Top Gaming Peripherals in the Eyes of Professional eSports Players

Today’s gaming peripherals are more diverse than ever before, and even the most experienced gamers can feel overwhelmed when choosing them. What are the best headphones? Should you use a keyboard and mouse or a controller for gaming? Which monitor can perfectly display the games you play?

To help navigate these choices, we interviewed professional players from games like League of Legends, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. We collected their considerations and thoughts when selecting new PC gaming equipment.

Personal Preferences

When it comes to peripherals, it’s best to choose what suits you best, which may differ completely from what others prefer. One size does not fit all, especially in high-level esports competitions.

While opinions on optimal gear vary, they quickly clarified one viewpoint: the distinction between “practice” gear and official competition gear.

“It’s important to replicate a match environment in your home setup so you can practice under match-like conditions,” said Lynnie “artStar” Noquez, two-time Intel Challenge champion and member of Dignitas in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

“When looking for good products, some attributes I look at are whether the product fits my grip and playstyle, the material and durability, reliability for travel, and whether I personally find the product aesthetically pleasing.”

If you’re serious about training, integrating tournament-grade peripherals into your daily practice routine is crucial.

Mechanical Keyboards

In terms of gaming peripherals, a good starting point is investing in a sturdy mechanical gaming keyboard rather than a more standard membrane keyboard. Membrane keyboards don’t separate the keys into different moving parts, which often results in a less tactile and responsive feel compared to mechanical keyboards. While membrane keyboards may be suitable for everyday typing, they can be more error-prone and less comfortable in high-stakes gaming environments.

“All of my peripherals are on my ‘must-have’ list for competitive gaming because they are so reliable during matches,” Noquez explained. “My HyperX Alloy FPS keyboard looks cool, which is important to me. It’s also equipped with silver switches, which are very responsive, allowing me to be more precise and quicker than opponents.”

Choosing the right gaming peripherals ultimately depends on personal preferences, gaming style, and specific game requirements. Whether it’s keyboards, mice, headphones, or monitors, opting for quality and compatibility with your gaming needs can significantly enhance your gaming experience and performance.

Cody Sun, ADC player for Clutch Gaming Academy, was influenced to switch to a mechanical keyboard after seeing professional League of Legends players he admired using them. He opted for the Corsair K70, noting that previously he hadn’t paid much attention to mechanical keyboards, but was impressed by other pros’ endorsement of them.

Sun particularly favors keyboards equipped with Cherry MX Blue switches over the more widely used Cherry MX Red switches. He finds the Red switches “really soft,” requiring less force to press, whereas the Blue switches provide a more tactile and audible click, enhancing his gaming experience.

Alberto “neptuNo” González of the Philadelphia Fusion Overwatch League team has a more subjective approach to keyboard selection. He prefers smaller keyboards known as “tenkeyless,” which lack the standard numeric keypad, offering extra desktop space. González opts for the Logitech G-Pro, emphasizing comfort as his primary criterion for choosing peripherals.

When it comes to gaming mice and headphones, finding the right fit is just as critical as selecting a keyboard. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but opting for high-quality gaming peripherals can significantly improve your gaming experience. Professional players highlighted the importance of comfort and natural feel when choosing a mouse. Factors like DPI, weight, sensor type, and even the material of the mouse pad all play crucial roles in performance.

González uses the Zowie EC2-B mouse, appreciating its ergonomic design that accommodates his entire palm and is tailored for right-handed use. He mentioned a preference for a wireless version but hasn’t found one that matches his preferred shape and feel.

In summary, while preferences vary among professional gamers, the consensus is clear: choosing gaming peripherals that fit your style and provide comfort and reliability is paramount. Whether it’s mechanical keyboards with specific switch preferences or mice tailored for ergonomic comfort, the goal is to enhance performance and enjoyment during gameplay.

An excellent mouse and keyboard can significantly enhance your input, but in modern video games, audio feedback is equally crucial, especially for esports players. Background audio such as footsteps or other positional sounds are increasingly common in games, and reliable voice communication is also paramount. For professional gamers, a good audio solution is absolutely essential.

Noquez, a professional player of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, emphasizes her search for something that allows her to “hear every step in the game.” Despite potential noise in large-scale events like audience cheers and in-game music, effective headphones help her maintain focus. Choosing headphones depends not only on aesthetics but also features like noise cancellation, driver size, wireless capability, and comfort. Good headphones should allow your ears to breathe comfortably during extended wear.

For professional gamers, choosing peripherals that suit their gaming style and personal preferences is crucial. These peripherals are not just tools but also a matter of trust and familiarity gained through long-term practice and use. By making precise choices in peripherals, players can develop the necessary muscle memory to enhance their competitive level.

Maximizing the capabilities of peripherals also depends on the smooth frame rate output of your computer system. If you aspire to become a professional esports player, thoughtful consideration and understanding of the peripherals you use are crucial. Choosing and configuring gaming hardware is an integral part of improving esports performance.