Preparing for the Big Game: Esports Pre-match Routines

Updated On: February 28, 2024 by   Aaron Connolly   Aaron Connolly  

The anticipation is palpable, your palms slightly clammy, and heart aflutter with each passing second. It’s a familiar scene for those among us who appreciate that the mental battle often matches the intensity of any skill-based contest.

Reassuringly, research corroborates our understanding: A robust pre-match routine is instrumental in elevating one’s performance on the virtual battlefield. Our guide promises to provide you with actionable advice to sharpen your focus and maintain composure even when the pressure mounts.

So take a deep breath and read on—it’s almost time to step into the arena!

Key Takeaways

  • Establishing a pre – match routine helps esports players reduce distractions and build confidence, leading to better focus and performance during games.
  • Incorporating breath work, meditation, and visualisation techniques into your routine can significantly reduce anxiety levels and eliminate pre-game jitters.
  • Getting a good night’s sleep is critical; it sharpens focus and maintains cognitive function, which is vital for fast-paced decision-making in esports.
  • Preparing for your opponent by studying their tactics and visualising success enhances mental preparation and provides a competitive edge in gameplay.
  • Arriving early on game day allows time to acclimate to the environment, check equipment, and engage with pre-game rituals that set the stage for peak performance.

The Importance of Having a Pre-Match Routine in Esports

Having a pre-match routine in esports is crucial as it helps reduce distractions, builds confidence, reduces anxiety, and focuses the mind for peak performance. It sets the stage for success and prepares players mentally and physically for the game ahead.

The Importance of Having a Pre-Match Routine in Esports

Reduces distractions

We know the thrill of entering an esports match; it’s easy to lose focus with all the excitement and noise around. A solid pre-match routine helps clear your mind of any clutter, keeping you sharp and attentive to in-game situations.

Distractions can come from anywhere – social media buzz, a noisy environment, or even our own wandering thoughts. By following a set agenda before every game, we cut down these interruptions significantly.

Our practice sessions aren’t just about reflexes and strategies; they also forge the mental discipline we need on game day. We drill ourselves to ignore external distractions and hone in on our pregame rituals – whether that’s reviewing last-minute tactics or getting into the zone with deep breathing exercises.

This single-minded focus is what separates us from casual players; it pushes us closer to peak performance when every move counts.

Builds confidence

Developing a pre-match routine is crucial for building confidence in esports. By establishing a consistent routine and engaging in mental preparation techniques such as visualisation and positive self-talk, players can boost their self-assurance before the big game.

This helps them to approach competitions feeling poised, relaxed, and confident in their skills, which is essential for peak performance. Additionally, well-known athletes like NBA stars Steph Curry and Lebron James have demonstrated how pre-game rituals contribute to their confidence and success on the court.

By investing time in mental preparation through a solid pre-match routine, players can significantly impact their performance when it matters most. The development of iron discipline and the practice of visualisation techniques are proven methods that contribute to reducing anxiety while enhancing focus – important aspects for building confidence before stepping into an esports competition.

Reduces anxiety

By establishing a pre-match routine, players can effectively reduce anxiety before competitions. This sense of calmness is essential for maintaining focus and composure during intense gaming sessions.

By incorporating relaxation techniques and mental preparation exercises into their routines, gamers can create an environment that diminishes feelings of nervousness and uncertainty, allowing them to approach the game with confidence and clarity.

Professional athletes across various fields use similar strategies to manage pre-game jitters, showing the effectiveness of these methods in combating performance anxiety.

Focuses the mind

Focusing the mind before a big game is crucial for esports players. By practising techniques like meditation and visualisation, gamers can sharpen their mental focus. This helps in reducing distractions and enhancing concentration during gameplay, leading to improved performance and decision-making on match day.

Players should also incorporate breathing exercises into their pre-match routine to calm nerves and promote a clear state of mind. Additionally, arriving early at the venue allows them to acclimatise to the environment, further honing their focus before stepping into the competition zone.

Moving beyond physical preparations, defining success and visualising positive outcomes can reinforce mental fortitude. These components combined help in concentrating thoughts towards achieving peak performance when it matters most – during gameplay.

