Esports has seen a recent growth in India with mainstream titles like PUBG Mobile, CS:GO and DOTA 2 a lucrative career choice for many. This has seen an increase in players flocking to their local gaming cafes and the current situation involving the lockdown led them to pursue the competitive aspect of video games from the comfort of their homes. Being a competitive esports player, however, is not an easy job and requires a minimum of eight hours of gaming for someone hoping to make it into the big leagues. These long hours start taking a toll on the body both physically and mentally.
Being healthy is an important aspect of life and is non-negotiable, especially while being involved in esports which involves long periods of remaining sedentary.
Though the need for physical training, good genetics and other factors often required for competitive physical sports is not needed, health is still a factor that could be severely affected. Lack of socialisation, depression or isolation, obesity are some of the issues that gamers might encounter if they neglect health in pursuit of esports.
International teams have taken measures to prevent this. Bootcamps, gyms and access to physical and mental health facilities ensure that players receive the best treatment and lifestyle to ensure that their game stays strong. Teams in the Global ecosystem also focus on the need of having a mental health professional work with the team. After all, being an esports athlete requires professionalism at all times, which can cause mental stress. Involving a sports nutritionist has also become important because as we all know, diet and nutrition make up an important part of being healthy.
Many well established Indian teams have a massive fan following and revenue generated by streaming and tournaments which has led them to improve quality of life, which brings better results in-game. Obesity, lack of sleep and decreased exposure to outdoor environments can have many negative factors such as the body being unable to handle the weight, excessive stress on joints, fatigue, lack of energy and focus. These can cause major hindrances in games like CS:GO, PUBG Mobile where even a split second mistake could result in you winning or losing the match.
Mental health is another factor that comes into play. Due to such long hours of gameplay, players may often keep to themselves in their room, talking to teammates online. However, virtual interaction vastly differs from talking in person and one might develop issues regarding social interaction. A streak of losses in a game like DoTA 2 may cause disappointment and lack of motivation among seasoned players who wish to reach the summit of DOTA 2 ranked. Some ways that help esport athletes deal with these pitfalls are meditation and with access to mental health professionals might help them deal with the psychological hindrances to their gameplay and help them develop as a person and as an athlete.