have never played cs.
2022-05-05 17:23
1 reply
because they will live of their savings in the future u must be absolutely delusional?? even actors (with tons of millions) end up in slumps u think just cuz they earned 500k of 2million, its enough for the rest of their lives?? XDDDD u are aware that they buy rich ass houses and give family gifts, u think AFTER cs they will sell these houses etc to "live off of that" ?? xDDDD lmao esports athletes: retire at 30, u still have about 60 years to go son
2022-05-06 09:43
#2
 | 
Other Quagmire_
I agree
2022-05-04 22:45
1 reply
#113
 | 
Brazil Lok72
RIP device
2022-05-05 20:14
#FAZEUP
2022-05-04 22:46
f0rest goat no doubts
2022-05-04 22:46
> Expert take > Pimp is mentioned as one of the sources
2022-05-04 22:46
17 replies
ikkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
2022-05-04 23:00
should've interviewed HLTV users, everyone here is a qualified expert
2022-05-04 23:19
5 replies
#75
 | 
Finland oshin
+1
2022-05-05 07:45
+1 TRUEEE
2022-05-05 09:37
true
2022-05-05 09:40
can confirm
2022-05-05 10:50
very yes
2022-05-05 17:40
And? You're saying Pimp as a former professional player is not an expert in this matter?
2022-05-04 23:26
7 replies
Guy that retired at 21 and never won anything nor "peaked"? no he isnt
2022-05-05 00:17
5 replies
#50
 | 
Brazil Madamrocas
The article is about player peak. During the article, phycological factors, motivational, physical and etc, are being used to measure a ton of different things. Having a guy that decided to retire so early is extremely valuable to this article.
2022-05-05 01:52
4 replies
#56
 | 
Seychelles renatorib
+1
2022-05-05 04:01
+1
2022-05-05 08:36
+1
2022-05-05 11:22
U know what me u and pimp have in common? We all are not good enough/lazy/disinterested in being a pro csgo player which competes on highest level
2022-05-05 16:51
thats exactly what hes saying and hes right
2022-05-05 00:44
kekw
2022-05-05 04:10
hes a good analyst?
2022-05-05 05:18
ok
2022-05-04 22:48
Mental Pros get older and gets busy by irl things such as family or other things
2022-05-04 22:48
#8
sk0R | 
Mongolia TengisG
oki
2022-05-04 22:49
Another banger from ner0
2022-05-04 22:49
don't say Ok BOOMER plz
2022-05-04 22:58
go write a dissertation
2022-05-04 22:59
What is this
2022-05-04 23:02
#14
 | 
Brazil dio_scuro
yes
2022-05-04 23:02
Tldr
2022-05-04 23:04
#16
 | 
Bangladesh ImpacT_
karrigan 32 and still top1 team, thats fking crazy
2022-05-04 23:05
Im 9 and I have 3 second attention span Tldr pls
2022-05-04 23:08
I think wrist/elbow/arm problems are probably another big factor that this article didn't mention. Playing computer games many hours a day for years in a row can definitely lead to arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve/joint damage, etc. and all of that has a big impact. It doesn't just make aim and reaction time worse but it also limits how much time the player can put into the game because their wrist or arm will start hurting after playing for a bit. olof and guardian both fell off massively after it came out that they were having wrist issues. Even shox has had wrist surgery if I remember correctly and he's been nowhere close to his peak ever since then.
2022-05-04 23:15
3 replies
Especially the ones using much lower sense that need much more movement like niko.
2022-05-04 23:19
1 reply
#59
 | 
Europe Khanan
Simply don’t use low sense
2022-05-05 04:05
It didn't tell us much about the matter but acknowledged the importance of hand/arm exercises. One could expand knowledge by researching this and if you're a professional, e.g. physiotherapy, you'd be able to prolong player careers with proper hand/arm training exercises that prepare players for long training sessions and marathon matches. There are myriad of ways professional players could still optimise and improve their game while prolonging their careers.
2022-05-06 09:08
This ageism campaign is a case study on the Freudian psychology of Striker. Dude you suck and are old and are a nobody skill wise. We get it.
