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University study to investigate mental health of esports players

A NEW project by the University of Chichester is investigating factors influencing mental health in esports players – specifically those involved in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

The multi-national study, which is the first of its kind, is a joint initiative between the University and Counter-Strike Professional Players' Association (or CSPPA) which represents gamers worldwide.

It follows a previous study by Chichester and Winchester universities which found that elite esports players face significant stressors in their competitive lives.

Speaking of the new project, Chichester senior lecturer Dr Phil Birch said: “We are confident this project will advance the current lack of understanding of the factors influencing mental health in CS:GO. By doing this, we will be in a better position to support professional players to deal with the intense demands of professional gameplay.”

The study also builds on the University of Chichester's academic expertise in esports and its newly-launched BA (Hons) esports degree, which examines the impact of gaming through scientific study.

Data collection for the project will start in the coming weeks, and intends to:

  • Provide a comprehensive examination of the factors influencing mental health in professional esports players, specifically in CS:GO.
  • Use the expertise of researchers, professional players association, and ex-professional players/coaches.

The project also aims to help other esports better understand the mental health of their players and highlight the importance of mental health to the broader esports ecosystem.

It will be led by Chichester’s senior lecturer Dr Phil Birch and PhD student Ben Sharpe, alongside University of Winchester academic Dr Matt Smith, who partnered on the previous investigation into stresses faced by elite esports professionals.

The CSPPA is investigating a range of mental health issues and invites any partner to contribute to this project for better working conditions in CS:GO.

Find out more about the CSPPA go to www.csppa.gg. Alternatively find out more about the project by emailing Dr Phil Birch at P.Birch@chi.ac.uk.