We all know the feeling. It’s the end of a round. Down to the wire. The dying seconds of a game that’s yours to lose. You’re on a knife-edge. The room closes in around you and you’re laser focussed. Your winning rituals have taken over, and suddenly you’re on rails to victory.

Believe it or not, many of us have our own personal gaming rituals. For some it’s leaning forward when you need to stage an epic comeback. For others it’s a playlist of verified bangers that get you in the mood for victory.

To ensure you can drive your squad to success, we spoke to a real pro. IAmFallFromGrace is an Australian Twitch streamer and pro-gamer. With 100,000 followers on Twitch watching her game from all over the world, Grace knows a thing or two about what it takes to win regularly.

For Grace, it all starts with her setup. If you’ve ever viewed her stream, or watched any of her incredible set-up tours, you know that she’s meticulous.

“I have to set the perfect scene, and set up my stream. I turn on all the lights in my background, power up my PC, put on my headset and turn on my camera. I’ll usually do some wrist and neck rolls to warm up before I focus into the game,” she says of getting started.

Like most of us, Grace does the instinctual lean in ritual while she games,

I get very immersed in games and sometimes my body takes over,” Grace says. “I don’t even realise I’m doing it half of the time until my chat calls me out on it or I notice it on my preview window,” she tells us.

But for Grace, every game is different and comes with its own set of rituals for success.

“Game-to-game there are definitely differences. If I’m preparing for an aggressive push in a Battle Royale I’ll usually take a big deep breath and try to slow my heart rate. The adrenaline in that style of game is immense.

“When it comes to a more relaxed story game or puzzle platformer, there’s not much adrenaline going on but if there is a lot of dialogue, I’ll bring my microphone in nice and close and narrate for my audience.”

“It’s all about getting into the zone. Gaming requires a lot of mental focus and stamina.”

Grace isn’t the only one getting in the zone with rituals. We spoke to hundreds of Fortress Melbourne members, and found that we all engage in some form of ritualistic gaming behaviour to help us clench the big W.

Fortress players know how to get in the zone. They know what it takes for a big win, and they all have their own rituals to get them there. The biggest ritual for Fortress players is having a drink handy to stay hydrated during a session. Almost half of the gamers we spoke to with rituals said that ensuring a drink is nearby is key for a clutch session. Of those who told us they needed libations during play, only 5% said they needed their drink to be alcoholic.

Interestingly, not everyone loves a snack as much. Only 17% of respondents told us they needed munchies nearby to ensure a good game.

Much like Grace, Fortress gamers also must have their environment just right to play effectively. 25% of respondents said they needed their furniture, software, settings and more to be just so in order to enjoy a gaming session.

Importantly, Fortress gamers also value the ritual of taking a break between rounds. Those we spoke to often referred to requiring regular movement or mental check-ins throughout a gaming session.

One ritual that can save your game faster than a checkpoint is ensuring your modem is humming at top performance. That’s where Telstra Game Optimiser comes in.

We’ve already taken steps to optimise our network for gaming, but for the vast majority of Australian console and PC gamers, the big opportunity is within your own home network with Telstra Game Optimiser.

Game Optimiser is our new gaming add-on that gives you the power to prioritise traffic to gaming devices in your home network, and helps curb lag spikes by letting you choose what bandwidth your device needs. It plays the key role in maintaining your low ping to reduce lag, improving gaming performance.

It helps you choose servers to improve latency for the game you’re playing. It works for more than just games, too – you can use Game Optimiser’s network monitor to spot bandwidth-hogging programs and devices, helping your ping be uninterrupted by a pesky system update or unexpected download.

With Game Optimiser, we’re seeing a 75% reduction in ping spikes, when playing on a typical shared household network. And in the initial beta, 66% of Battle Royale gamers had overall improvement in their gaming experience, with 72% quoting improvements in the reliability of their connection.

After a successful series of early betas for Game Optimiser, it’s ready to drive your squad to the chicken dinner you deserve. You can road test Game Optimiser on us for one month, then it’s $10 per month after that.

Things you need to know

Eligible Telstra nbn customers will be able to add on Telstra Games Optimiser with a one-month free trial, then the subscription is $10 per month, plus your existing nbn plan charges.

One-month free-trial for new Game Optimiser Customers. Monthly charging will start at the end of your trial period. Cancel at any time and receive a pro-rata refund for the month. Requires Gen Smart 2 Smart Modems. Incompatible with Fixed Wireless connections, nbn Basic and Ultrafast speed plans.