Don’t play yourself into an injury-caused early retirement! The days of “healthy performance” as an oxymoron are over. Did you know that within a 7-month period the Gaming community saw two international heroes retire their controllers due to physical injuries, stress and anxiety. In June 2020 China’s best-known e-sports player, 23-year old Jian Zihao, officially punched the exit button. Under the name “Uzi,” Zihao made a splash onto the gaming scene 8 years earlier playing League of Legends. Announcing his retirement, Uzi said: "As a result of staying up late for years, a fatty diet and being under insurmountable stress, last year I found out that I was type-2 diabetic." He changed his work schedule, exercised, and took medicine to try to recover his health, but it was too late.
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Then on January 19, 2021 the next shockwave shook the Gamer universe when 25-year old ZooMaa (Thomas Paparatto), a top-tier CoD professional with the New York Subliners (and formerly FaZe Clan), announced his retirement. The stunning news was met with an outpouring of sympathy from gamers worldwide. Citing a debilitating thumb and wrist injury – and destructive stress and anxiety as he tried to recover from surgery - his TwitLonger post noted that the ongoing injuries forced him to make this “heartbreaking decision.” He went on to say: “Tearing up just writing this, but I don’t know what else to do at this point.”
Hopefully the billions of gamers around the world will learn valuable lessons from the sad, premature career demise of these two esteemed players. Just as traditional athletes go to great lengths to care for their physical and mental well-being, so too should Gamers. And they can!