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University of Chichester to investigate mental health of student esports players

  • Study aims to better understand mental health concerns in student players
  • Players tested on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rainbow Six Siege, and Valorant games
  • Collaboration between universities of Chichester and Winchester alongside esports event organisers Nuel
  • Follows a recent project by two universities which found that elite esports gamers face equivalent psychological pressure as pro-athletes

 

A NEW study by the University of Chichester is to investigate factors which influence the mental health and wellbeing in student esports players.

The report is aimed specifically at those involved in popular games Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rainbow Six Siege, and Valorant. The student-based study, which is a collaboration with the University of Winchester and esports event organisers Nuel, aims to help better understand players’ mental health and highlight the importance of healthcare to the broader esports industry.

It follows a previous study conducted by University of Chichester lecturer Dr Phil Birch and Dr Matt Smith, from Winchester, which found that elite esports gamers face equivalent psychological pressures as pro-athletes.

Senior lecturer Dr Phil Birch, from the University’s Institute of Sport, said: “We are confident this project will advance the current lack of understanding of the factors influencing mental health in student esports players. By doing this, we will be in a better position to support student players to deal with the intense demands of gameplay while studying at university.”

This latest investigation will run in conjunction with Chichester’s own professional esports project, in collaboration with Counter-Strike Professional Players' Association, known as CSPPA, to support top-level esports players deal with the intense demands of professional gameplay.

Both past and new studies build on Chichester's academic expertise in esports and its BA (Hons) esports degree, which examines the impact of gaming through scientific study.

Data collection for the project will start this week, and intends to:

  • Provide a comprehensive examination of the factors influencing mental health in student esports players,
  • Help esports better understand the mental health of their players and highlight the importance of mental health to the broader esports ecosystem.

University of Chichester PhD candidate and associate lecturer Benjamin Sharpe added: “As a previous esports player, and lifelong gaming fan, I hold this project close to my heart. I’m excited to be part of a study that will likely highlight the significant mental toll that competitive esports can have on a person.”

For more about the project and other esports research being undertaken at the University of Chichester contact Dr Phil Birch at P.Birch@chi.ac.uk. Alternatively find out about the University’s new BA (Hons) in esports at www.chi.ac.uk/esports.

For more about Nuel, the largest university esports community in the UK, go to www.thenuel.com.