Esports is an industry that is currently having the attention of many parties, including the UN health division or the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2019, WHO categorized addiction to playing games as a mental illness.
However, what about esports athletes? They are required to constantly play video game every day in order to train, even more intense when they are preparing for the tournament.
Just like traditional sports athletes, esports athletes must also have the stable physical and mental strength to be able to provide slick performance despite facing a lot of pressure in competition.
Paying attention to the mental health of the esports team
In general, esports athletes need more attention in mental health-related issues considering the tough competition in the realm of esports. Being in a very competitive industry certainly has the potential to cause mental health problems for the player.
Realizing this, ONIC Esports management, following in the anticipatory footsteps of the Astralis team, chose to help and maintain the mental stability of the players. Astralis, the Danish esports team hired the services of a psychologist named Mia Stellberg.
With the attention from the physical and mental health sides, this also supports the players from the Astralis team to become one of the strongest esports teams in the world. It is very important for teams to maintain the mental health of the players because it can have a big impact on the performance of athletes when competing.
Not only mental health, but also physical health
Even though esports is not a type of sport that emphasizes physical activity too much, this does not mean that the physical health of the players can be overlooked.
Apart from Astralis, there are other overseas teams that have started working with health insurance companies to pay attention to the physical welfare of esports athletes. For example, the Borussia Esports team in collaboration with AOK Reinhald / Hamburg.
Several well-known teams in Indonesia have also paid attention to detailed health aspects. From the ONIC Esports team, Chandra Wijaya as the Managing Director said that their management has fairly strict rules such as the problem of determining sleep hours, choosing nutritional intake for players, and routine sports activities. Even if players train at night they still need to have a proper sleeping duration.
Then, from the Alter Ego team, Indra Hadiyanto as the Chief Operating Officer also said that they would focus more on the nutritional intake given to their players. The management also has a special cook in their gaming house. They enforce a meal schedule which the players must adhere to.
Health Problems Affecting Esports Players
Do Duc Minh, or who is familiarly called Minky, is an esports player from Vietnam who died in September 2019. Jeremy Yulianto, a coach of the Mobile Legends national team who was the coach of the Bigetron team, said that the cause of Minky’s death was due to his bad lifestyle as a professional esports athlete.
Aside of that, another case also came from Yosua “Kido” Priatama, who was one of the Louvre Esports retainer who was treated for typhus when he was going to compete in MSC 2019.
There is still another case from China experienced by a player from Royal Never Give Up, Uzi, who suffered an injury to his right shoulder. Uzi also said that if his lower body was having problems.
This is allegedly due to the demands of training activities that are too long sitting in front of a computer screen. As a professional esports athlete, Uzi is asked to continue to develop his abilities to win championships and achievements for his team.
These three cases prove that esports players also need special attention from a health perspective. Even though it is not like other traditional sports, esports needs to get attention from a mental and physical perspective so that it can compete optimally.
Paying attention to esports
Apart from the internal team that maintains the physical and mental health of the players, there are needs from external third parties to also involve in this movement.
The esports industry is currently experiencing rapid development in Indonesia. This can be seen from the number of tournaments held. To raise the awareness, tournament organizers must also check the players’ eligibility before competing. The organizer is supposed to provide health insurance to the players before competing. This is an effort to maintain the high competition given in the tournament.
The collision of mental and physical health problems in the esports scene can cause fatal problems. Esports athletes must also be looked after physically and mentally to maximize their performance when they compete.
Although currently there are only a few parties who are serious about the physical and mental well-being of esports athletes, there are still external services that can help you take care of your mental health, such as BetterHelp that provides therapy and counseling for all people, no matter if you’re a teen, or an elder.