Have you ever brought up eSports to someone, or heard it being spoken about?
If you have, you’ve likely seen people guffaw and scoff. That it ‘isn’t a real job’ and that ‘they are probably all gonna die at 30 from obesity!’ – usually, ironically, said whilst the ‘expert’ scoffs down fast food or drinks a beer. The caricature of an eSports participant is an acne-ridden loser who lives in a gaming chair. The reality, though, is completely different. Outside of the fact these are often fiercely competitive and charismatic people with large followings, they are also – on the whole – pretty damn healthy.
Ever since it became a major thing, eSports has been derided by the non-gaming community as a nonsense. People get angry when they hear people winning fix-figure plus rewards for winning a gaming tournament. They get treated as scruffs who are ruining their own personal health in a bid to win ‘easy’ money – and that, one day, their medium will no longer exist.
Well, given that gaming is on track to become the largest of the major media entertainment platforms in TV, movies, and music, that might not be very likely. And what’s more? Most eSports gamers and companies take the health of the people involved seriously. Enough stories exist about the consequences of being lazy in this regard to make sure that eSports gamers are actually in the good physical nick.
Indeed, research from the University of Cologne in Germany has found that eSports gamers are actually healthier than the average person.
For one, most of them are sponsored by junk food and energy drinks – and most are seen holding energy drinks in shots, especially during play. So, we mostly assume that they are fuelled by carbs and energy drinks – yet that simply is not the case. Indeed, the study found that most of them eat better than the average person. Studying over 800 eSports athletes, the study selection managed to find that their eating habits and patterns were surprisingly healthy.
They are believed to have consumed less sugar than the average person, though 40% did say they drink at least one energy drink regularly. However, part of that comes down to sponsorship as much as anything else. Sugar, though, was down in large other parts of their diet, while a propensity to exercise was actually surprisingly high.
So, the next time you dismiss eSports gamers as a bunch of lazy and overweight layabouts, think again. These are committed, successful professionals who have taken the time to build a new industry; even if they were as unhealthy as the stereotypes suggest, they are creating a medium worth millions. Is that not worth celebrating?