Fatigued League of Legend players win 12% fewer games
I have previously written about how tracking mental fatigue in gaming, and the science behind tracking mental fatigue. We know that we can track mental fatigue, we know it increases as you play for extended periods, and we know it can have a detrimental effect on performance. In this article, we want to discuss the practical implications of our recent research on mental fatigue, and answer two questions:
- What impact does fatigue have on League of Legends performance?
- At what level of fatigue should you stop playing?
As always, it is worth clarifying that every player is different. Some are heavily impacted by fatigue and would benefit from enhancing their mental endurance, while others can play for an extended period without their performance being impacted by fatigue.
Fatigue and Gaming Performance
For this research, we looked at the data from eight League of Legends players who had each played at least 100 games while tracking their mental fatigue. We looked at all their games to compare their fatigue at the start of the game with the game outcome and how they performed.
Of these eight players, six showed a meaningful reduction in performance when they started a game fatigued. The average reduction in win rate in these cases was over 20%. That is a scary finding. Even if we look at all players (including those not impacted by fatigue), the average win rate is 12% less when they play in a fatigued state (as shown in the graph below).
Interestingly, it wasn’t a linear relationship between performance and mental fatigue. Players starting with moderate levels of fatigue were no more likely to lose than players with low fatigue. This is similar to findings in many sports. Low or moderate fatigue have minimal impact, but as soon as fatigue hits high levels, performance drops sharply.
The practical implications of this finding are that you can assess your fatigue between games and decide if you should play again or take a break.
When should you stop playing?
It is fine to say that high levels of fatigue lead to poorer game results, but what does ‘high fatigue’ actually mean? It is very difficult to self-assess fatigue levels with any accuracy which is why MaddCog originally focused on measuring mental fatigue. There is also no unit of measurement for fatigue, so we use an arbitrary scale from 0 to 100.
Determining the point that high fatigue starts is difficult, especially given the individual variation in the impact of fatigue on performance. We studied this relationship extensively, looking at trendlines, identifying breakpoints where the relationship got stronger and trying multiple methods of identifying a high fatigue threshold.
We found that the best results came when we looked at an individual player’s data and determined the impact that fatigue had on their game performance. This allowed us to categorize players as fatigue sensitive or not. Breaking them into multiple groups like this allowed us to experiment with various fatigue thresholds for each group, and finally establish a point we considered high fatigue. Using our 0 to 100 scale, high fatigue might be over 80 for the non-sensitive player, while it might be as low as 60 for the highly fatigue sensitive player.
Based on this, the MaddCog app provides feedback on fatigue after every game, including the recommendation to have a break where it is considered necessary for that player.