Esports And Mental Health: An Undeniable Relation

by | Nov 10, 2022 | Esports | 0 comments

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The idea that esports competitors are, in reality, mental athletes has long been prevalent in the esports community. In addition to having excellent gaming talents, what really sets them apart from average players is their capacity for performance under pressure, speed of reaction, and ability to make decisions.

However, the mental strain of professional competition frequently takes a toll on athletes’ mental health. Esports players frequently experience challenges with anxiety, depression, burnout, and social alienation, but there are currently no industry-wide solutions to these tribulations.

It goes without saying that an athlete’s mental health directly affects their career, and this impact has already led to several players pausing or even ending their playing careers.

Although it has been standard practice for the biggest esports organizations to support players’ well-being, this support is not available to all players equally because it heavily depends on the organization’s funding.

Why Is Mental Health Important?

We must first understand the significance of mental health in overall wellness before discussing the connection between esports and mental health.

Our emotional, psychological, and social well-being are all parts of what mental health means, which is frequently referred to as mental-emotional health. It is the mental state in which we react and feel under various circumstances.

For instance, someone with a positive mental-emotional outlook would be more likely than someone with a bad mental-emotional outlook to have healthy interactions with everything around them.

The people in our lives, our money, our interests, our careers, and having a great relationship with ourselves are all aspects of mental health. Every aspect of our lives will be positively or negatively impacted by the daily thoughts, behaviors, and emotions we experience.

Since our mental health impacts how well we function, how happy we are, and whether or not we can thrive in daily life, improving it should be a lifetime endeavor.

The Pressure

Anyone would be knocked back by the pressure of competing, practicing, and succeeding, but many professional esports athletes battle through it.

Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok was brought to tears after a crushing 3-0 loss.

Being in the spotlight creates the potential for toxicity, which means that many players encounter online criticism regularly. Having this much negativity directed at you can be quite bad for your mental health and make it very difficult to maintain a happy attitude.

The recent incidents involving Fnatic League player, Gabril “Bwipo” Rau, who quit social media after receiving harassment directed at him and his partner, illustrate this.

Gabril “Bwipo” Ra

Because they are kept secret, these problems are rarely discussed in the industry. People don’t realize how much of an impact everything has on the players’ mental health because they assume that being able to participate in esports for a job is simple.

Organizations have just recently begun to take the initiative to implement support systems; examples include Misfits, which places a high priority on the mental health of its athletes.

Promoting positive well-being enables players to perform better and feel more at ease. Ensuring players are in a good mental position before playing makes all the difference.

The Benefits Of Esports

Although it should go without saying, esports can positively impact your mental health.

As a result of COVID-19’s impact on the global social climate, many people now use video games for social contact and recreation. Despite being a global nightmare, the epidemic has given more people a chance to benefit from gaming’s good impacts on mental health.

Since the start of 2020, the gaming business has grown by 73%, and more research has emerged in the previous five years connecting video games to better mental health and overall well-being.

Even though we’ve only touched on the difficulties associated with the competitive side of esports, it’s vital to remember that it’s also a fantastic way to promote well-being.

Disabled veteran Daniel’ Bezzabing’ Bingley said: “Having a ‘positive mental attitude (PMA) is a life balance. I’m a big advocate of community fields, so when I do team sports, I departmentalize and extract from the real world; I am zoned in and part of a community.

“The ethos is the same in esports. When you’re playing a game, there are a number of factors that will go through your mind when you’re doing it. You want to participate; you want to achieve, you want to help each other, you don’t want to let each other down – these are fundamentals that we’re all engraved with,” he added.

People engage in esports and gaming to unwind and relax while enhancing their mental health. It’s crucial to have this outlet for any issues, and more people should emphasize the positive effects of esports on individuals.

SOURCE: Getty Image

The industry is gradually having more debates, but more work must be done. Promoting good mental health and well-being in esports enables participants to talk openly about their challenges and lend a hand to others.

Maintaining involvement in fun and significant activities might support enhancing your happy mental state. Many players claim they feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves when playing video games, according to one university study looking into the positive benefits of video games.

For instance, working together to set goals like reaching a specific rank, having an ace in Valorant, or performing a wombo combos in League is a great deal of purpose. We learn from these experiences that everyone’s purpose in life is unique to them and that we may find happiness in any aspect of our lives.

Living a happy life requires discovering meaning and purpose. Through teamwork, such as setting and attaining goals, esports can give one’s life purpose. Completing objectives can also significantly improve your mood.

The Bad Side of Esports

The National Institutes of Health state that excessive game playing can harm mental health, primarily because of insufficient physical activity rather than any direct effects of the game. Unfortunately, because of their competitive nature, esports games could easily give you anxiety, stress, or even depression.

All parts of your health will suffer if you don’t maintain a healthy outlook. Yes, reaching the Immortal rank in Valorant is great, but you cannot reach that without a proper and stable mind. Holistic well-being entails obtaining enough rest, consuming wholesome foods, exercising regularly, nurturing relationships, and avoiding or treating illnesses or injuries.

Each of us needs to evaluate how much time we spend playing video games. We may need to take a step back if playing video games negatively impacts our personal or professional well-being.

Source: Getty Image

There’s also video game addiction. Video game addiction is the point at which your gaming time starts negatively impacting every other aspect of your life. If you’re wondering whether you could be addicted, consider your obligations (such as how well you perform at work or school) and your relationships to determine whether you’re paying enough attention to them.

Other clear indicators include putting off hobbies, showing signs of physical or psychological withdrawal, or displaying signs of impatience or hostility when compelled to take a break from gaming. If you believe you may have a video game addiction, we advise you to speak with a local mental health expert.


Wraping It Up

In general, emotionally intelligent persons with a purpose or mission in life and a goal to work toward are typically happier and more content with their lives than those who are not.

Source: Getty Image

High satisfaction levels, a sense of community, and stress reduction in daily life can all be derived from playing video games. It can also enhance specific abilities related to communication, cognition, hand-eye coordination, quick decision-making, and teamwork.

And while playing esports games has numerous advantages, it can also have drawbacks. It’s crucial to evaluate your priorities and keep your attention on them. From children to adults, many have benefited from the supportive community video games offer.

In the end, moderation is the key. Esports and mental health are undeniably related; keep playing your favorite games for the advantages but always prioritize your mental health and social well-being.

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