Every year, hopeful NFL draft prospects take the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test to assess their quick-thinking and problem-solving capabilities. Players prepare weeks in advance to take the test in hopes of attracting potential draft suitors, and it has become a yearly tradition to see how the quarterbacks score before draft night.
The top two picks of this year's draft, quarterbacks Jared Goff (No. 1 overall to the Los Angeles Rams) and Carson Wentz (No. 2 to the Philadelphia Eagles), scored 36 and 40, respectively, out of a possible 50.
Eugene "Pobelter" Park is the starting mid laner for Immortals, a professional League of Legends team that plays in the North American League Championship Series in Los Angeles. Unlike Goff or Wentz, Park did not have time to prepare for the exam. He traveled to the Sports Science studio to shoot a segment and was surprised when he was asked to take it.
He scored a 41.
"I didn't know I was going to take it until I arrived at the studio," Park said. "So it was a 'cold' test take. Didn't know what kind of questions it would be."
"I graduated high school but deferred some college acceptances to play League instead, since I didn't get into my top choices," Park said. "I got a 2340 on my SAT and had a 4.3-ish GPA, if you want some idea of my high school performance."
League of Legends is a five-versus-five multiplayer game, where the objective is to destroy the opposing team's base. It's currently the most played game in the world, with over 100 million players. The best of the best play in regional leagues, and some players make upward of $500,000 from salary and tournament winnings alone.
"I think in esports -- because of how quickly the games change in terms of balance changes to the game, to make one aspect stronger or weaker -- you have to always be in a state of flux," said Robert Yip, Park's physical coach on Immortals. "The best players are the ones that have the ability to reinvent themselves and adapt with the times. These players are also the ones that have the longest career life spans."
As Park said, "You need to be able to think quickly and make the right decisions. There's a lot of pros out there with a good academic background, but it isn't necessary. There are a lot of high school dropouts too. Just depends how smart you are in terms of the game."