A report published by the association last year said eSports’ “sedentary nature” meant “musculoskeletal injuries of the neck, back, and upper extremities” were likely for athletes, also flagging concerns over gaming addiction and social behavior disorders.
Alarming warnings are nothing new for eSports, which has met with a mixed welcome from the sporting establishment despite its wildfire popularity, as witnessed by the hundreds of millions who follow big tournaments online.
Attempts to join the Olympics have so far faltered, for reasons including a lack of cohesion between competing companies, the changing nature of games and basic questions over whether gaming can be considered a sport.
Chris Chan, president of the Global Esports Federation, a new body backed by Chinese gaming giant Tencent, said credibility was a problem, with health and wellbeing one area that needs attention.
“It’s about time that in eSports we looked into all this,” he told AFP.
Chan said the Singapore-headquartered federation, which launched in December and has a focus on “holistic health”, has already set up an “education, culture and wellness” commission to guide its work.
“We’ve got some very prominent doctors, who are sitting inside sharing with us,” he said.