Clinic Sports Will Serve Exclusive Medical Provider For Akron Esports

Through a new partnership with the University of Akron, Cleveland Clinic Sports Health will serve as the exclusive medical provider for Akron Esports, giving varsity student-players expedited health care. Though electronic competitive video gaming doesn’t take the same physical toll on gamers as professional football or basketball, the medical industry is working to keep collegiate esports gamers physically and mentally healthy, according to a news release.

Through the partnership, announced Tuesday, Aug. 6, the student-players will also be part of a collaborative research effort between the University of Akron and Cleveland Clinic Sports Health to outline the effective and comprehensive care of esports athletes, according to the release. The agreement also gives Akron Esports varsity players access to personalized nutrition consultations through the Clinic’s Express Care Virtual Visit platform.

Instructional opportunities

“By teaming up with Cleveland Clinic Sports Health; UA’s esports program has take one of the most significant steps in the collegiate esports space toward keeping our players healthy, safe and position to stay on the forefront of research and instructional opportunities in this emerging field,” Michael Fay Jr., head coach and director of esports programs at UA, said in a prepared statement.

The partnership will also provide for the creation of academic components, according to the release. UA’s School of Sport Science and Wellness Education is working to develop an introductory course in esports for this new discipline; which could lead to additional academic opportunities. The course is anticipate to be offer in spring 2020 and offer a global overview of the esports industry and available job opportunities; such as health care, coaching, promotions and administration, according to the release.

“This is unique because it brings together experts in sports performance; rehabilitation and injury prevention,” Dr. Mark Schickendantz, director of Cleveland Clinic Sports Health; said in a prepared statement. “It provides a great opportunity to collaborate; innovate and demonstrate the positive impact; so they can have on the health, wellness and well-being of esports athletes.”

Cleveland Clinic Sports Health

Dominic King, a sports medicine physician and director of the esports medicine program at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health; will serve as the medical consultant for Akron Esports, according to the release. He and his team will work with the varsity program to administer baseline neurocognitive evaluations and baseline gaming ergonomic evaluations; also discuss esports nutrition, fitness, training and psychology.

A 2019 study by osteopathic sports medicine physicians at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine shows; so that the most common reported complaints among collegiate varsity esports gamers regarding physical health; which were eye fatigue, neck and back pain, wrist pain and hand pain, according to the release; which noted that survey data determine the causes of injuries to be: focusing on LED computer monitors for long periods of time; being seated for hours and the high number of hours dedicated to practice.

Each week, Akron Esports varsity student-players already participate in two one-hour sessions; so of high-intensity interval training and one hour of yoga with the goal of helping with stress relief; keeping reflexes and mental alertness sharp and facilitating team bonding; so according to the release. Team members also participate in a nutrition course.