Dear Blizzard, oh wait! No! This is not for Blizzard.
This is for ugh FAA, Dear Everybody That sounds kinda persable, Dear people, FUUUUUUUUUUU sigh whatever we’ll just edit all those out and take the best one Hi. It’S me: Austin. I’Ve been playing a Mick, but ton of overwatch lately as everyone that follows me on Twitter can attest, which is kind of Awesome, to be honest, being the parent of a baby.
If I had any energy my spare time, It was spent either like this Or like this, But now I have a toddler which you’d think that would mean that I’m more exhausted these days and you would be right – I am wiped ALL the time. I am tired.
All THE TIME, but I’m not sick, Are you crazy? What did you say? That’S the ultimate jinx, but anyway I like playing overwatch for a few reasons.
One I love team sports, But I suck at basketball, So playing overwatch feels like a way that I can engage with other people work together and score some points all while never Leaving my perfect apartment, which actually ties into the second reason I love overwatch.
I love love, love ESports. I love watching people who are way better at a game than I could ever be Compete against each other for real money at paypal casino deposit sa I love that in my life, I’ve seen eSports grow from being something that used to be a niche hobby that we heard about Happening far across the oceans in South Korea to established college eSports teams with people who are paid to coach ESports is something that has Become Validated as legitimate – and I am so Unbelievably stoked so when I play overwatch myself, I feel like just a little I’m engaging in that Pro eSports culture. Just just a bit. I watch the games I get pumped. I take new things.
I learned to the court and die immediately Because I am NOT an eSports professional And I never will be one.
I’Ve come to terms with this, even with an excessive amount of practice. The best I’ll ever be at a video game is above average or in the case of games like Starcraft. Two hours of practice will raise my skill level from totally abysmal to merely embarrassing, But just because I will never be the eSports rockstar. I always wanted to be coming out to a crowd of adoring fans, while the high octane Jams of nerf, herder blares in the background, doesn’t mean that you can’t be. I spent the last few weeks Studying what separates eSports pros from the rest of us scrubs, and I have a bonafide 12-step program that you can buy for only 15 easy payments of $ 12.99.
If you call now, Okay, not really, but this did get me thinking.
What does Separate eSports pros from the rest of us? What makes them so good and us on a good day, Not even worthy of licking, their boot heels? Well, it boils down to one specific thing YOU SUCK just kidding.
Actually, it is one thing specifically, though, fast as hell: Reflexes, okay, well, actually, thats, not technically true.
A reflex is like when a puff of air hits your eye And you close it or someone smacks your tendon with a hammer in your leg, jerks, which honestly I’m embarrassed to admit this to y’all, But it wasn’t until I was researching this episode that I realized That this is the origin of the term. Knee-Jerk reaction feel free to make fun of me. If you want.
These involuntary responses by the body are reflexes And they work in. What’S called the reflex arc which looks like this and it’s super cool, But it’s not what we’re actually talking about today, because when we say that someone has lightning-fast reflexes, This isn’t what we mean. We mean, like super mega ultra awesome Fast as a Formula one ninja badassery like Bruce Lee stuff punching people before they know It’s even happening catching flies with chopsticks and slinging guns, the fastest in the Old Westies, and what we’re actually Talking about when we say reflexes In this context, isn’t reflexes, it’s response which, like Definitely doesn’t sound as awesome, whoo check out Bruce Lee punching this guy in the face.
Look at his super fast response times Just doesn’t have the same pop and pizazz, but well That’s what it is, and this response times are the key to well. Basically, everything in the world.
You can be an expert at from basketball to placing Keyframes and After Effects to playing guitar.
You guessed it video games and in order to get a handle on just what this means And how huge a difference it makes we’re gon na have to do something. Awesome gather Data data is the cornerstone of Science and well in some fields. Yeah means doing some boring crap like looking at rocks or spreadsheets, but today today We’re doing something way more awesome, shooting each other in the face.
But before we get to that, which is awesome, We got to talk about how human reaction times work. You see the average human response. Time is about 250 to 280 Milliseconds, which is actually pretty fast, and just to give you a sense it’s this fast, but experts in sports, martial arts and yes, eSports – have base reaction times as fast as 110 milliseconds, which is this fast.
That’S less than half the reaction times you and I have, and when you’re looking at base reaction times, this quick every Millisecond counts, which is why, for a second, we got ta talk about how human reaction times work.
It’S actually pretty similar to reflexes. Interestingly, with some extra steps involved, you see reactions, unlike reflexes, are conscious decisions, while reflexes can be invoked locally with receptors polling responses.
