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Gwoop Academy wants to help you get better with video games – TechCrunch

Gwoop Academy wants to help you get better with video games – TechCrunch

All sports have practice drills and exercises to help players hone their skills between games. Why is esports different?

GoopA Minnesota start-up wants to be a place for gamers to go training between matches. They have a collection of free browser-based training tools that help you measure and improve important stats such as reaction time, mouse control, aiming, and see how the stats compare to the best. I’m building.

Some of the training games currently in operation:

  • Reaction training: Wait for it … click! Click the mouse button as soon as the screen changes from gray to orange. The shorter the reaction time (measured in milliseconds), the better. The more difficult levels throw more colors to forge you and give you a little rest.
  • Visual speed: Targets spawn one at a time across the 2D plane. Click to see another. The more targets you click before you run out of time, the higher your score.
  • Keyboard speed: A simple keyboard key search practice, as the time spent looking at the keyboard is not the time spent dodging shots.

Image credit: Goop

  • Mouse control: If you cannot move the mouse to the desired location, you will not be able to aim. In Gwoop’s mouse control exercise, you drag the ball through a curved track. When the cursor moves off the track, the ball returns to the beginning. The more tracks that complete successfully before the time runs out, the higher the score.
  • FPS training arena: Walk around the 3D arena (pictured above), scan for randomly generated targets and click as they appear. Bonus points for hitting the target dead center.
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All tools are linked to the analytics dashboard, allowing you to measure performance metrics over time. Each skill has its own leaderboard, so you can see, for example, how your average reaction time compares to other skills and friends around the world.

Even in 3D exercises, Gwoop’s graphics are very simple — and it’s intentional. They want it to work for as many players as possible. They have no reason to try to look like a AAA title. The stronger the graphics in the game, the more powerful your computer will need to be to run the game smoothly. Co-founder Gavin Lee said their goal was to keep it up, “all you need is a computer and the internet. It doesn’t matter if your device is 10 years old or not.” For 2D exercises. There is also a switch that you can flip to further simplify your graphics and improve performance.

This is the same reason we built everything to work in the browser. Not requiring downloads means that more people can be trained, and the Gwoop team has the added benefit of not having to worry about maintaining a separate Mac / PC client.

While existing exercises may seem to focus on improving the skills of first-person shooters, Lee aims to be “genre-agnostic” and expands for other types of games. Say you are planning. He mentions “MOBA Arena”, a work aimed at helping to hone the skills needed for games such as League of Legends and DOTA, and another ongoing exercise of “Very Rocket League Center”. I am. Their training tools currently seem to be primarily focused on keyboard / mouse users, but are working on more features for players who prefer controllers.

Image credit: Goop

Gwoop is completely free to players — so how do they make money? Lee says there are two different strategies. We hope to sell additional advanced analytics tools to our team and once we have enough players to click, we can act as a platform for esports recruiters. Lee said players should be able to choose to share their data with potential sponsors and esports teams, and Gwoop needs to be rewarded to connect points. “All these Division 1 schools have a platform where you can upload and adopt soccer movies,” says Lee. “We want to be that platform. [for esports].. “

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Why is it called “Gwoop”? Is it a bit of a super cool game term, or is it some sort of acronym? No! It was a quick and memorable area that Lee had held for decades. “I wish I had a better story, but I bought the domain in 2002 just because I wanted a five-letter domain that you could pronounce and use,” he says. Okay, Gavin: After all, most people don’t care why Google is called Google.

The timing of the team is pretty good here. More people are participating in the game than ever before, as most people are stuck at home. Battle royale games such as Fortnite, PUBG, and Apex Legends are exploding … but when a skilled team changes, it’s better to plunder the first 10 minutes and shred in 10 seconds. Is difficult. Many titles have training areas and shooting ranges dedicated to practice, but they are usually meant for quick pre-game warm-ups, something that can help track indicators and improvements over time. I will not.

Image credit: Goop

The Minneapolis-based team currently consists of three co-founders. It’s self-funded so far, but it’s said that a seed round is underway.

Gwoop is currently in a semi-closed beta and usually requires an invitation to sign up, but Lee says code # TC2021 # needs to allow readers to pass through the sign-up gate.