‘Chiu on This’ is short and regular opinion blast
When it comes to competitive esports, I’ve come to think of instinct as the highest order of mental process that every competitor is trying to reach. Instinct as I understand it is a set of complex actions that are done in reaction to a certain stimulus. In this case, it is a highly competitive game. Unlike other natural instincts that have built over thousands of years of evolution, esports is a recent phenomena and yet we still see plays that seem purely instinctual. The play is so fast and intelligent that we can’t assign it to reaction time and luck alone, but rather a purposeful move in order to win the game. While there aren’t thousands of years of evolution to hardcode these instincts into our DNA, there are thousands of hours of practice. Once you do a certain set of moves enough times, it becomes rote and gets downloaded into your subconscious so that you no longer need to focus all mental resources towards a certain task.
This becomes more complicated in team games as you need to build these instincts and correct instinctual responses with your team. It gets more complicated when there are more players per team. This could be one of the reasons why so many teams have tried to gear towards players from the same language and same region. In a game that could be decided in seconds, communication is paramount. Instinct perhaps even more so. With a cultural/language barrier those seconds could be the difference between victory and defeat if two teams of similar strength meet.
As Sugar Ray Robinson once said, “You don’t think. It’s all instinct. If you stop to think, you’re gone.”