Esports may improve cognitive skills in soccer players: A systematic review

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Theerasak Boonwang
Puthachad Namwaing
Lertwanlop Srisaphonphusitti
Austtasit Chainarong
Surumpa Charoensuk Kaewwong
Tanapol Kaewwong
Nuanprang Duangsawang
Bundit Sawunyavisuth
Chetta Ngamjarus
Kittisak Sawanyawisuth
Sittichai Khamsai


Electronic sports, or esports, are a quickly becoming a worldwide athletic trend and may benefit traditional sport players. Because soccer is a popular sport that requires high-skilled performances, the aim of the present study was to determine whether the practice of esports was associated with improved cognitive soccer skills. This meta-analysis evaluated esports in relation to the memory, decision-making ability, reaction times, and executive functions of soccer players. The inclusion criteria were studies conducted for soccer players that compared esports with any other sport or control; the study types included randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies selected from 276 records in five databases. Three studies were included in this analysis; two of these were randomized controlled trials in which soccer players between 14– 20 years of age with 3– 5 years of experience were enrolled. A total of 150 soccer players participated in these three studies, and the largest sample size was 75 players. Since these three studies did not share common interventions or outcomes, the results thereof were reported as descriptive outcomes; all three studies yielded significant outcomes. This study concludes that the practice of esports has the potential to improve the cognitive skills of young soccer players, and that additional larger randomized controlled trials are required.


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Boonwang, T., Namwaing, P., Srisaphonphusitti, L., Chainarong, A., Charoensuk Kaewwong, S., Kaewwong, T., Duangsawang, N., Sawunyavisuth, B., Ngamjarus, C., Sawanyawisuth, K., & Khamsai, S. (2022). Esports may improve cognitive skills in soccer players: A systematic review. Asia-Pacific Journal of Science and Technology, 27(03), APST–27.
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