Tips for Developing a Pre-Game Routine

Establish a routine, get a good night’s sleep, practice meditation, and prepare for your opponent. Read on to learn more about how to improve your pre-match routine for esports tournaments.

Establish a routine

To establish a routine, begin by setting aside specific times each day for gaming practice and mental preparation. This consistency can help reduce distractions, build confidence, and create a sense of control over your pre-match routine.

Additionally, include activities such as meditation and visualisation to enhance focus and concentration during gameplay. Furthermore, ensure that your routine encompasses proper nutrition and hydration to maintain peak physical performance on game day.

By incorporating these elements into your daily regimen, you can effectively prepare yourself for the big competition.

By developing a consistent pre-match routine, gamers can reduce anxiety and improve their overall performance through focused mental preparation techniques. These efforts contribute to feeling poised, relaxed, confident in skill at the start of competitions while eliminating potential distractions.

Get a good night’s sleep

After establishing a routine, the next crucial step is to ensure you get a good night’s sleep. Adequate rest is essential for sharpening your focus and maintaining optimal cognitive function during gameplay.

Research shows that sleep deprivation can lead to decreased reaction times, impaired decision-making, and reduced hand-eye coordination – all critical skills in esports competitions.

To maximise your performance on game day, aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, creating an optimal environment with minimal distractions and comfortable bedding.

Practise meditation

To enhance our focus and concentration before a big esports match, we can practice meditation. This technique helps calm our mind and reduce pre-game jitters, allowing us to enter the game with a clear and focused mindset.

By incorporating meditation into our pre-match routine, we can effectively manage anxiety and improve our overall performance.

By dedicating time to meditate as part of our preparation for the big game, we set ourselves up for success by honing in on mental clarity and composure. Engaging in this mindful practice not only primes us for peak performance but also contributes to reducing distractions during gameplay.

Prepare for your opponent

As we shift our focus from meditation to preparing for your opponent, it’s essential to understand the importance of analysing and studying your competitor. By carefully studying their previous games and strategic moves, you can gain valuable insights that will help you anticipate their next move during the big game.

Understanding your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses is vital in formulating an effective game plan that can give you a competitive edge. Additionally, visualising yourself overcoming your opponent can boost your confidence and mental preparedness for the upcoming match.

Maintaining a tactical approach while preparing for your opponent is crucial; this involves devising counter-strategies based on thorough analysis of their gameplay patterns and tendencies.

The Two Phases of Pre-Match Preparation

The night before the big game is crucial for resting, visualising the upcoming match, and mentally preparing for what’s to come. On game day, focus shifts to physical readiness, warm-up routines, and final mental preparations before entering the gaming arena.

The night before

The night before a big esports competition, it’s crucial to get a restful night’s sleep. This will help in reducing anxiety and ensuring that you are mentally sharp for the upcoming match.

Practising relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation can also calm your mind and prepare you for the next day’s challenges.

Planning out your strategy for the game and visualising successful scenarios can help build confidence and focus. Additionally, make sure to eat a nutritious meal and stay hydrated to keep your body in top condition for peak performance on game day.

Game day

On match day, it’s crucial to stick to the pre-match routine you’ve developed. Arrive early to ensure you have time to get into the right headspace and mentally prepare for the competition ahead.

Visualise success, focus on your breathing, and remind yourself of your defined goals. Hydrate and eat well to sustain energy levels throughout gameplay, and stay mindful of staying in the present moment amidst any nerves or excitement.

Maintaining a consistent pre-game routine helps in reducing distractions, building confidence, overcoming anxiety, and honing concentration skills. It contributes significantly to optimising your performance when competing at an elite level.

Key Components to Include in a Pre-Match Routine

Define success by setting specific and achievable goals for yourself. Incorporate breath work and meditation to calm your mind and focus on the task ahead. Visualise your performance and prepare mentally for the game.

Arrive early to get settled in, warm up, and focus on being present in the moment before the big match.

