5 June 2019
Author: Livvy Houghton
At present, the health and wellness territory in eSports remains underdeveloped. While brands are beginning to introduce products to improve players’ nutrition and comfort, this could be considered an opportunity for profit, rather than a necessity to protect performers. If such brands are comfortable capitalising on the growth of eSports, shouldn’t they – and the industry itself – be working to better protect those who created such opportunity? Without the athletes, the market wouldn’t exist.
To manage players’ needs, the correct training, medical care and treatments need to be in place. Dubbed the eSports doctor, Dr Levi Harrison offers services to professional gamers and has recently opened the first eSports-focused medical practice in the US. ‘When it comes to eSports players, the brain is the first instrument players use to strategise, and the second instrument is the body – using your hands, wrists, elbows, and arms,’ says Harrison. ‘But your body and eyes can only take it for so long. By the time [these athletes] turn 23 or 24, they’re a relic in this industry.'
Unfortunately, this early-age burnout happens far more often than most would expect. The average eSports athlete retires in their mid-20s after what's known as 'the grind' – a fast-paced, high-stress career that ends in game over. Notably, they are much younger than those retiring from traditional sports, who average around 33 years of age. One reason? Esports players tend to chase short-term, impactful goals and ignore the necessary maintenance or pacing required to achieve longevity in play.
A possible lack of health education and strategic care highlights the need for eSports teams, wellness brands and institutions to better provide these players with the same access to nutritionists, psychologists, training, and medical staff that other professional athletes receive in a heartbeat.
For more article on the future of gaming, visit LS:N Global.