If you think that gamers (i.e., people who play video games) are just a bunch of teens and that “eSports” (a form of competition using video games) is an oxymoron, you are sadly behind the times. Today most gamers are adults who spend hours each week eGaming, and eSports has become so mainstream that it will be one of the 37 sports played at the next Asian Games. Even the International Olympic Committee has acknowledged the popularity of eSports. In 2021 an eGaming competition took place in Tokyo immediately prior to the official start of the Olympic games.
Esports present a wealth of market opportunities
In the vitamins and supplements space, the multi-billion-dollar eGaming and eSports industry presents enormous market opportunities for product development.
Like all athletes, professional gamers carefully manage their diet, mental and physical health, and supplement regimen. Both professional and casual gamers are interested in vitamins and supplements that will help them perform at their peak.
The top eSports athletes spend hours each day in grueling practice sessions. Games require a consistent level of energy, cognition, and concentration. Gamers are looking for supplements that will support this. All those hours spent in front of a screen can impact players’ eye health, while keeping the same muscles in the same positions for long period of time can impact joint health. Many eSports players and eGaming enthusiasts also struggle with sleep, as they find it hard to get their brains to “shut down” after being hyper-alert for so long. Gamers are looking for supplements to address all of these issues, too.
Top eGaming athletes have tremendous influence
Something to keep in mind from the product development standpoint is the economics of the eSports industry. For professional gamers, eGaming can bring in considerable income. The most common path to making money as a pro is to attract a big following of fans, monetize this following through donations and subscriptions, and then eventually also garner corporate sponsorships. This is why the most popular gamers will regularly interact with their fans, sometimes even competing against them.
For their part, eSports fans often seek to emulate their favorite players’ health routines. In an effort to reach their own eGaming peak performance as well, they’ll follow the same diet and take the same supplements as the players they admire.
What gamers are looking for in supplements
When looking for vitamins and supplements, both casual and professional gamers tend to want the same thing. The market opportunities are greatest for products that are…
- Effective – Supplements that help improve performance as described, ideally backed by scientific evidence
- Convenient – Supplements that are easy and pleasant to take, with capsules and gummies being the two most popular dosage forms.
- Natural – Supplements with clean labels, made from natural ingredients
The most promising product development categories
Gamers are interested in supplements that support all aspects of peak performance:
- Energy – Gamers need the energy to play consistently well through long practice sessions and games, but they want to avoid the jitteriness, anxiety, and dizziness associated with energy drinks. Ingredients that may help with energy include arginine silicate, which in a double-blind placebo-controlled study boosted performance in a few different ways, [i] and L-carnitine, which is backed by years of research.
- Cognition – eSports are fast-paced games in which players often must quickly process a great deal of information, use deductive reasoning and make and act upon decisions. An open label study has shown that Aronia melanocarpa extract can improve important aspects of cognition, including perceived focus, eye-hand coordination, concentration, and reaction times.[ii] Other ingredients to consider include ashwagandha, green tea extract and L-theanine.
- Sleep – Lack of sleep can slow reaction times, reduce hand-eye coordination and cause confusion. Both melatonin and magnesium supplements can be helpful in this area.
- Eye health – Supplements that contain a specific blend of lutein and zeaxanthin isomers can help protect the eyes against the blue light damage that can be caused by digital devices. Bilberry and Vitamin A can also help support eye health.
- Joint health – Long stretches of time spent gaming can play havoc can cause significant joint pain. Fish oil supplements can support joint health through an anti-inflammatory affect, while glucosamine tablets can help prevent bones from rubbing against each other.
Sports nutrition brands that want to expand into the eSports market may be pleasantly surprised to realize that some of their existing products already fit the bill. If you want to create a new product for a capsule dosage form, or simply make some changes to an existing product to better meet the needs of this market, CapsCanada’s formulation experts are available to assist you.
[i] Tartar JL, Kalman D, Hewlings S. A Prospective Study Evaluating the Effects of a Nutritional Supplement Intervention on Cognition, Mood States, and Mental Performance in Video Gamers. Nutrients. 2019 Oct; 11(10): 2326.
[ii] Proprietary Aronia berry extract improves acute and short-term gaming performance in a young, healthy gamer population: study report. BioActor B.V. Brightlands Health Campus Gaetano Martinolaan 85, 6229GS Maastricht, Netherlands. Unpublished. March 29, 2021: 19 pgs.