If e-sports are sports, then it makes sense that e-sports players and enthusiasts should have their own e-sports gear. Garmin is looking to fill that niche with the Instinct Esports Edition, available now for $300.
A fitness wearable focused on e-sports might seem strange at a glance, but Garmin’s approach is clever. The Instinct Esports Edition ships with a PC streaming tool called STR3AMUP! that can synchronize the wearable’s biometric data with a streamer’s livestream. That data can be displayed or used to trigger events like sounds, images, and emoji.
It sounds like a gimmick, but it has great timing. Halloween is fast approaching, and streamers could pair live biometric data with frightening games to take the usual livestream scream-fests to a new level. I can even imagine serious competitive gamers using it to showcase their cool (or lack of it) during intense matches. How stressed is Shroud in the final fight of a battle royale? Inquiring minds want to know.
Garmin also thinks the Instinct could provide useful data for competitive players, whether they’re streaming or not. The wearable’s heart rate and stress tracking features might help a player understand when they’re focused, frustrated, or inattentive. And the Instinct’s “body battery energy monitor” can tell players when it’s time for a break.
E-sports features aside, the Instinct should benefit from the fact that it’s, well, the Garmin Instinct. This wearable first debuted in late 2019. We gave the Garmin Instinct a recommended award for its rugged-yet-comfortable design and wide range of activity tracking features.
The Instinct Esports Edition offers all the usual features of the Instinct and can track over 30 sports activities. The battery lasts up to three days in “e-sports mode” or up to 14 days in smartwatch mode. As you’d expect, it can sync with the Garmin app and deliver a variety of email, text, or phone notifications based on the owner’s biometric data.
Aside from unique software, the Instinct Esports Edition differs from the Instinct with a slightly tweaked red-and-black design and a high-contrast display that should be easier to read in dim lighting. Otherwise, it’s essentially the same, and its $300 price tag matches the standard Instinct.
The Garmin Instinct Esports Edition is available immediately.