Super quickly Reactions have to go through the brain first, which slows things down so freaking much. So, let’s take overwatch. For example, a thing happens boom right there, one frame of information in the form of light travels from the screen to your retinas. I sit about 60 centimeters from my monitor when I’m playing video games, Which means it takes light a whopping two Nanoseconds to reach my eyeballs, where the light is flipped and hits the receptors in the back of my eye.
This Information is then sent by the optic nerves, my brain specifically, the occipital occt .., Oh boy, I’m gon na make fun of how I pronounce that one occipital oak Oak occipital City occipital, occipital Lobe, which is in the back of the brain.
I mean What a design, Whatever nerve, sends signals significantly slower than the speed of light. In fact, They move slower than the speed of sound. This signal travels from my eyes to my occipital lobe at an excruciatingly, slow, 100 meters per second meaning that it takes a whole 1 and 1/2 milliseconds for information that hits my eyes to reach my brain.
That means, by the way, that the world that you’re experiencing everything you’re reacting to everything that you see is actually 1.5 milliseconds in the past. You are Constantly lagging behind the rest of the world.
Think about that for a good several hours and try not to have a massive Philosophical meltdown. What you’re seeing right now is not the present so enjoy that nugget for the rest of your life. After Processing that information, your brain has to decide what to do, which is where a lot of the lost time really happens, And then it sends its signal down to whatever Muscles need to do. The thing in this case the ones in your arm and hands which are playing video games, Which, if you have an arm and neck as long as mine, takes another eight in a half milliseconds. So now our total Latency time just from nerve signals in the speed of light, is ten point one six milliseconds, but from there things Really start to slow down, because up until now, your body or my body, someone’s body, has just been sending and interpreting information.
Now it’s time to do stuff, your muscles have to take those signals and move they move by contracting normal muscle.
Fibers can take over 100 milliseconds to contract. We’Ve now reached a minimum speed of a hundred and ten milliseconds, But the average human reaction time is 250 milliseconds from the start of a signal to the output of the reaction, whereas Experts have shaved that down to under half of that, There’s always extra time coming From two places, the brain and the muscles, but now Finally it’s time to loop back to overwatch for what may be the coolest experiment I have ever conducted. You know what there’s not enough of in our world Old West gun slinging.
So you know I did it using a group people from my discord server. I hosted a true-blue McCree versus McCree dueling tournament to gather numbers for reaction times.
Mccree is one of the best characters for this because well look at him, But also because he has what’s called a hitscan weapon.
Hitscan is an old First-person shooter technology that basically doesn’t render actual ballistic trajectiles. You heard me trajectiles fight me English majors. I just made up a word Anyway: hit scanning basically means the instant you pull the trigger. The game draws a straight line from the barrel of your gun Straight forward, if anybody’s hit by that line, They’re immediately struck by the bullet. It’S simple and easy.
This is important to specify because overwatch has different characters with different Projectile types and since I’m using these duels to get reaction time numbers hit scan is helpful because I don’t have to take into account Travel time for bullets with the right settings.
Bullets kill instantly And I can get pretty Consistent numbers also congrats to ren key for not only winning the duel but for ending with the fastest reaction time recorded 189 freakin milliseconds good job. The people who did well definitely had above-average Reaction times and the not winners had the worst with the slowest folk having a reaction time as slow as three hundred and twenty-two milliseconds freaking cuppa coffee would ya now.
322 and 189. Milliseconds is a pretty big gap and honestly, my numbers were originally a lot higher because of lag because I mentioned before that. In order to respond to something light has to move from screen to eyeballs eyeballs talk, sipping, a lobe occipital lobe to the rest of the Brain, the rest of the brain down the spinal column and to the fingers, and then the muscles have to contract.
But in this case That isn’t the actual full path information esta take. First, my signal has to be sent from my computer to the overwatch servers, Which normally has a tick time of 16 milliseconds, rather updates about 63 times a second, Which means it takes a whopping 16 milliseconds for my signal to reach overwatch servers And then the server Updates the game and sends the information off to both players, dueling, which takes another 16 milliseconds, send the light.
Laser Monitors, hits dry balls travels down the nerves from their eyes to the occipital lobes, then to the rest of the brain. Then down this Way. No to the fingers and the muscles contract on the mouth in the information travels from the computers back to the server another 16 milliseconds and The server updates the game and then send the information to my screen, Which takes another 16 milliseconds, giving us a total travel Time from my computer to them to back again of 64 whole freakin milliseconds, Which means I had to subtract that from my original numbers, which were a lot higher, Then there’s the fact that Blizzard has a system called favor.
The shooter, which is shorthand for Client-side, hit detection, see the reason overwatch runs So smoothly.
