No other sporting sector has gotten as much buzz recently as esports. Short for electronic sports, esports has come a very long way from being just about competitive gaming. In fact, according to a Reuters article on the growth of esports, its industry revenue in 2021 alone amassed more than $1 billion. This translates to a whopping 14% industry growth.
Furthermore, a Maryville University report on the evolution of esports reveals that it is primed to become "the most financially lucrative market on the planet" thanks to a swell in mainstream support and the attention it is receiving. Today, esports has a bigger audience than the Major Baseball League, with viewership expected to reach almost 650 million by 2023. On top of this, the investments in esports have also grown. Top brands like Nike, Disney, and Facebook have all put money into esports, which has helped overall industry investments surpass $4 billion. As a result, the industry is now powered by about 276 million esports athletes and counting. That said, while esports has been unlike any other sporting sector to date, it’s not spared from the physical and mental toll that many athletes are often subjected to.
Although critics may argue that esports is not as demanding as other sports, it does pose its own demands on the mind and body. Namely, the long hours that athletes must stay in a tensed and seated position can have a negative impact on muscles and bones. As per an analysis of the physical strains of esports by the German Sport University Cologne, esports requires athletes to perform up to 400 actions a minute. This includes mostly micromovements and fine motor skills that can compound and seriously harm the body without preventative measures. Over time, this can cause serious joint and muscle issues in the lower back, neck, fingers, arms, and wrists. Consequently, many athletes are known to miss matches due to persistent pain. In the more serious cases (which are growing in number), athletes even require surgery to address issues like their tendons, range of motion, and nerve compression.
Fortunately, there is a growing movement to cement better safety standards in esports. As a comparatively younger sport than others like baseball, soccer, and boxing, experts are still working to determine the best preventive measures (akin to a warm-up) that esports athletes should adopt. In the meantime, though, many are turning to treatments and devices that can alleviate prevalent esports concerns. A massage gun, more specifically, is a hugely beneficial tool for esports athletes.
As previously explained in our article entitled “The Science Behind Percussive Therapy”, massage guns work because they create hammer-like motions that send rapid pulses of pressure into the soft tissue. This positively affects the nervous, circulatory, and musculoskeletal systems. As mentioned earlier, these are all the usual areas of concern for esports athletes. When used with force, speed, and amplitude, massage guns can offer some of the most effective relief. With regular use, massage guns can increase blood flow, improve waste removal, calm nerves, mask pain signals, break up adhesions, and decompress nerves. All of which can be literal game-changers to the esports industry.
Furthermore, since massage guns are handheld and portable, this ensures that percussive therapy can be delivered virtually anytime and from anywhere. Doing so, along with other health practices, can even create a better athletic performance, lengthen careers, and prevent further injury.
In conclusion, while sporting purists will argue that esports isn’t a “real” sport, the facts would beg to differ. Most recently, even respected entities like the National Association of Collegiate Esports have backed the very real value of esports. Presently, there are more than 170 colleges in the U.S. that have varsity esports programs and scholarships. That said, the industry and player base can only be expected to grow from here. While this is a generally exciting time for any real sporting fan to see the rise of a new sector, it does mean that we must find smart treatments that offer real benefits, like massage guns and percussive therapy.
This article is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended for use as medical or health advice. For any and all health concerns or conditions, please talk to your doctor.
Written by Adelynn Grace McNeill
Exclusive for ekrinathletics.com
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