Esports players risk to burn out in their 20s

Posted on: Jan 04, 2019 By smartlaunch in News and trends,

Some of the world’s top esports players work as many as 80 hours a week, with much of the time spent on marathon video-game sessions that end up taking physical and mental tolls. This practice, known as “the grind,” is causing many professional gamers to retire by their mid-20s.

The mental risk is that you always have the pressure on your shoulders that you have to perform. Early retirement by video gamers is not a new phenomenon. In 2014, the gaming publication Polygon reported that it was normal for esports players to retire in their mid-20s because youth is a key determinant of excellent motor skills and reaction times—two essential qualities for a top gamer.

But the rise of social media and the esports industry’s rapid growth is exacerbating the tolls of professional gaming, with mental stress leading gamers to burn out earlier. Not only is there more money at stake, but more sets of eyes—roughly 400 million of them based on global esports audience estimates—are watching the industry’s main assets: The players.

Every wrong move is scrutinized on Reddit, Twitter, and other online forums. It’s hard for competitive gamers to walk away from their online devices and avoid the blowback. The same place where they succeed or fail professionally, and get critiqued for it, is also their main way of communicating with the world outside of work.

The pipeline of young players entering the profession will remain: There are more than 100 high schools across the US and Canada with North American Scholastic Esports Federation clubs, and increasingly more US colleges are offering scholarships to varsity video-game players. And then there’s the money. According to gaming research firm Newzoo, revenue from the esports industry reached USD 660 million in 2017, and is forecast to climb to USD 1,5 billion by 2020.

 

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