Author: Sammer Aly, Interpret
In late September, representatives from Interpret visited the headquarters of Complexity Gaming in Frisco, Texas, right outside Jerry Jones’ Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters at The Star, in Frisco, TX. Like their professional football counterpart, Complexity is bringing high-end analytics and advanced player health management to the forefront of esports. Their state-of-the-art HQ is set up like any other professional sport training complex, with player lounges, film rooms, practice facilities, and health fitness centers. Complexity believes the future of esports is in both the use of advanced analytics to identify and improve player performance, as well as the ongoing monitoring and maintenance of a player’s well-being.
To that end, much work has been done to provide Complexity players with the facilities and health care they need to perform at the top of their game. A unique relationship with Baylor Scott and White Medical Center across the street provides them with access to health professionals able to learn and care for emerging health issues stemming from a relatively new professional sport. Within the facility itself, they have devoted rooms to decompression and relaxation, mental health, and physical training. All with the goal of keeping their players healthy and reducing the high rate of player burnout typically prevalent throughout esports.
The facility itself is impressive, no expense was spared at getting the absolute best equipment for player performance, from the computers to even the player’s custom designed chairs—the latter providing multiple adjustable points of control. Individual training rooms are each created with the ability to recreate live performance light and sound. The strategy room provides a large touch screen to analyze game tape, replay scenarios, and prepare for upcoming performances. In the player lounge a massive TV provides a place for the team to watch tournaments from their specifically designed couches. Every Monday the focus is on the emerging competitiveness of mobile gaming with a “Mobile Monday” tournament, in partnership with Boom TV. No inch of the facility was designed without multiple levels of analysis and foresight.
The quest for analytics drives a lot of the decision making. Cognitive games are developed in partnership with Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy, and used to identify player skills, helping not only identify good players, but also to find areas of weakness and provide the right training tools and coaching support necessary to improve skills and ultimately performance. Complexity recognizes that a good esports player is not just someone who can play a video game well, but that there are many trackable metrics that can be used to identify skill sets leading to that gaming prowess. Identifying and quantifying those metrics could very well lead to the development of true esport superstars. As much of player’s performance as possible is quantified and tracked, no new technology is dismissed out of hand. Any tool that can help identify new information about how a player performs or reacts in given situations is welcomed at Complexity. While currently they’re touching the tip of the iceberg in terms of esports analytics, they are positioning themselves to lead the charge into a golden age of esports as technology develops over the next 5-10 years. Indeed, rather than focusing on winning the next tournament or year of games, their development and analytics are squarely aimed at long term goals. “We want to win now, but we absolutely want to be prepared to win 10 years from now,” said Kyle Bautista, COO and GM of Complexity, our gracious tour guide, along with Cam Kelly, Complexity’s Chief Marketing Officer. It will be fascinating to follow how their investment and preparedness translates into real world success in the years to come.