Define success

Success in esports can be defined as achieving your personal goals and performing at your best during a game. It involves executing strategies effectively, making impactful decisions, and contributing to the team’s overall success.

For esports players, success may also mean maintaining focus throughout the game, demonstrating exceptional skills, and adapting quickly to unexpected situations. In addition to individual achievements, success in esports often encompasses teamwork, effective communication with teammates, and contributing positively to the overall outcome of the match.

Achieving success in esports requires a combination of mental preparedness, skill execution, and strategic thinking. It’s about staying composed under pressure and delivering top performances when it matters most.

Breath work

As part of our pre-match routine, incorporating breath work can help to calm the mind and reduce anxiety, creating a focused state for the upcoming game. Deep breathing exercises can be a powerful tool in managing pregame jitters and improving concentration.

By practising controlled breathing techniques, esports players can regulate their nervous system, promoting a sense of calmness and mental clarity. This simple yet effective method allows gamers to enter into the match with a clear and composed mindset, ready to perform at their best.

– Visualisation


After mastering the technique of breath work, we move on to visualisation. Visualising success can be a powerful tool in an esports player’s pre-match routine. It involves creating mental images of oneself executing perfect moves, making precise decisions, and winning the game.

When combined with positive self-talk and deep breathing techniques, visualisation can significantly reduce anxiety and build self-confidence. Additionally, studies have shown that athletes who use visual imagery before competing are better able to concentrate during the actual event.

By incorporating detailed visualisations into your pre-match routine, you can mentally rehearse different scenarios, anticipate challenges from opponents, and strategise your gameplay effectively.

Arriving early

Arriving early is a crucial component of your pre-match routine. This allows you to settle in, familiarise yourself with the environment, and mentally prepare for the game ahead. It also gives you time to check your equipment and ensure that everything is in proper working order.

Additionally, arriving early provides an opportunity to observe and learn from other players, gaining insights that may prove valuable during the match.

The importance of being punctual cannot be overstated; it sets the tone for your mindset going into the game day and demonstrates professionalism. Arriving early affords you the chance to focus on being present in the moment while eliminating any unnecessary stress or rush before competition begins.

Focusing on being in the moment

Focusing on being in the moment is crucial for esports players as it helps to channel all attention and energy into the present game. By centring their focus on the current moment, gamers can block out distractions and maintain peak performance during gameplay.

This mental technique enables athletes to stay engaged with their surroundings, make split-second decisions, and execute strategies effectively. Embracing this approach fosters a sense of mindfulness that optimises a player’s reaction time and overall gameplay experience.

Integrating techniques such as deep breathing exercises and visualisation into pre-match routines aids in achieving optimal concentration levels. These methods support esport players in grounding themselves before competition, reinforcing their ability to stay focused on winning moves during intense gaming sessions.

Final Thoughts and Resources for Improving Your Pre-Match Routine

Enhancing your pre-match routine can make a significant impact on your performance. Utilise visualization and positive self-talk to boost your mental preparation. Consider incorporating the rituals of successful athletes like Steph Curry and Lebron James for inspiration.

Mastering a killer pregame routine is key to maximising success in the big game. Now, let’s dive into some valuable resources that will help take your match day preparation to the next level.


In conclusion, pre-match routines are crucial for esports players, helping to reduce distractions, build confidence, and narrow focus. Developing a routine that includes elements such as visualisation, breath work, and defining success can lead to improved performance on game day.

With preparation beginning days in advance and a focus on mental discipline and physical well-being, gamers can set themselves up for success in the big game.


1. What should I include in my esports pre-match routine?

Include meditation for focus, hydration and nutrition practices, and anxiety reduction techniques to boost self-confidence.

2. How does sports psychology help players before a big game?

Sports psychology provides strategies for match day preparation that elevate focus and concentration before the game.

3. Can proper preparation really reduce stress on game day?

Yes, having a solid prematch routine in place helps lower stress levels and builds confidence for performing your best during the competition.

4. Why is it important to stay hydrated and eat well before an esports match?

Keeping up with good hydration and nutrition is key to maintaining high energy levels, sharp thinking, and overall physical wellbeing during the match.

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