2022-05-04 23:17
6 replies
#33
 | 
North America barosielle
striker didnt write the article
2022-05-04 23:49
5 replies
He runs the content strategy now. Nt at deflection
2022-05-05 00:01
4 replies
#44
nitr0 | 
United States Zake_
And you came and read the article and commented, I guess striker won.
2022-05-05 01:09
hes not even that old wtf hes like 28 lol
2022-05-05 01:16
1 reply
Others retired with 20
2022-05-05 07:02
#60
 | 
Europe Khanan
? The article contains opinions of professionals, who cares
2022-05-05 04:06
Reaction time dont mean anything, F1 drivers that are past 35yo and still being competititve can prove that since F1 needs the most quicker reaction time all the time.
2022-05-04 23:17
8 replies
#61
 | 
Europe Khanan
No it doesn’t, car driving is just memory
2022-05-05 04:06
7 replies
xD the brazil guy is right, f1 drivers have insane reactions and is much more essential than in CS
2022-05-05 09:51
6 replies
#101
 | 
Europe Khanan
No it’s just memory
2022-05-05 15:01
5 replies
You're trolling right? You need reaction time in racing because tyres slip and there are other cars on track. Catching the rear end of an F1 car doesn't happen from memory.
2022-05-06 09:11
4 replies
#122
 | 
Europe Khanan
Dodging yea, some reaction time, 90% is memory, that’s why people even over 50 are very fast
2022-05-06 19:06
3 replies
There are nobody in their 50's driving F1. Oldest is Alonso at 40 yo. What you are referring to does not apply in the context of what @DelusionalBrazilian argued. At 50, you might still be a driver, but you are not driving at 300kph+. Reactions become less important in that regards, I agree, and then 'memory' is a more probable factor for succes. But nonetheless, if you do not react fast enough even in slower cars, you will inevitably crash more often.
2022-05-06 21:43
2 replies
#124
 | 
Europe Khanan
The thing I want to say is, that F1 is not comparable to Esports, it’s not a reaction based sports, it’s a mix and more based on experience and memory, a lot lot lot more than CS or other esports, excluding racing games. And with 50yo people who drive fast, I meant people that use extremely fast Porsches that are faster than F1 to break ancient records on Nurburgring Nordschleife for example. People even drive well into their 60s and 70s and higher. Driving isn’t that hard.
2022-05-06 22:09
1 reply
Ofc F1 is not directly comparable to esports. And while I agree that F1 is less about reactions than experience, the drivers you mention in their fast porsche is not actually racing anyone, they are doing time trials. In a race you cannot rely solely on memory because you have other drivers around. On a record attempt on Nürnberg you are likely alone on track. Sure, then memory and experience is probably more mportant and reactions has less of an impact. The comparable aspect of F1 to esports do still apply though even if you are not doing the same thing. You need reactions to race at 300kph+ and to be faster than your opponent in certain scenarios, just like in esports. Experience helps you both in F1 and esports as well, to make better choices based on contingencies of the race or the game. Personally I believe that professionals ability to concentrate and focus applies well for both sports and esports as well. This study is emphasising that reactions is not the sole trait of a successful player. Experience is just as important. They mention that peaks will likely come at later age. As such there is comparable aspects to racing or whatever sport. Sports are sports, after all.
2022-05-07 16:47
its probably mental when players get older there's a lot of factors coming into consideration like having kids, family etc.
2022-05-04 23:17
Dr Michelle Pain is a Christ-centred, Melbourne based sport psych working with athletes and coaches in any sport or esport, at any level. OMEGALUL
2022-05-04 23:20
#25
 | 
United States B0b3rT
Pwn and Djay are still popping off so anything is possible
2022-05-04 23:22
1 reply
#55
 | 
Pakistan LoOuU2
31 Year Old PwnAlone is in a class of his own, get that man an org already!
2022-05-05 03:16
#27
 | 
Brazil hugoooo
I can't believe there are NOT A SINGLE WORD about FalleN, fer and fnx... seriously This is all about them, specially fnx
2022-05-04 23:26
3 replies
#34
 | 
Brazil golduffrag
+1
2022-05-04 23:54
#51
 | 
Brazil Forevolt
and not talking about FalleN when they said examples of "paving the way for the next generation." ??? at least we have dus2BR now, because here it's been difficult with these articles
2022-05-05 02:07
+1 they didnt mention a single member of Imperial, not even on the other article before this and Imperial is all about 30yo guys trying to be competitive on tier1.
