Sedative Meds

About the mental health of esports

My first e-sports post , suddenly for me, turned out to be very popular. It turned out that many of the users of Geektimes and Habr are passionate about the topic, but they read all the news about it on specialized sites. The audience of these sites is very large. So big that we can confidently talk about the eSports subculture, which no longer consists of only players, but has in its orbit specialized journalists and bloggers, team administrators and functionaries, bookmakers and betters, sponsors and advertisers, coaches and … psychologists.  

Let’s talk about other aspects.

After the publication, I was contacted by the guys from , whom I inadvertently mentioned in my article. This is a young bookmaker that specializes in esports betting. When they learned that psychology was in my sphere of interest, they threw in several materials on problems that are completely unfamiliar to us, but in the West are becoming more and more relevant. It’s about the psychology of cybersportsmen. Is esports really a sport? The debate over whether esports is a sport is reminiscent of the debate of the last century over whether chess is a sport. By the way, the International Olympic Committee recognized chess as a sport only in 1999, but did not include it in the Olympic program. The main thing here is to define what a sport is. “Sport is more than a set of movements that athletes demonstrate in competition. In fact, this is just one part of the big picture that defines sport. Mental skills, strategies, or preparation are also important ingredients that affect performance. All this is in esports too. While the movement in eSports cannot be compared to what we see in traditional sports like football or biathlon, the physical activity in eSports should not be underestimated. The movements may be of lesser amplitude, but they are usually very fast and accurate. For these reasons, esports can be safely classified as a sport, ” says Ing Frobez, junior researcher at the Christopher Grieben Health Center. Sport is not only about physical activity. For the desired result, psychological preparation, stability, reaction, etc. are required. An integrated and holistic approach plays a role in the preparation of an athlete: nutrition, psychological and physical aspects. Is there all this in modern eSports? On a professional level, the answer is yes! Currently, esports is at an early stage of development, but already in some countries, for example, in South Korea, there are such game aspects as analysis, team management, nutrition coaching. Some teams from other countries also pay great attention to these aspects. Don’t bother the cybersportsman, he plays as best he can! Cybersport, like no other sport, is connected with the Internet. And this creates a big problem that went unnoticed for a long time. It is the relationship between the esports community and professional players. Fan criticism, in case of failure, falls on e-sportsmen as much as on football players or representatives of other sports. But the cyber sportsman plunges into it faster and more intensely, so his whole sport is in the same environment as criticism. He is not separated from the fans by the space of the stadium and the insults hit him harder. 

Fans are the same everywhere, but only in e-sports they are everywhere 🙂

In an interview with Team Liquid member Travis Gafford, this issue was discussed. The player claims that even the most strong-minded players can be offended by comments and various messages that are associated with death threats. Psychological research shows that negative experiences, emotions, and negative feedbacks are handled differently and strongly imprinted in our minds. It is not easy to ignore a comment that carries a negative message. The problem is compounded by the fact that, often, today’s professional players are impressionable and emotional adolescents and young people who are placed in stressful conditions. A huge amount of time is devoted to the game. However, failing performances in a short period of time can derail everything they’ve worked on for so long.   

The guy is clearly bad and at the same time good

. A recent example, a former top CLG player – Nien. Poor performance during one playoff series, excessive public censure and his struggle with depression forced him to temporarily withdraw from the competition. Anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems are widespread in esports. Of course, not every player can develop a serious mental problem. But every player will be faced with stress, insecurity and negativity. It is necessary to engage in psychological communication and skills training to learn how to overcome these obstacles.

In the European LCS League, the Copenhagen Wolves team hired sports psychologist Weldon Green for group and individual sessions. Greene’s primary focus was on improving productivity through time management and goal setting. This also included teaching players the skills of mental resilience to go through various difficulties, such as learning to talk to oneself. The German esports organization SK Gaming also uses the services of a sports psychologist, and their players have already shown impressive results from this collaboration.

I haven’t heard of psychologists in our teams. So far, good results are achieved without them. But in the future, there will undoubtedly be victories for technologically advanced teams that have a complex and well-thought-out training regimen, proper nutrition and leisure, the necessary physical activity and, of course, a psychologist.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *