Esports players have to deal with plenty of stress every single day, whether it’s in the form of practicing for long hours, moving across the world for a team, or even dealing with fans and critics online.
Even though many teams produce content that allows fans to peek behind the proverbial curtain, Misfits Gaming coach Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider said people really have no idea how much these young players must handle on a daily basis.
“Often times when engaging in online interactions, it’s forgotten that we’re more than the names on the screen,” Amazing said. “There are real people behind the nicknames, and our mental health may not always allow us to take on certain things past the every day stress we encounter.”
He also said that everybody—not just esports players—deals with issues throughout their lives, and if every problem is piled on top of each other, all of that can make it hard to deal with their own mental health difficulties.
Multiple esports players across popular titles have already retired from their respective scene due to stress and mental health problems. For example, superstar AD carry Jian “Uzi” Zi-hao had to retire from professional League of Legends due to chronic stress, as well as multiple health issues that popped up during his career.
More recently, G2 Esports star Luka “Perkz” Perković stepped back from competitive play for a week to take time for himself. Many players understand that when they take a break from esports, they aren’t just stepping away from the game, but they’re also stepping away from the plethora of negativity that can swirl within the community.
Like many esports fandoms, players are subjected to toxicity and negativity almost every day, whether it be on Twitter, Reddit, or even in their own stream chats. These negative comments all have adverse effects on esports players, and every person that makes these comments feel safe behind their computer screens.
“This is the mindfulness we need to create, and every human interaction should be led with that in mind,” Amazing said. “This is what we owe one another as people.”