2022-05-05 04:33
#28
mhL | 
Russia Ishii
pychologist
2022-05-04 23:32
2 replies
+1
2022-05-05 03:06
+1 this is why i scrolled to the comments.
2022-05-05 12:42
So f0rest GOAT?
2022-05-04 23:35
Lots of psychologists talking about mental strength and no physicians/neuroscientists to actually provide a proper insight on the matter. Brain vs reflex peaks at 24 yo (avg). Under that age you would still have margin to develop, past that you will never be at your peak again. Thing is that this decay is really really slow, a 30 yo person still has pretty much the same brain vs reflex ratio than a 19 yo kid. However other parts of your body really ages much faster. Such as your back, especially if you do not have an workout routine. Try to be seated without any kind of discomfort on a shit gaming chair for 12h a day after 15 long years of the same routine, not an easy task. Wrist can also be a problem. In the end, the physical stress of being a pro gamer can be way worse than the mental issues related to it.
2022-05-04 23:47
6 replies
Good points. Definitely a physician and/or neurologist opinion on the matter may have given the piece more substance. Seems like at times the article confuses the mind with the brain. Two different things if you really think about it.
2022-05-05 01:11
Just to be clear. As a trained psychologist you learn a lot about neuroscience. More than enough about the plasticity of the brain. You don’t just learn about the «mind» as you say. You become an expert on the brain. You don’t have to be a neuroscientist to answer on this. But ofc, a neuroscientist could answer.
2022-05-05 11:47
3 replies
The plasticity of the brain changes from placing new learned processes in NEW places in the brain, to moving updated formerly learned processes to other parts of the brain at around age 16. The «changing», growing and learning ability is still high for a long time but steadily declines slowly. At around 70, learning new things and adaptivt becomes very hard. Many laymen think psychology is just about old freudian thinking and «reading people». You actually study the brain, the central nervous system, and neuroscience in general all the time. Especially in modern times. It is not apart from medicine, but partly medicine in terms of education. You can’t be a psychologist and diagnose without being an expert on the brain physically. It’s a backbone of everything you do to make choices.
2022-05-05 17:38
I didn't meant to sound "disrespectful" towards psychologists, hope you did not got offended by my post. My point being: aging is rather a physical process not related only to the brain(reflexes), and that other physical stresses from this process can also have a huge impact in the apparent loss of motivation as players age. Hence, my urge to hear the intake from other experts. IMO the article kept floating around the very same points over and over. The article named "AGE AND MOTIVATION" started by removing age itself from the equation. As you know, growing up/maturing is not necessarily related to age nor to the aging process.
2022-05-05 22:53
1 reply
I got you, absolutely. Np. I agree with you. Ageing is a physical process. My point was just an informative attempt. That psychologist are actually also experts in the physical aspects of the developement of the brain all through life and the physical effects of ageing on the brain and nervous system. A cognitive neuroscientist would be the ideal expert on this topic. But this is really a branch of psychology, including medicine, genetics, informatics etc). On the pure somatic side a specialized medical doctor would be best. Anyways, yes.. there are so many factors at play here that makes this wide topic as you point out.
2022-05-06 00:33
Otherwise I completely agree btw. The age factor is definatly overstated by many as related to performance. Your body and mind in general needs a bit more time to recover, but that’s about it. Reaction time is more than good enough with upkeep while playing. Reaction isn’t even the most important thing in cs.. knowing what will happen is. The two saying age is the main factor are not right in terms of the physical aspect for performance, if that is what they actually meant. Growing up requires you to include other aspects in your life after your workday(cs) to be healthy and stay motivated to work hard. Also, financial security is still a big problem in csgo.. one day you just get kicked and that’s it. For the orgs kids are cheaper, say yes to everything, play every damn tournament 24/7 to be able to compete/break through. In other sports(except for russian and chinese olympic athletes that get whipped) there is practice time on one side, and private time on the other. The best orgs are ofc very interested in keeping their players healthy and happy. It’s vital to their interests. But predatory use and abuse of players where they get brunt or depressed/developes anxiety, must be regulated by an organ with agreed upon standards and punishable for orgs if deemed responsible for the player’s state. Healthy standards need to be set and regulated for professional players. In sports the hardest workers win out usually. Kids have the benefit of being extremely single-minded. So becoming older just requires you to want it more and be able to make sacrifices irl(and stay healthy by eating right and working out ofc). But making these sacrifices should be rewarded by the orgs. Another problem is that players are stupidly expected to retire as soon as they reach a certain age. Just because that is how it has been before, as you did not make serious money and it was considered childish to play cs. Hard work will pay off regardless of age. Kids learn physical mechanics faster if the mechanics have never been trained before. Grown humans can learn smarter by applying experience from previous learning processes.
