The topic of burnout is a sensitive one for many esports players, coaches and managers. It’s not uncommon for an esports athlete to experience burnout, but it’s important to understand why this happens and how you can prevent it from happening to you.
What is Burnout?
There are two types of burnout: physical and mental. Physical burnout occurs when your body is pushed beyond its limits due to excessive strain on your muscles or joints.
Mental burnout occurs when you feel mentally fatigued due to stress or anxiety. In esports, both types of burnout are common because of the long hours required to compete at a high level.
The best way to prevent this is to purposely set good habits to follow, and hopefully these tips will help.
The first has to be time management with screens. Humans were simply not made to sit in one position for 5-8 hours a day, and doing so can have detrimental effects on the brain.
Eventually you may get headaches, it could affect your sleep schedule, and the long term strain on your eyes isn’t pretty either. Managing screen time is the first step to countering these effects. Try to limit your gaming sessions to no more than 3 hours per session, or take breaks.
Go outside and touch some grass as they say. It’s proven that sunlight and nature are a great mood enhancement after de-ranking back to platinum. Invest in some blue light glasses, glasses that are designed to lower the effects of screens on your eyes. You’ll thank yourself later.
The other half of fighting burnout is stress management. Playing at the highest level of video games at times feels like chasing perfection when the rest of the world is against you. Nothing feels as good as riding the highs of a good session, but nothing feels worse than watching your work go down the drain. Managing these stressful emotions looks different for everyone, but having a release is important.
Try having a separate hobby. For some it may be sports, social activities, or even working out. When you are competing at the highest level it’s easy to get consumed, and simply having other things to do and focus on can help so much.
A lot of people at the top spend hours a day playing the game, everyday, and that’s not good for longevity and success. Efficient practices with determined goals work just as well. In fact exercising is another activity that can really help with burnout. It can even help combat depression and anxiety by giving your brain something else to focus on besides gaming. Psychological health boosts mental performance, so you’d be killing two birds with one stone. Stress is hard to deal with, and for a lot of people, gaming is that stress release. When gaming becomes stressful it can be hard, but like everything else it can be managed.
Mental Health Checks
Lastly, let’s bring focus to mental health in esports. Because of the age of the players and the hours they commit to training, exhaustion, depression and anxiety are all factors that can contribute to burnout.
Playing at such a high level for long periods of time can be mentally exhausting. Esport players have to constantly make decisions and think on their feet and as they progress through the ranks, this only gets more intense. Esports players should prioritize getting better, healthier sleep to improve themselves physically and mentally. Also try to maintain a well balanced diet that works for you.
Having healthy eating habits will have you physically feeling better and is all around beneficial keeping you further away from reaching burnout. In esports, where players are expected to perform at their best in order to win tournaments and get paid salaries by sponsorships and prize money, mental health can be especially important because it affects how a player performs on the field and how they interact with teammates as a team unit.
Gaming is very rewarding, but it isn’t the only rewarding thing in life and maintaining some type of balance can really help out with burnout. Watch your screen time, manage stress, and just live your life and you’ll find yourself dominating the game for a long time.