There was a time when video games were a casual past-time that you enjoyed with friends at the weekend. All gamers can recall lost afternoons playing classics like the latest installment of FIFA or retro beat-em up’s like Streetfighter. While this is still a great way of chilling with buddies for many, modern gaming has gone professional.
One word sums up the world of professional gaming right now: Esports! This sees teams of pro gamers compete in mega-tournaments to win huge cash prizes. These tournaments are watched online or in person by millions of adoring fans and gaming geeks. According to Newzoo, the global Esports audience is around 380 million with a revenue of around $900 million in 2018. Those are some big numbers and show why pro gaming is a feasible career choice for many.
The amount of money at stake means that staying healthy is key, not only for gamers themselves but also the teams that they play for. With millions up for grabs in terms of prize money, no-one wants to miss out because they are not in shape. This can be tough for professional gamers though who can spend up to 16 hours per day practicing on titles like Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2.
While pro gamers use all their five senses to whip the opposition, their eyesight is arguably the one they prize mostly.
Why is eye care so important for professional gamers?
In simple terms, you need to be able to see the monitor and what is happening in a game to play it well. That is truer for Esports titles which normally involve intricate teamplay and split-second timing. Eye care is essential because of that.
But what other reasons are there for pro gamers to make eye care a top priority?
- Longer career – the bare facts are that not looking after your eyes when gaming professionally will shorten your career. If you strain your eyesight for too long over a period of time, then it will eventually start to deteriorate. That will lead you to being forced to give up your career as a professional gamer earlier than you otherwise would have.
- Helps you to play better – Esports is incredibly competitive and even a small drop in performance due to poor eye care could see you off the team. By making eye care an important part of your pro routine then you are helping to maintain greater levels of performance when competing. If you can see better, then you can respond more quickly to what is happening on-screen and also work out what is going on with more clarity.
- Pick up on issues early – regular eye tests as a professional gamer will help to spot any eyesight issues that could be developing early. You can then get them treated before they start to impact your career or become irreparable. If you do not make eye care a central part of your plan, then you will only know about harmful problems when it is too late. Glaucoma is a great example of this and is one eye condition that could be a big problem for pro gamers. Luckily, there have been many advances in eye care for serious conditions like Glaucoma over recent years. Dr Rohit Varma is a leader in this field and it is the kind of expert research in this area that he has carried out which pro gamers benefit from.
- Change bad habits – many pro level gamers could well be playing in a way that they do not know is bad for them. When it comes to your eyesight, this could be a number of things from how long you play without a break to how your monitor is set-up. Eye care is important as it can spot these bad habits and find ways to change them for the better.
- Important for later life – being a pro gamer is full-on and you will be totally immersed in the world of competition and practice. However, it is worth remembering that you also have a normal life and one that will go on for many years after you finish competing. Looking after your eyes while gaming means they will in good shape for the rest of your life.
Industry trying to drive change
The professional gaming industry is beginning to evolve and is starting to take steps to protect players’ health. Eye care is prime among this and is one area that is seeing constant evolution. With advanced gaming tech like ROG monitors which filter out harmful blue light emissions, it seems that playing games for a career is getting safer all the time. Just remember not to get too mad when you have a blue-on-blue in Counter Strike and you will be fine!