2022-05-05 17:02
Nice article
2022-05-04 23:43
''expert'' this guy is snake oil salesman. gibberish read
2022-05-04 23:48
Why 98% of the comments here are either from people who didn't read the article or trolls?
2022-05-04 23:56
1 reply
#36
 | 
North America barosielle
because its hltv
2022-05-04 23:58
TLDR baiters
2022-05-05 00:18
nice article!
2022-05-05 00:25
it other news water is wet. articles like this make me feel old.
2022-05-05 00:34
1 reply
yeah feels like content for the sake of content
2022-05-05 20:48
It's a combination of several factors, none of which are related to reflexes or arthritis: Playing videogames becomes less stimulating the older you get. Grinding a 12 hour day of gaming when you're 15 is easy, but becomes challenging past your mid twenties. Similar to the long-term effects of using a drug, you get less dopamine from the experience. You also have competing priorities, like paying bills and spending time with your girlfriend/wife/family. You can't afford to be locked away in a basement practicing all day like a child soldier. The practice environment is constantly being patched and updated. Younger players are practicing the most recent version of the game, but you have a wealth of experience from previous iterations. 2015 fnatic mastered a completely different game than what we play today. That early experience becomes a handicap, because it cements habits and tendencies that you then have to unlearn. A more general point is that you're only as good as your competition, and the competitive level of any game gradually increases over time. The knowledge base rises, computing power steadily improves, and individuals become more mechanically sophisticated. This means younger players are being incubated in an increasingly challenging practice environment, which raises the level they will peak at.
2022-05-05 00:54
3 replies
"That early experience becomes a handicap, because it cements habits and tendencies that you then have to unlearn." like what? lol
2022-05-05 01:18
1 reply
Like faulty muscle memory.
2022-05-05 10:01
+1
2022-05-05 05:25
CORRECT! fnx 7-time major winner confirmed.
2022-05-05 01:40
tldr, taz gonna win the next major in poland
2022-05-05 01:44
#53
 | 
United States Illusi0n1g
Im 31 years old and still dominate. On a 10 game winning streak right now
2022-05-05 02:54
4 replies
xd in gold nova 3 league?
2022-05-05 04:04
3 replies
#66
 | 
United States Illusi0n1g
Lol on faceit my main man
2022-05-05 05:10
2 replies
Ah so lvl3 then
2022-05-05 06:03
1 reply
#70
 | 
United States Illusi0n1g
lol level 1.
2022-05-05 06:04
#62
 | 
Europe Khanan
Way better than the first article that was highly flawed. However the two psychologists to again tried to make it a age matter first, are wrong. I have excellent reflexes and I’m over 35. My mental level is just high, you get slow when you think too much or are distracted. I don’t have that issue. I play better than 20 years ago, much better in fact
2022-05-05 04:08
2 replies
#85
BDSM | 
Estonia Kukkel
+1, i will make comeback when im 40, i will raise my kids and finish building home first.
2022-05-05 09:16
1 reply
#100
 | 
Europe Khanan
Good luck
2022-05-05 15:00
Mental is everything in sports and CS is no different, I think CS is mentally tougher than most physical sports when you have guys playing a t a high level for 10+ years it becomes a bit mundane and once you start not being excited to play the game thats when the form drops off big time. Young players have The mental advantage because that's all they've ever done in their lifea no distractions just the want to play CS.
2022-05-05 04:37
They say all this things and then I watch S1mple and think why all this pros cry so much, when they didn't reach that level
2022-05-05 07:00
damn HLTV just ruined all of my excuses
2022-05-05 07:42
bs, most of people after 20-25 start making a family and with new child born that all adds up so you can't spend ez 6-10hr a day @ gaming.
