Professional gaming has really come of age over the past decade. Not long ago, playing video or computer games professionally wasn’t really a career to which most people could aspire. Some passionate gamers became game reviewers and earned a little money that way. Others played in semi-professional leagues, but it wasn’t really possible to earn a living by playing games. A new computer would be about the most that you could hope to receive for winning a tournament.
During the 2010s, though, three things happened that made it more realistic than ever for aspiring professional gamers – even those who didn’t necessarily have the world’s most amazing skills – to earn real money.
- Content creators on YouTube have learned that they can earn decent money by creating compelling content like game reviews and “Let’s Play” videos. They can fund the creation of those videos via Patreon and/or by displaying advertisements.
- Twitch appeared and gave gamers of all interests and skill levels the ability to earn money from streaming their gaming sessions live.
- eSports audiences grew rapidly, leading to lucrative sponsorships and much larger prize pools for tournaments. For the first time, the world’s best competitive gamers could turn professional and do extremely well financially.
Professional Gaming Is Hard: Any Edge Can Help
Although earning money as a gamer is more realistic now than ever before, that definitely doesn’t mean it’s easy. Playing games is like eating; it’s part of the human experience, and just about everyone does it. Whether you aspire to reach the top ranks of competitive gaming or game streaming, you’re going to have plenty of competition.
- You essentially need to be in the 99.9th percentile – or better – in your chosen game to even have a chance of earning money as a competitive gamer. It’s a bit like being a professional athlete. Even the worst minor league baseball player is infinitely better at the game than an amateur player, but most minor league players will never reach the major leagues.
- If you want to earn money by recording or streaming your gaming sessions, skill isn’t an absolute requirement – but you do need to have a great personality and a willingness to keep your audience constantly engaged. If you stream your games live, you have to engage your audience while playing – and you need to do it for hours at a time. Streaming games is a little like being an actor, and the film is always rolling.
Regardless of the path you choose, making money as a gamer is something that many people will try to do, but only a few will ever succeed. If anything could give you even a tiny edge, it could dramatically increase your potential for success – and that’s why many professional gamers are exploring the wide world of supplements. Could CBD be the supplement that helps you elevate your game to the next level?
What Does the World Anti-Doping Agency Say About CBD?
The Electronic Sports League uses the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances, which does not include CBD. The list does include THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. ESL does permit competitors to use cannabis outside of tournaments, but testing positive for THC before or during a tournament may result in sanctions. The detection threshold for THC is set somewhat high to allow for cannabis use outside of competitive settings.
Since CBD is not on the WADA’s banned substances list, you are free to use it during tournaments. To be absolutely certain that using CBD won’t trigger a false positive result in a test for THC, though, you’ll want to use only products with CBD isolate, which contains no detectable THC.
How to Use CBD for eSports
There’s an enormous variety of different CBD products on the market today, but the two types of CBD products that most concern professional gamers are oral products and topical products. When you take CBD orally, it enters your general circulation. Topical CBD, on the other hand, allows you to target a specific area of the body. Topical CBD products absorb quickly through the skin, so you can use them as needed. Oral CBD products, meanwhile, take a bit longer to build up in your system, so you’ll probably have the best experience with products like CBD capsules and CBD oil if you take them about an hour before events.
Now, here’s the big question: Could CBD actually have any benefits for eSports? Let’s examine some of the published research and see if it holds any potential answers for that question.
Is There Any Scientific Research Supporting CBD for eSports?
- Soreness and inflammation: Mice and keyboards aren’t exactly the world’s most ergonomic tools, so eSports gamers routinely experience strain in their arms and wrists from repetitive motion. The medical journal Antioxidants published a review of CBD as an anti-inflammatory agent in 2020. The review found ample evidence that CBD fights inflammation and reduces oxidative stress.
- Concentration and alertness: Alertness and mental acuity are always among the top concerns for professional gamers. Whether you’re a tournament player or a streamer, you’re going to spend long sessions in front of the computer – and your ability to remain alert is going to have a major impact on your earning potential. One of the interesting things about CBD is that people have used it as an aid both for insomnia and for daytime alertness as it appears to help modulate both aspects of the sleep-wake cycle. A 2014 review published in Current Neuropharmacology examined that property of CBD. The review found that CBD seems to have wake-inducing properties, which suggests that it could be beneficial for maintaining alertness.
- Anxiety: Whether you’re about to compete in a major tournament or stream a game for an audience of thousands, the last thing that you need is a bout with anxiety. Anxiety can take the fun out of any gaming experience, and it can also impede your concentration and hamper your performance. The anxiolytic action of CBD is well documented. However, anxiety comes in many forms, and it may be a while before research definitively establishes the types of situations in which CBD may be most useful. A 2019 study published in Frontiers in Psychology may provide us with a clue. In the study, 37 young adults diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder were given either CBD or a placebo each day for one month. At the conclusion of the study, the subjects who were given CBD had markedly decreased anxiety scores. The anxiety scores of the subjects who were given a placebo remained about the same.
No two people are exactly the same, of course, so it’s possible that you may not notice a benefit from using CBD. Given the vast amount of research pointing to CBD’s potential benefits, though – and the fact that using CBD seems to be quite safe – there’s really no reason not to give it a try and see how it works for you.