CSPPA partners with universities to study mental health in CS:GO

The Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association (CSPPA) has partnered with the University of Chichester and the University of Winchester to conduct a survey of CS:GO players’ mental health.

The survey, led by Dr. Phil Birch, Ben Sharpe, and Dr. Matt Smith, will help identify factors influencing mental health in professional CS:GO players. The CSPPA released a statement revealing that preliminary evidence found that “elite CS:GO players face significant stressors in their competitive lives.”

This is said to be the first study of its kind, utilising “the expertise of researchers, professional players association, and ex-professional players and coaches.” Mental health has already been a major concern in CS:GO. Earlier this year, Astralis player Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander announced a temporary medical leave, revealing his struggle with “symptoms of stress and burnout.” His Danish teammate Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth also took leave, elsewhere Olof “olofmeister” Kajbker left FaZe Clan’s active roster to recover from fatigue.

Shortly after gla1ve stepped down, the CSPPA released a statement on Twitter titled “We need to talk about mental health issues in professional CS:GO and esports.” The association announced plans to reach out to players and teams to discuss initiatives to improve mental health.

The CSPPA is hoping the survey will help “advance the current lack of understanding of the factors influencing mental health in CS:GO.”

In a statement, the association added: “By [using the survey], we will be in a better position to support professional players to deal with the intense demands of professional gameplay. The findings of the project may help other esports better understand the mental health of their players and highlight the importance of mental health to the broader esports ecosystem.”

Mental health is a serious topic, not just in esports but universally. There are several instances of players expressing poor health in esports, not just in CS:GO, so something does indeed need to put in place to help with the turmoil of rigorous practice and travel. Hopefully, by performing this study, and by spreading more awareness, the CSPPA can ignite more conversation and ideas to help combat symptoms of stress and burnout.

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