A select group of video games even have professional players and competitions, and Street Fighter is one such title. What makes the difference between a high-level amateur and a professional? Some say it’s just practice, but there must be other techniques. Now Japanese gaming website 4gamer.net has conducted an investigation into where professional players are looking during the game, writes Matthew Humphries for Geek.com.

Eye Tracking Shows Where Pro Street Fighter Players Look

Where do professional Street Fighter players look?

In order to find out whether professional video game players focus their attention on different areas of the screen than amateurs, 4gamer.net asked Sako, a highly-respected professional Street Fighter player, to wear an eye-tracker while he played a match on Ultra Street Fighter IV. In the video above, the spot where Sako is looking is represented by the semi-transparent gray circle.

The SteelSeries Sentry Gaming Eye Tracker revealed that Sako was very rarely looking directly at the Street Fighter characters, but instead focused his attention on the area in front of his opponent’s character. In the video Sako is playing as Elena, and you can see that he is generally focusing on the movements of his opponent, and attempting to predict their next move in order to adjust his own movements accordingly.

Predicting opponents attacks

It is possible that Sako was attempting to judge incoming attacks and measure the distance over which he had to connect on his own moves. The Street Fighter bout was not exactly high-stakes in this instance, and Sako may adjust his strategy depending on the standard of his opponent, but the video appears to show that we should try to focus more on our opponent than our own character.

Looking at the gap between the two characters also helps to visualize not where both of them currently are, but where they are going to be, which is a valuable lesson in any walk of life, not just in video games. Most of us will never reach a professional standard on any video game, but this sort of knowledge can at least help us to become the best out of our group of friends, gaining Street Fighter bragging rights thanks to Sako and 4gamer.net.