2022-05-05 07:52
2 replies
#78
 | 
Germany Fubert
Why would you call it "bs", when what you mentioned is literally a key point in the article, even directly referring to nitr0's switch to valorant or gla1ve taking paternity leave?
2022-05-05 08:36
1 reply
"key point in article"? Really those 2 lines sound for you like key points? It should be main point in this article unless all pros are loners and nolifers which doesn't care if he will be a father @ 30 or @ 45, so when his son goes to school he'd be already grandpa looking dad.
2022-05-06 07:18
Great article! This is a topic that has to be researched more, personally there were a few points that hit home for me as a +30 year old decent player. - Less time for CS and more happening outside of this hobby naturally leaves with less time to grind, however what it means for a competitively minded player is that time used for CS has to be optimized and used more effectively. - Age definitely brings wisdom to some extent, better communication and interpersonal skills as well as better strategic & tactical ability IF sufficient effort is put into understanding the current meta - What sets succesful older players apart from the rest of the age group has definitely a lot to do with "actively un-learning" old habits, old meta and keeping an eye on and learning the way the game is played at currently. - Not a pro player so obviously burn out etc are not an issue but I can easily imagine that to be the case for many esp in their mid 20s Good stuff, I love the direction that HLTV has taken over the past few years. This is very good and important content to be putting out. Here since '08 so I've seen it all.
2022-05-05 08:36
1 reply
#99
 | 
Lithuania Jaguar4s
+++, first point especially
2022-05-05 14:48
A nice article about professional e-sports
2022-05-05 08:43
#84
BDSM | 
Estonia Kukkel
Boomers will take over the world!
2022-05-05 09:15
#88
 | 
Italy cele87
Again this shit
2022-05-05 09:50
#92
 | 
France bjjthibz
Really interesting article, thanks for the read. As a 34yo csgo player, it helps me to know i can still expect to play Tier1 pro despite my age.
2022-05-05 10:52
#94
JUS6 | 
Finland BMurr
This age thing has always made me laugh, people think you magically become "old" and slow once you hit 30. Ridicilous. But I do think that we dont have enough data for this yet. 5-7 more years and we can really discuss this, but I do agree that it is more about the things outside of CS rather than just coming to a certain age.
2022-05-05 11:09
#96
 | 
World boooq
Interesting read, thank you!
2022-05-05 11:23
Very nice article, congrats hltv!
2022-05-05 15:05
measure reaction time when your 20. measure reaction time when your 30, 40. do this for 1000 ppl. profit
2022-05-05 17:29
#109
 | 
Canada loldougie
If you really thought that the drop-off was physical, then I seriously question your intelligence. There are goalies in their mid-late 30's in the NHL catching pucks out of the air at 100MPH, and people are out here thinking that 28 year olds can't flick their wrists anymore lmaooooo
2022-05-05 17:56
I'm 35 years old and have a sub 150ms reaction time. Age would only become a factor in regards to reflexes in CSGO starting in your mid 30s. I'd attribute the decline in pro players' performance to lack of motivation.
2022-05-05 18:39
Good recovery and addition to the former article! Good job on making the desicion to write this counter to fill up the numbers with some research, good questions and answers. Correlation and causation are two very different things. This will be an interesting on-going topic that i suspect will move towards the research found in other team sports as esports become more professional, finacially rewarding and socially acceptable as a real career path. The age will increase gradually. Especially if a new version of cs will be ported over to a new engine well enough to be a real substitute. Cs needs to become like football or basketball etc as in the basics of the game needs to be perpetual in perpetuity like a football field or basketball court.. a stabile environment regardless of updates of engines etc… enough has to stay the same. Skills have to be transferrable and both players and fans have to recognize what they love. CS is such a good and pure game for competition. Not too much, not too little. It has shallow aspects for those who like highlights or noobs, and it has enourmous depth at its very best. Just like any long lasting sport. Keep it going Volvo!
2022-05-05 19:00
#112
rain | 
Poland SebL
I really like those sort of articles, I really like what those new writers bring to HLTV, really good job, well done guys! <3
2022-05-05 19:26
very interesting read. Nice to see this kind of article
2022-05-05 21:27
very well written and informative thank you
2022-05-09 17:46
Good read
2022-05-10 00:17
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