Somebody Is Selling A Powder To Improve Your Esports

"According to clinical research ... randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical trials published in peer reviewed journals have shown that Ambrotose powders can positively impact brainwaves associated with attention in young adults and improve memory and alertness in middle-aged adults." This is a press release from a powder. For esports.

So I guess it's time to rack up?

In case you're thoroughly confused, we got what will comfortably be the weirdest press release regarding esports that I've ever seen in my inbox. It's a supplement powder -- like protein powder, but this is for your virtual guns -- that the company is quite proudly proclaiming can "support key performance factors for video gamers, including increased focus, attention and memory".

Some video gamers, of course. Not all gamers. Because that would be an absurd thing to say.

According to the Mannatech site, adding four grams of Advanced Ambrotose powder into your magic water could improve your daily esports by:

  • Increase immune system support*
  • Support digestive function*
  • Improve memory and cognitive function*
  • Enhance mood and decrease irritability*
  • Can support body’s immune response to vaccinations against bacterial infections*
  • Can enhance the body’s response to vaccinations*
  • May help keep the immune system strong year-round*
  • Modulates and support the body’s immune response*
  • May support the body’s ability to respond to pathogens*
  • Supports the innate immune response*

In case you're wondering, that asterisk is a note that you can return the product within 180 days for a full refund if not completely satisfied. Might be helpful for the TAYbies among us whose bodies have a natural aversion to vaccinations.

I wonder if I'll get extra HP from medkits in Left 4 Dead now.

The main components of the Ambrotose Complex appears to be Vitamin A and 150mg of "Ambrotose complex", which is comprised of arabinogalactan, aloe vera, ghatti gum and gum tragacanth, along with some basics like brown rice flour, stearic acid, silicon dioxide and vegetable cellulose.

Even more hilariously, the PR email reads that "last year competitive gaming ran into issues of the use of possibly harmful substances". "Mannatech's products are formulated without any substances banned by major worldwide anti-doping agencies," it continues.

The subject headline: "Competitive gamers have a legit way to up their game." Who needs modafinil or ritalin? I almost feel bad writing about this, except for the fact that it's too funny and I've already been reduced to tears of laughter twice from the press release alone.

"Additionally, for players that need to keep going strong during long gaming sessions or intense competitive gaming matches, Mannatech offers MannaBOOM™ Slimsticks."

They're health bars that boost your cell-to-cell communication and defence against free radicals. Supposedly. No word on whether they'll give you a thicker skin for matchmaking or Reddit though.

It says I can request a sample of the products. It sounds so absurdly ridiculous that I'm almost considering it. What do you think? Should I be replacing the coffee in my yoghurt with Mannatech Esports 360 MLG No Scope Bro Powder (not its actual name) instead?


    So I guess its time to rack up?

    Brave person to use that line. More of the same, please.

    If I was being offered a free sample of this stuff I'd give it a shot. Sounds safe, so why not?

    If I had to pay money for it on the other hand, I think I'll stick to snake oil for now.

      This kind of stuff is almost always never safe at all and, more often than not, are bogus or otherwise fatally bad for you.

        Did you read what's actually in it?

        Lots of apparently magical pharmaceuticals are pretty bad for you (although not fatally bad for you - this is a terrible idea from a business perspective and a 'not going to prison' perspective, so it's pretty uncommon) but these probably merely do absolutely nothing.

        It's basically just vitamins. You'd have to eat a ton of it to be harmful. It's snake oil at best and probably a waste of money, plus the company itself is an Amway-style pyramid scheme that has some pretty cult-like followers. It'd only be harmful or fatal though if you had an actual health issue and took supplements from them instead of seeking proper medical attention.

      I haven't bothered to go to this particular website to confirm, but the normal scam goes something like this.

      You are required to sign up with your credit card details for monthly delivery of the product before receiving your "free trial". In large letters you are told that you can simply cancel at any time and not receive any further charges. Somewhere in the fine print of the T&Cs, however, it is specified that you must cancel within three days or so of the initial order to avoid being charged for the first month. Rarely if ever will the "free" product arrive within this time period.

      Further, cancelling requires a complex and obscure process to undertake, possibly via websites that 404. In practice, cancelling at this point can sometimes be next to impossible. Credit card companies will not intervene either since you will have to admit to authorising the periodic payment and they will therefore interpret the dispute as simply a paperwork/administrative conflict between customer and retailer.

      Even cancelling your credit card may not be an effective way of stopping these transactions as the credit card companies will often 'helpfully' transfer regular direct debit payments over to your new credit card number.

      Regardless of what you do, your email address will be on-sold to spam mailers.

      I can't believe that Kotaku is actually giving these guys free publicity. All that's been established by the existence of this 'product' is that scammers have identified egamers as potentially affluent and gullible targets for scamming.

        Alex writes for a well-known gaming website and could give them a glowing review (lol) and if they screw him around he has a large platform to go public with that. They reached out to him asking if he wants a sample because he could give them free advertising, not because they're trying to get his money.

        I thought it could lead to a potentially humorous article. There's no reason you can't write ABOUT snake oil salesmen as long as you make it clear how stupid you'd have to be to actually buy their product (like this article does).

          There is plenty of evidence that sales can actually go up after any publicity, good or bad.

          People inclined to read in detail mocking articles and bad reviews aren't the target market here. A large percentage of readers will just browse the heading and see the photo (pretty positive in this case). Others will simply think that, sure, it might be a scam but all I've got to lose is a few bucks, maybe I'll give it a try.

          Further, the product now completely legitimately gets to add a bright yellow endorsement on their product page "as featured on Kotaku!! I guess its time to rack up! - Alex Walker".

    I'm also selling a serum which can solve world hunger and make ubisoft games enjoyable. PM me.

      I don't know why, but that made me think, "Lisa, I want to buy that rock."

      and make ubisoft games enjoyable

      You had me until this. Clearly bogus.

    Mannatech is a creepy cult-like direct-sales company that peddle vitamin supplements that will cure cancer etc. It's bogus. Steer well clear.

    BEEFCAKE!!! *flexes and grunts*

    It might sound silly but its no more irrellevent than the massive amount of work out formula with similar claims.

    Compared to the plethora of other advantages gamers buy into from Mechanical Keyboards, Teflon mouse feet, High speed mouse pads, increases in DPI or laser for mice, PS2 direct input devices, gamer glasses, gaming headsets, gaming chairs, gaming tables.

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