With the esports landscape evolving and increasingly more game developers appealing to the competitive aspect of video games, it feels almost overwhelming to pick a new game to focus on. At the same time, one thing that can be said for certain about the rise in esports is that there’s a danger of gaming-related injuries. With that in mind, we wanted to put together a little cheat sheet of injuries for the different types of competitive games out there.
Whether it be a fast-paced shooter or a methodical card game, many esports have some amount of risk of injury associated with them, so let’s break them down!
Shooters (Battle Royales, FPS, etc.)
Shooters tend to be the most problematic of the genres for injuries. They focus on a lot of fine motor skills and general movement of the arm and wrist. As such, some professionals in these esports, such as Call of Duty’s ZooMaa, have been forced to retire due to wrist and hand injuries. These injuries can be caused by actions such as excessive flicking motions and overuse due to long hours.
We recommend preventing these injuries by wearing equipment such as arm braces and wrist guards which can provide support and relief. We also recommend taking breaks when possible and resting your arms and wrists during gaming sessions.
Strategy Games (TCGs, RTSs, etc.)
Strategy games, while not very physically intensive, do require a lot of focus and attentiveness. Card games like MTG: Arena or Yu-Gi-Oh rely heavily on one’s ability to keep track of what cards you and your opponent have played. They may also require you to read small card text from time to time, which can lead to eye strain if you are trying to climb the ranked ladder or are practicing for long hours. Other strategy games may not require as much attention to fine detail but will require more APM (Actions Per Minute). Games like Starcraft involve additional clicks and button presses, which can definitely wear harder on the joints in your hand.
For most strategy games, we recommend a set of blue light glasses to lessen the amount of strain on your eyes and compression gloves to lower the strain on the joints in your hands and fingers.
While sports games may not dominate esports, the competitive scene is still very much alive and well. These games are played on controllers in the highest-skill division. As such, a lot of injuries that occur from playing sports games tend to be in the wrists, fingers, and thumbs.
Because of this, we recommend wearing compression gloves during practice times and less strenuous gaming sessions.
MOBAs are somewhere in between both Shooters and Strategy games because they rely on mouse movement and quick, precise inputs. Consequently, the number of injuries you may encounter when main gaming a MOBA can vary greatly depending on your playstyle and champion pool. Many professional League of Legends players such as Cloud9’s Hai and Royal Never Give Up’s Uzi have cited various health concerns as the reasons for their retirement as a result of playing LoL in a professional capacity. Whether you play a high APM character or a more methodical one, injuries are bound to occur if you keep grinding out a MOBA.
We believe it is best to play it by ear and seek a remedy for whatever is stifling your play the most. Blue light glasses for your eyes, compression gloves, and wrist guards for your wrist and hands, and compression sleeves for your elbows are all good preventive measures for whatever injury you may feel coming on.
We hope this helps you stay safe in whichever genre you choose to play next!
Guest Author: Kyle Nakasaka