Statespace brings neuroscience to esports

The worlds of neuroscience and esports are colliding, as Statespace opens beta sign-ups for their analytics and training platform.

The platform, called Aim Lab, tracks players’ strengths and weaknesses through the guise of a conventional first-person shooter. Today marks the opening of the beta program.

Traditional sports have plenty of tools to measure objective skill. In the US, the NFL Combine provides the perfect tool for players to improve, or be scouted by other teams. But despite esports being fundamentally data-driven, the same tools have not been made available for general use.

Until now. Enter Statespace, who have built a suite of features to measure crucial statistics in traits such as reaction time, perception and accuracy. It is a marriage of esports and behavioural neuroscience to provide data on player skill, and according to Statespace co-founder Dr. Jay Fuller, it’s a perfect match.

“The esports industry needs objective measures so that players can track and train their skills more efficiently,” he said. “Unlike stick-and-ball sports, in esports it doesn’t matter how fast you can run or how high you can jump – the critical attributes are things like vision, decision-making, and hand-eye coordination. As neuroscientists, we measure these types of attributes all the time. We’re simply combing our research with our passions for video games and applying it as esports science.”

With global esports competitors exceeding 210 million, there’s plenty of players out there for Statespace to pitch to. Their first product which will be aiming to make an impact on that market is Aim Lab, which will play just like any other FPS. But under the hood, it will be quietly tracking your every move, as you play through by completing a series of gameplay challenges.

Completing some of the dozens of experiments offered will generate data which can be used to track your improvement over time – and to compare yourself to your friends and favourite pros. This also makes it a uniquely useful tool for scouting.

“We are measuring the fundamental skills of gaming, like perception, decision-making, and cognition,” said Dr. Wayne Mackey. “This data will not only help players know where their weaknesses are, but it will provide additional data for teams to evaluate and recruit new talent.”

The artificial intelligence in the platform allows it to adapt to your specific weaknesses like a personal trainer, according to Jay.  “We know from years of research that everyone has biases they are unaware of,” he said. “The trick is getting the right data so you can identify them. In gaming, most players are more inaccurate during shots to either the left or right, but without data, these biases are hard to notice, and even harder to fix. Our A.I. simplifies this by identifying your weaknesses and guiding you to train those specific areas. In this way, players of all skill levels will have access to a personal trainer to help them level-up their fundamental skills. It’s modern training for a modern sport.”

Statespace was born in April 2017 when the team won a start-up competition hosted through New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering called InnoVention. They then closed a $500,000 pre-seed round of financing from startup studio Expa to gather a team to build Aim Lab. As well as today’s opening of the beta program, you can look forward to a full release on Steam next year, followed by a planned XBOX release.

Esports Insider says: What a fascinating mesh of technologies this brings to the scene. If enough players embrace Aim Lab, Statespace could really shake up the esports scouting dynamic.