What’s the secret to esports success? Skill and practice? A good setup with responsive peripherals? Well, yes, actually, to all of those. But Swedish entrepreneur Oskar Ödmark believes the next leap for competitive gaming is, as the old adage goes, all in the wrist. To help us realize our full competitive potential, he’s designed the Flashe (pronounced ‘flashy’) glove, which he claims is “the world’s first performance enhancing gaming glove.”
The Flashe glove is currently on Kickstarter, and at the time of this writing, it has already raised $57,665 – quintuple its $11,000 goal – with eight days left in its campaign. (As reported, you have to pledge at least $79 to receive the actual glove; anything lower and you’ll only get the sleeve.) So it’s certainly funded, but is it actually any good?
Ödmark points to four benefits in the glove’s Kickstarter pitch: friction reduction provided by the glove’s sleek teflon underside, a breathable gaming sleeve that covers most of your arm, a strap that allows for “rotation support,” and a built-in brace that improves your hand posture while holding a mouse. The Kickstarter claims that these qualities enable wearers to “finally become one with your mouse and move it faster, easier, and with more precision than ever before.”
Now, most PC gamers don’t really move their entire arm much while playing – certainly not in a sweeping, desk-wide arc – so the teflon underside sounds like pointless finery to me. As for the breathable sleeve, well, you can’t get more breathable than nothing, so at best you just won’t notice the thing. Then there’s the “rotation support” provided by the harness. Again, you can’t improve on the rotational freedom of, you know, not wearing a glove, so the best-case scenario here is probably just not noticing the harness. (Relatedly, that around-the-thumb strap does not look comfy.)
All that being said, the corrective brace included in the Flashe glove might actually be helpful. Playing games with your hand arched over your mouse for extended periods is not good for your wrist and can lead to RSI (repetitive strain injury), so there could be demand for a comfortable wrist brace that improves your resting posture.
Will the Flashe glove fill that niche? Uh, maybe? It sounds silly and it looks a little bogged down with gamer-brand nonsense – though to its credit it doesn’t have RGB lighting – but this kind of brace could legitimately help some PC gamers, especially esports pros struggling with RSI. If the Flashe sounds like it’d be a good fit for you and your mouse hand, you can find more information on the official Flashe site.