Stress among Esports stars is the same as athletes, claims study

The role of stress is well-known, and tension can have a well-documented influence on brain, body and success in top-level sports. Nevertheless, the stress levels of esporters at the highest levels of the game are little understood.

But now experts are gaining a better understanding of the stresses and strains of competition at the highest level in sports thanks to a new study by the University of Chichester and their findings seem to show that players in sports experience many of the same stresses and factors than their sports-based peers

The esports industry is booming, with multi-million dollar investments in teams and betting-giants offering odds on various matches.


The study examined a number of elite esports athletes and the dynamic conditions and situations in which they work regularly. This showed that sportive players suffer from “major” pressure during competition.

In comparison, the esports participants felt them as well as other traditional sports rivals of the 51 different stress factors found in the report.
Factors in the 51 included issues such as failure to communicate clearly and effectively, fear of the stage, nervousness to play to the public and the like.

Although the Chichester University study is sports unique, its conclusions mirror a variety of other studies on stress factors that are the focus of traditional sports athletes.

According to the studies, it seems that both sports and esports players are sometimes under severe stress, but also face the same problems with this strain and the reasons why the stress is often the same.


Dr Phil Birch, senior university lecturer in the area of sports and activity anatomy, co-authored the study:

“Esport has now grown into a worldwide multi-million-pound sector, but work remains limited into the psychological factors influencing players.

“We discovered that when competing in top-flight competitions, players are under considerable stress. Through isolating these stressors, they can encourage sportspeople to develop coping strategies to cope and improve the quality of the most important stressors.

The research focussed primarily on high-ranking players who play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in a group-based game.

Based on these findings, the authors of the report recommended that top-level skiers are trained in coping techniques to cope more effectively with stress and be able to improve their preparation for competition at the highest levels.
Rob Black, Chief Operating Officer of ESL, told the report:

“We as an industry have long known that stressors at the top levels can affect the performance of players.

“This study demonstrates this, strengthening what we’ve been saying for years. There is still a need for further developments in this field and that will be crucial to ensuring that the number of professional players is continuing to grow globally.

“The study is an important study for the industry,” says Rams Singh, the University of Chichester’s leader in sports. They need to consider the best way they can support and preserve the safety of our athletes–as is the case with any other professional athlete.