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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 Jul 01

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.10892-2

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

The eSports conundrum: is the sports sciences community ready to face them? A perspective

Roberto FIORE 1, Domenico ZAMPAGLIONE 1, Eleonora MURAZZI 1, Fabio BUCCHIERI 2,
Francesco CAPPELLO 1, 2 , Alberto FUCARINO 2

1 Medical Residency Program in Sport and Exercise Medicine, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy; 2 Department of Biomedicine, Neuroscience and Advanced Diagnostic (Bi.N.D.), University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy


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The reality of eSports is something much more complex than individual users playing video games. There are several characteristics that eSports have in common with traditional sports: from the spirit of competition, to the structural composition of the teams, to the increase in performance with training and practice, up to the injuries and physical and psychological stress of the athlete. The number of scientific papers interested in this reality is still relatively low, although in recent years there has been a significant increase in this regard. Probably the lack of knowledge of the world of eSports by inexperts can represent an initial obstacle in the approach to this environment. Therefore, an all-round analysis of the Sports industry is fundamental: including the figures that characterize them, the different eSports disciplines, the possible physical and mental consequences for athletes. Emphasizing the similarities between electronic and non-electronic sports is essential in order to make people, and the scientific community in particular, understand how they should be considered equal to the “traditional” vision of sports especially in the need for professional medical support. The number of professional and amateur eSports players increase every day as well as the birth of professional organizations and national teams while medical monitoring seems to have fallen behind. In the near future, we hope that the scientific community and in particular the medical disciplines will be able to closely support the world of eSports to guarantee the correct assistance to all professional and non-professional athletes. An increase in the number of scientific work and specific studies will certainly bring benefits in countering physical attrition, reducing the risk of injury, in psychological support to athletes and in the fight against doping reality.


KEY WORDS: eSports; Injuries; Sports; Sport medicine

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