The top two players in the world, Fnatic’s “Olofmeister” and “GuardiaN” of Na’Vi have recently reported injuries to their arms and wrists. While GuardiaN’s wasn’t CS:GO related and he obtained it during football, it was more than enough to throw him off his game and cause him to play at a sensitivity 4x greater than his normal sensitivity all in the hopes of having to use his injured wrist less.
Pro players play for hours on end and it’s very easy to see how someone might obtain Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) or tendinitis as they often times complete awkward tasks with the flick of their wrists. Whether it be their aim style or grip on the mouse we do not know, but what we do know is that this is a huge threat to professional players everywhere. In a game that requires so much precision, even a tiny bit of pain can throw off a shot or spray.
Besides the aiming and skilled part of CS:GO, it can also destroy a player’s confidence. In a tweet sent out by GuardiaN soon after their MLG Columbus defeat he mentioned that he had a confidence level of zero. Being hesitant to take a shot or being self conscious about your injury can really handicap a person’s play. I also had the chance to talk to Team Liquids coach James O’Conor a bit on the matter and he mentioned that he also believes that an injury like this can really mess with a player’s habits and mental state.
In the future it will be interesting to see if these large organizations start providing health care. While gaming isn’t the most dangerous of sports, there are many health problems that can cause someone to not perform at their highest state. If an organization is going to pay these large salaries they’ll want to take care of their players health as well.
There is also thoughts of possibly creating a short off season for CS:GO. Currently there is none and there are large tournaments and leagues weekly. This doesn’t give players much time to rest up or enjoy things outside of videogames. Professional sports have large breaks where while the player and team might be practicing, but it is at a much more laid back level in order to keep everyone safe for the start of the season. Maybe this is just what Counter-Strike calls for in order to keep players safe, but I’ll go into an offseason in a later article.
You shouldn’t worry about any injuries in CS:GO as most people don’t play enough to injure themselves, but if you are there are plenty of online articles by health professionals that can teach you how to warm up your wrists. My advice would be to find a warm up you like, take breaks, and keep good posture. While we all love to grind CS:GO, a 10-15 minute break to let your wrist relax might pay off in the long run if you’re a hard core CS player.
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