The Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association has today announced that it’s partnering with two UK universities to conduct a study into the mental health of esports pros.
The body, which was set up to improve working conditions and industry standards in the competitive CS:GO scene, is looking into the impact competing in esports has on someone’s mental health. Alongside the University of Winchester and the University of Chichester, it will create a survey that will, according to a statement, “provide a comprehensive examination of the factors influencing mental health in professional esports players, specifically in CS:GO.”
The impetus for doing this study is likely a result of a number of high-profile CS:GO players taking periods of leave or stepping away from rosters due to the negative effects of competing, such as stress, burnout, and other mental health issues. Astralis duo Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth and Lukas ‘gla1ve’ Rossander have both taken medical leave this year, and former in-game leader for Team Vitality Alex ‘ALEX’ McMeekin has also stepped away from competing due to exhaustion and burnout.
The CSPPA says that a past study conducted by some of the experts at the two universities has already produced preliminary evidence that “elite CS:GO players face significant stressors in their competitive lives.”
Preliminary evidence gained from a study published by Dr Smith and Dr Birch found that elite CS:GO players face significant stressors in their competitive lives
— Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association (@CSPPAgg) August 6, 2020
This survey will now further examine this, with the goal to “advance the current lack of understanding” around mental health in esports.
There’s currently no timeline as to when the survey will be conducted and when we’ll see the results, but what is certain is that this is a pressing issue in esports and any extra understanding we have around it can help improve the industry going forwards.