- Use of specialized sportswear is on the rise amongst professional gamers worldwide
- Sportswear brands and fashion companies worldwide see a new market in the making in video gamers
- Companies hope that as more and more professional players start using performance enhancing sportswear, this could lead a revolution in esports fashion
The past year has seen a rise in the collaborations between esports organizations and non-endemic fashion companies for the production of new gamer wear. We have also witnessed the rise of smaller gamer-oriented clothing companies that are growing at an astonishing rate.
Pros Seem to Be Wearing More Specialized Sports Equipment
Many professionals say that dedicated sports equipment, such as compression sleeves that are used to prevent muscle cramps, wristbands, and others, provide a subtle but noticeable benefit for those who spend a considerable amount of gaming.
In an interview for The Washington Post, G2 Esports CS:GO player Audric “JaCkz” Jug said that compression sleeves are necessary for PC players who have to rest their hands on the desk in order to use a mouse and keyboard. He elaborated that the sleeve diminishes the friction between his arm and the table. Depending on the surface his arm can stick to the desk, thus messing up his point of aim.
Jug added that he has been using compression sleeves and gamer gloves for years and he said that an increasing number of professional gamers have started using similar apparel.
“Years ago, they used to ask me, ‘Why do you wear that sleeve?'”, Jug said in his interview for The Washington Post, but now they are all asking him where can they buy such gear.
Companies Are Eager to Expand to New Horizons
Ateyo is one of the first companies dedicated solely to esports performance gear. Its co-founder and creative director, Breanne Harrison-Pollock, has noticed that younger people seem to strongly gravitate towards these products, and she decided to make something about it.
She said that when her company decided to target gamers with specialized performance wear in 2017, everyone else thought this was a completely crazy idea. She outlined that it is a much different thing to design clothes for someone who is sitting down, as opposed to an athlete, who is constantly in motion. Harrison-Pollock also added that the younger generation is catching on to the new trend quite fast and that Generation Z understands the practical benefits of such apparel. However, parents still need to be convinced.
Harrison-Pollock hopes that one day people will more naturally gravitate to using performance gear and that pro gamer wearing gloves, compression sleeves and even specialized shorts will be an everyday occurrence. As former NBA 2K League MVP Nidal “Mama Im Dat Man” Nasser said, “You have to try it before you knock it!”.