Team Liquid, a worldwide professional esports organization, recently announced that personalized health company Thorne is the official health and wellness partner of Team Liquid.
Through the multi-year collaboration, Thorne will offer personalized health and wellness solutions through quizzes, health tests and dietary supplements to support the Team Liquid community in optimizing peak performance, endurance, and recovery. This includes a wide spectrum – from the casual gamer to esports athletes.
Thorne will also elevate notable Team Liquid influencers – AverageJonas, Tiffae, Alixxa, and Acie – as brand ambassadors. The influencers will demonstrate their personalized wellness experiences with Thorne products through special events, sponsored streams and curated content.
According to the company, one way to establish individual needs is through testing and observation, which sets the basic roadmap for a well-designed performance fueling strategy. Thorne's nutritional support products, testing, and solutions will support Team Liquid's coaching, training, and cognitive performance teams, a move aimed at creating a well-rounded high-performance team.
Thorne HealthTech CEO, Paul Jacobson, told us that Thorne has always been interested in the esports space—it was just a matter of finding the right partner.
“Thorne and Team Liquid are kindred spirits – Thorne’s core pillars of safety, credibility, quality, and user experience align with Team Liquid’s nuanced and empathic approach to its community. The esports market is huge and from a health and wellness perspective is fairly untapped, so Thorne is excited to work with Team Liquid to reach professional esports athletes, casual gamers and esports fans,” Jacobson said.
Unique mix of demands
“In the past, the physical demands put on the bodies of esports athletes were often overlooked by the industry, but working with Thorne will empower our organization to address how to best educate and fuel our athletes in a way that helps them reach maximum potential,” said Steve Arhancet, CO-CEO of Team Liquid.
Team Liquid currently has over 60 championship caliber athletes in 14 of the world's top games. Thorne said its suite of science-backed products for nutrition, sleep and mental focus align with the esports community’s health and wellness goals.
Joel Totoro, Director of Sports Science at Thorne, told NutraIngredients-USA that competition at the highest level of any sport requires specific needs above and beyond the baseline.
“Competitive gaming has a unique mix of demands on the body that need to be accounted for nutritionally. Under normal conditions, the brain uses approximately 20-30% of our calories and 20% of oxygen use. When tasked with making millions of decisions and reactions during competition, the nutritional support demand on the brain goes up. Every time we fire a neuron, because nutrients and energy are used, we need to replace these nutrients to keep up with the demands of competition. So, the brain needs its own comprehensive nutrition plan to function optimally.”
Totoro added that the physical and mental strain on competitive esports athletes is massive, often leading to retirement in the mid to late 20s. “Overuse injuries to the hands and wrists, disrupted sleep cycles, and decreased vitamin D levels are all commonly observed in the gaming community. Thorne's learnings and expertise during our nearly 40-year legacy in the health and human performance space will be applied to the unique demands of competitive gaming endeavors to optimize performance and wellness,” he said.
Earlier in the year, Team Liquid launched a global training program that quantifies, analyzes and assesses the cognitive capabilities of esports athletes competing at the highest level to determine the innate ability of the athlete and extended mental potential. This type of cognitive testing underpins the direct link between success in gaming and high-performing cognitive abilities such as attention, memory, information processing and task-switching.
Both parties have also begun to discuss a co-authored case study that would feature select Thorne products put in active practice across a set of Team Liquid athletes. Team Liquid Director of Performance, Chang-Hyun Ko and Totoro have been asked to lead the planning of such a study.
“Although the case study is still a bit TBD at this point, our intention is to examine the impacts of nutrients and wellness best practices to identify key performance indicators in the cognitive performance space,” said Totoro. “More to come on this front.”