The esports sector continues to grow at an astonishing rate and most learned observers believe it will be worth around $2b per annum by the end of 2022. It has matured from its base as an arcade driven pastime to a complex digital ecosystem, watched by around 500m spectators a year.
The esports audience is expected to grow to 796 million global viewers by 2024, a nearly 200% increase from present-day numbers. - Obectstyle - Nov 2020
The most successful teams out there include the likes of Team Liquid, OG, Evil Geniuses and Fnatic and pull-down earnings in prize money in the tens of millions. These are huge organisations, with sponsorship deals with the likes of Honda, SAP and Twitch and a litany of team members who make the side tick. You have a Team Manager, Physical Coaches, Wellness Coaches, Content Creators, Developers, Nutritionists, Physios and many more, but at the centre of all this, just like any other “traditional” sporting venture is the players. And these players, with yearly individual winnings in the millions, need to be looked after and looked after well.
Not to be underestimated is the mental and physical strain of being a Gamer. And what I am going to concentrate on in this post, is the physical side of esports. What can go wrong and how can CBD help alleviate those issues?
A player’s body goes through a huge amount of strain, even just in practice mode. It is not unusual for these players, often still with growing bodies, to spend 16-20 hours per day just practicing their craft. The pressure is on to succeed, so will they take that 10 minutes per hour to stand, stretch and move like they should? Are they even able to do so, so frenetic and pressurised is the gameplay? Unfortunately, this rigorous schedule does take a toll on the body and injuries to the hands, wrists, arms, back and neck are almost unavoidable.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Tennis Elbow are two of the most common injuries suffered by esports players. Constant use of the mouse / trackpad / keyboard, with the arm static, leads to these stress injuries and recovery from these can take years and surgery is often required to correct damage. And careers in esports are short, so is surgery really something that should be undertaken? Almost certainly not.
An alternative is treatment with CBD balms and gels, such as the Cannafull CBD Cooling Gel or CBD Muscle Balm. Studies are ongoing as to the efficacy of Cannabis in many spheres, but the generally regarded opinion is that it really does have a part to play as an anti-inflammatory that reduces chronic pain. Paired with other ingredients like Menthol, there is a consensus that these gels and balms could be the answer that the esports players have been searching for. These products are now being widely used in the physical sports arena, so why not in esports where the body area effected may differ, but the inflammation does not.
Back pain is another huge issue in esports, again mainly due to the vast amount of time players spend hunched over desks. And no amount of training on the correct posture is going to stop a player leaning in towards the screen to increase their engagement in their onscreen challenge. Once more, these back injuries tend to be due to inflammation, so a rub down with CBD Sports Massage Oil could be just the ticket for a fast recovery.
To help get this message out to the esports community, Cannafull have joined forces with Scottish Esports Hub, a social enterprise that advises people on how to find a career in the sector and how to manage their body and mind when they get there. Brian Houston, the man behind Scottish Esports Hub is a strong supporter of players and their support teams using CBD to help them achieve their goals.
Brian told us “Whilst the support for players and wider teams is getting better all the time in esports, there is always room for improvement. We have seen teams add physical trainers, wellness coaches, etc to their rosters over the years, but there is still a reliance on prescription medication to alleviate pain that the players suffer. Medication that is designed to target one area of physical or mental pain. Whereas we have the option to utilise cannabis-based treatments that can help with everything, from a base of ingredients that is natural, sustainable and effective. It just makes sense that we investigate this solution and continue to test its effectiveness.”
He added “It has been proven that CBD and CBD products can reduce the signs of ailments such as repetitive strain injury, anxiety, stress and pressure situations. Quite frankly, why CBD is not used more commonly in esports is beyond me because of how prevalent these ailments are in the industry. I and SEH, fully support Cannafull, and the use of CBD and CBD products within Scottish esports and will be working with them to bring these wonderful benefits to the community."
This from a man who has been there and done that. He has been an Operations Manager and Tournament Organiser and worked as close as you can with the players and teams. He knows only too well the trials his mind and body went through during that period and it is these stresses that laid the foundation for the fine work he is doing with his social enterprise. And it is fair to stress that CBD products aren’t a cure all, just a helping hand for the work already being carried out by the wellness professionals in gaming. Esports is all about those incremental gains, that extra 1% just when it matters. CBD products could be that difference between killing the Ancient in Dota, or just being an also ran….