Consider the possibility of improving your productivity. Imagine waking up each morning feeling refreshed and maintaining that feeling throughout the course of your day. What if you could make split second decisions or enhance your ability to learn new skills at your place of employment? What if you could leave a lasting legacy based on the work you can accomplish if only you had the tools to accomplish it? What if you could turn your hobby of gaming into the professional realm of Esports and bring home hundreds – if not millions – of dollars in prize money? Nootropics may be the supplement to help push you to your highest potential.

Since the early 2000s, Major League Gaming, one of the biggest platforms for Esports, has grown in exponential rates. According to an ESPN article from May of 2015, the Esports scene – both viewership and participants – has grown 21% each year over the past few years. According to the same article, more people viewed the League of Legends Championship than every major sporting event excluding the Super Bowl (Casselman). That’s an incredible amount of viewers – over 25 million, in fact. During the 2016 League of Legends Championship, over five million dollars in prize money was awarded (Esports earnings).

With such an expansive number of viewers and participants and a prize pool that makes yearly baseball salaries begin to question themselves, competitors have begun seeking supplements to improve their abilities – legally, of course. The answer? Professional sports has a list of legal substances that players can consume and a small list of illegal substances that can be consumed with league permission (Adderall, for example, can be used by baseball players if a case-specific permission is given per year, as Orioles’ slugger Chris Davis learned after serving a 50 game suspension). Likewise, in professional Esports, gamers now have a list of banned substances (like the aforementioned Adderall), which has led to the rise of legal nootropics in the Esports industry.

But what are nootropics? According to Merriam-Webster, a nootropic is “a substance that enhances cognition and memory and facilitates learning.” In Esports, then, enhanced cognition, a direct result of consuming nootropics, can turn the tides of battle. Since cognition is the state of mental processing and decision making, one can understand the appeal in increasing those abilities – or at least the reaction time needed for making decisions. As gamers or fans of Esports are painfully aware, the slower one’s reaction time, the more one stands to lose per game. The theory behind nootropics and those of biohackers is that humans do not use their respective brain to its fullest potential. Nootropics aren’t designed to create super humans or increase intelligence to miraculous levels. Instead, the daily use of nootropics can increase stamina, cognition, focus, attention span, and more – things that have, on the whole, trended downward in our modern society. With the use of nootropics, humanity can once again become as productive as its potential allows.

Translate this into gaming and Esports – nootropics aren’t just for the hardcore professional gamer and can be used by everyone and enhance various aspects of daily life and gaming. Imagine running a great raid in World of Warcraft or tackling the original Bahamut run in Final Fantasy XIV. In Final Fantasy, one wrong step or position can result in instant death for your entire group. One heal too slow can cost a tank his/her life, resulting in failure. With nootropics, your ability to make split second decisions or keep up with the flow of combat will be enhanced. Even late night dungeon runs or lengthy boss battles can cause fatigue, something easily remedied in a healthy fashion.

Transition into the RTS (real time strategy) genre where your actions per minute, ability to learn methodology, and potential to react with effective counter strategies can win or lose matches and games in moments. In 2016, StarCraft II awarded its champion $500,000. To compare, in the late 90s, StarCraft icon BoxeR earned $181,000 over 31 matches. In each situation, APM (actions per minute, which equates to how many times you click per second per minute) was a telling factor. With the cognitive ability to respond quickly to the game’s input, the highest APM achievers tend to also be the best of the best. For example, some of the best APMers reach nearly 600 APM, which translates to about ten clicks per second. According to Kevin Wong of Engadget, some members of the community with high APM even charge – as much as $100/hour – to train slower players in the art of APM.

To refocus on Esports, however, and its lucrative industry, one must consider a few factors. In 2016, the League of Legends world championship brought in over 43 million viewers and awarded over 6.3 million dollars. The Dota International tournament of 2016, for example, awarded over 20 million dollars to its competitive gamers. Blizzcon of 2016 awarded its top player – yes, solo player – $250,000 for winning its Hearthstone tournament. The list goes on and covers over a decade of Esports, totaling over one hundred million dollars in prize money. In an environment like this, and one that’s ever growing, nootropics can help those in competition make that leap to bringing home hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But that’s not all. To round out this piece on nootropics and Esports, one should consider the health benefits of nootropics. Yes, nootropics can enhance your gaming abilities and cognition. But nootropics, traditionally FDA approved, offer health benefits to everyday life. Eliminating fatigue and lengthening the productivity of one’s work day, alone, will produce healthy results. Nootropics can also aid insomnia or those who can’t sleep by regulating sleep cycles and allowing them to wake refreshed. Additionally, using nootropics on a daily basis can keep one’s brain and body functioning, healthy, and protected. For those with weaker immune systems like myself, nootropics can improve a daily work schedule and quality of life.

With the rise of Esports and professional gaming reaching new highs each year (and with the video game industry itself earning billions), healthy competition and supplements will continue to rise in stride. Including benefits that far outreach gaming implications, nootropics have a place in everyday life. The unlimited potential of the human mind and body can be unleashed with the simple decision to live a healthier lifestyle in conjunction with nootropics.

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