Is that your local computer handles a lot of the math instead of their servers, Which means, if you shoot someone on your screen, the person you saw yourself Shoot will get hit. Even if on their screen, they ran behind a wall. Ordinarily, this means that people with high latency Actually have a slight advantage over people who don’t, but in this particular experiment. However, since the bullet means instant death and both people are shooting each other, the person with better latency actually has an advantage, But I’ll get back to that in a second. In any case, even the fastest gunslinger in my discord server pales in comparison To the reaction times of bona fide eSports pros.
Why is that? Well?
To put it plainly, They aint pros. There are two ways that eSports pros lower their reaction time. Well, actually, it’s just one way, but it affects to areas of the body. The Super-secret method, to becoming an eSports pro that can take you from zero and silver to hero in the top.
500 has three simple steps: 1 practice, 2 practice and 3 practice. It takes roughly 10,000 hours to become an expert in something and what is the purpose of that 10,000 hours in the case of eSports and real sports to develop muscle and Muscle memory, you see it takes the average un expert 255 milliseconds to respond to something, and We Previously established that the time it takes just for signals to travel and for muscles to contract is about 110 milliseconds, Which is about how fast the fastest people in the world react both. What are us plebeians doing that make it 255 milliseconds we’re thinking 145.
Milliseconds of time wasted just Thinking that’s more time than it takes for freaking eSports pros to react to things from beginning to end Before we can even formulate a thought.
We’Re already dead We’ll get to how to shave that number down in a second but there’s actually another way to save time. That’S a lot easier that happens.
While you practice muscle growth, you see the 100 milliseconds it takes for muscles to contract. Those are the slow, twitch muscles things that make you know a good distance runner Or a carrier of heavy burdens. Slow twitch muscles are strong and efficient, but they take a long time to work fast.
Twitch muscles, on the other hand, can contract much faster as fast as 25 milliseconds, and the great thing about human bodies is we’re designed to adapt. So all you have to do is use your fingers in a competitive, fast reaction, Environment and your body will do all the work for you transforming those long, slow, twitch muscles into Voraciously, quick, fast, twitch muscle, fibers awesome.
Just you know be aware that fast twitch muscles are significantly weaker than slow, twitch muscles. So don’t you go trying to hang off any narrow ledges with your fingertips and Appreciate that I did not make any easy dirty jokes during this whole section. So we can reduce our time for signal and muscle contraction down to an amazing, 35 milliseconds just by working out properly. So what next that well now sard part muscle memory.
An expert in a field has worked to memorize, roughly 100,000 chunks of knowledge.
That directly ties to their expertise. Gary Kasparov, the World Chess Champion of 1997, who was defeated by the computer deep blue, had about a hundred thousand different board positions. Memorized.
This means that Kasparov’s brain over hours and hours and hours of rigorous training had developed the ability to look at a game of chess with pieces arranged in different locations and Instantaneously.
Compare it to every single board position in his brain at once and devised a strategy from there. He can do this almost Instantaneously, because all that training had developed his brain for a specific Specialized task. He had billions of neurons in his brain Specifically connected just to play chess, And this is what really saves time, because when it’s all said and done with enough practice, any of us could beat in eSports Professional in a McCree duel. It’S not that hard with enough practice. We can shave our reaction times down to one hundred and ten milliseconds, no problem, because this game here is Simple and wouldn’t even require that many specialized neurons to cut our thinking time down from over 150 milliseconds down to 75.
The real skill and the real test comes when playing a real game, a game with 280 characters, 17 maps and 12 players, which alone has over 5,000 permutations before the bullets even start, flying eastwards, pros when playing a game.
Every single frame they’re, comparing what they’re Experiencing to what they’ve experienced before their brains, are doing an extraordinary Amount of work behind the scenes, and you know how. I said that overwatch servers have a tick time of 63, meaning that they update 63 times a second. That leaves actually a surprisingly large margin for error when your reactions are around 100 to 150 milliseconds.
A 64 millisecond delay in communication makes a huge Impact. That’S why eSports pros Actually work on servers that have a tick rate of a hundred and forty four meaning that it cuts down signal transmission time from one computer to another and then back again from 64 milliseconds to 27. This is freaking fast and amazingly.
Well, There’s a lot of research that explains Why pro athletes aged out mainly that reaction times slow as we get older, There’s been a lot of promising research.
That shows that this slowdown is much much less noticeable among people who play Professional video games. So if you thought I was gon na tell you that you have to be a young person to be in esports pro. The answer is no, you just got ta have 10,000 hours of free time on hands so there. It is Why you suck why I suck and why a handful of people are awesome Time.
They have a lot of it And we don’t so.
You know, and if your mom gets on your ass about how much time you’re spending at your computer Just tell her that you’re trying to nail those eSports scholars that are bound to be coming in ten years from your local university. Tell her that I said it’s.