MEET THE INVENT FINALISTS: Ryan Scollan, Founder of G-Science
Ryan Scollan is a self-described “sports fanatic” who is pouring his significant energy into G-Science, an esports performance company.
Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Ryan attended Loughborough University, because, as he says, “it’s the best place in the world for Sports Science”. He lived for a time in Australia, and has visited many other countries, he worked at Camp America with kids with disabilities. That experience, he says, “completely reshaped the way I think”.
Ryan was born in Bangor, but it sounds like that might be the last time he sat still.
Before starting his own company, he also did a stint in analytics and sports marketing with adidas. Now that he’s back in Northern Ireland, he’s taking advantage of our cold climate to practice the Wim Hof method.
“My mind never stops working, as you can probably tell. Jumping into freezing water puts you into survival mode, and helps you focus. The more you do it, the more control you have over your reaction to stress, and it builds your resilience.”
Ryan has channelled his experience from playing every sport he could – Gaelic football, rugby, football, athletics, spartan races – into G-Science.
It’s an athlete monitoring system that captures physiological, biometric and cognitive data from esports athletes. It feedbacks and analyses performance data, and provides players with personalised feedback and training programs.
Curiously, G-Science isn’t for the Usain Bolts of the world. Rather, it’s for the Bugha’s– the 16 year old gamer who earned $3m at the Fortnite world championships. G-Science is specifically for esports, the competitive form of video games.
- It combines sports science with data analytics to analyse esports performance data – understanding the unique demands of esports athletes
- Using the marginal gains philosophy, it identifies areas for improvement across all components that influence gaming performance
- The solution is only software based, so G-Science will partner with a hardware manufacturer that provides wearable vests with sensors – detecting heartrate, skin temperature, etc
- G-Science will initially focus on working with League of Legends teams (the largest esport globally), although it’s available to any esports athlete
G-Science is what VC’s would call an early entrant into a rapidly-growing $1.1bn industry. The market opportunity for esports isn’t just about the players – a huge global audience watches gamers via twitch TV and other streaming platforms. Even the WEF put out a blog post last year titled, ‘The explosive growth of esports.’
Ryan says there are 600 million esports enthusiasts who watch or play games on a daily basis, and “the opportunity is that the esports performance sector is still in its infancy.”
Many esports athletes (60% of which are based in Asia) spend from 8 to 15 hours a day practicing their games. China is by far the biggest revenue-generating country for esports.
Ryan discusses why video games are so addictive: “They make you feel good through a dopamine cycle. The motivation to play comes from wanting to feel challenged whilst competing against others, and constantly levelling up.
Esports players can be likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. Ryan says, “We’re trying to show gamers that you can find a healthy balance – so they can achieve the same outcomes with higher quality training. They can train smarter, not harder.”
G-Science is a finalist in the Invent 2019 competition in the ‘Life and Health Science’ category, sponsored by Leckey. The Invent Final Awards night, sponsored by Bank of Ireland UK,will be held on Thursday 10th October. Tickets are available here.