This edition of Inside The Screen with Aaron “Don” Dukes looks a little different than what we are used to from the gamer extraordinaire. Don is taking his guests gaming. Literally. This week, the host brings on Caleb Cousens, co-founder and CEO of Adamas Sports for a round of League of Legends. Founded in 2020, Adamas Sports is a service that provides esports athletes with knowledge, tools, inspiration and guidance, along with specialized training from experienced mentors in the esports and gaming community to ensure esports athletes are at their best physically and mentally. Cousens himself has decades of entrepreneurial experience in the gaming, sports, apparel, and tech industries, and joined Don for a spirited discussion as the two teamed up for League of Legends bragging rights.
Caleb Cousens of Adamas Sports Joins "Inside The Screen"
Don and Caleb start their convo with Caleb giving a quick game explainer, and Don being well...Don, catches on very quickly. As the two make their way through the opening part of the game, Caleb describes how his sports background has helped in his esports career when it comes to performance coaching. “At the end of the day, human performance is the same across any industry or area,” he says before detailing the strategies behind how he is able to get the best out of athletes.
“Science doesn’t change. Esports is starting to show us different elements of human performance that maybe the industry hasn’t recognized before, and is driving the industry in terms of cognitive performance. People always ask if esports is a real “sport,” and we don’t need to have that debate because we both agree that it is. Esports athletes are cognitive and mental athletes first, and the tasks/challenges they take on in games are way more mentally taxing than any traditional sport. A lot of traditional sports are going to be learning from esports in the coming years as more research happens in this space.”
Agreeing on the longevity and influence that esports athletes have, Don points out just how challenging gaming can be due to the many different elements happening at one time that gamers have to look out for. “That’s exactly right, and it’s why esports has such an important part to play in the broader industry of human performance. One of the biggest misconceptions that people have in regards to esports is that it isn’t physical.
Research actually shows that as high level esports athletes go through highly competitive matches, their bodies are undergoing the same level of stress as Olympic runners during a race. It’s a physical undertaking for sure. Yes people don’t have to jump as high or run as fast, but the human body’s reaction and what it can withstand in esports, is very similar to traditional sports. A lot of people don’t know about that!”
As Don and Caleb continue their match, Don rewinds back to Caleb’s early gaming days, and how he developed a passion for playing. “We grew up on sports games like FIFA, and NHL—I’m Canadian so hockey was pretty big for me. That is how I first started, and where I really cut my teeth in the competitive gaming realm was in RTS (Real Time Strategy). My brother and I along with some friends were very good at a game called Battle For Middle Earth, and we played competitively. We were all ranked top 100 in the global ladder, and had a ton of fun. That was awesome, and well spent looking at my career now!”