Today, Hi-Rez Studios’ esports subsidiary Skillshot Media announced a unique partnership with the Northside Hospital Sports Medicine Network of Atlanta. The two organizations are working together to create an Esports Medicine Program for SMITE and Paladins pros.
The comprehensive program will apply Northside Hospital’s extensive knowledge of sports science and sports medicine to esports in an effort to improve player performance while minimizing risk of injury.
Just as with traditional athletes, esports professionals are at risk of injuries related to competition. The most common of these are carpal tunnel, spine issues, brain fatigue, and ocular strain. Skillshot’s partnership with Northside Hospital will combat these with preventative care, including pre-performance screenings and weekly endurance training. A team/league doctor will be provided for tournament play.
Teams will have access to Northside Hospital’s Sports Medicine experts who will assist them with managing their overall health and provide nutrition advice. The players will also have access to an injury training room.
Skillshot Media President Todd Harris notes that the company is “thrilled to partner with Northside to provide complementary injury-prevention services for players.” He added that discussions with Northside Hospital Sports Medicine Network made it apparent that the organization is “not only taking early notice of the rising trend of esports injuries, but also [aspires] to serve [Skillshot’s] pro players just like athletes in traditional sports.”
In addition to assuring the health of SMITE and Paladins esports athletes during the 2019 season, this partnership also allows for more research into esports-related health issues that can benefit the entire esports community. Throughout the season, the research portion of the partnership will spend time looking at injury prevention, measuring mental stamina, and more.
Dr. Vonda Wright MD, Orthopedic Surgeon and Chief of the Northside Hospital Sports Medicine Network, spoke on behalf of the hospital about the partnership, saying:
As the convergence of technology expands our definitions of ‘athletes and competition,’ Northside Sports Medicine is proud to step into this unique role. The growth of esports is a worldwide phenomenon, and Northside is ready to provide elite sports medicine and performance therapy to the professionals of Skillshot Media.
Through preventive care and innovative research, we hope to maximize performance while minimizing injury for these pro players, while setting a standard of care for esports athletes at every level.
This is the first partnership of its kind in esports, and a major indication that Skillshot Media and Hi-Rez Studios takes the health of its professional SMITE and Paladins players seriously.
Hopefully, the players and teams will take advantage of these services in order to assure longer-lasting careers.