Lucas “Bubski” Andersen is member of the up and coming Danish team Fragsters, who recently announced their plans to move on with a new organization after 2018. In a recent Twitlonger post, he explained that he would take a step back from professional Counter-Strike due to health issues. This is concerning for a number of reasons but especially due to the fact that these players will sign much more lucrative deals in 2019. It is a shame that Bubski might miss out on something he helped work so hard to achieve with his four teammates. Working to become a prominent professional player comes with many sacrifices, but mental and physical health shouldn’t be one of them.
Counter-Strike and other professional esports teams are under tremendous pressure to perform on a daily basis. Not to mention, many organizations are still run by individuals who are hardly equipped enough to recognize, prevent, and act upon these types of serious issues. Players exist in a results driven environment and what use are the results if stand-ins are necessary at almost every event due to health issues? Every effort should be made to ensure every team is operating at as close to 100% as possible.
Fragsters is a small organization with minimal resources compared to that of say Astralis, who have a number of consultants and psychologists at their disposal. It’s hard to know if Bubski’s issues could have been prevented with those resources available to him, but it’s a safe bet to say it’s more likely than not. Most organizations in Counter-Strike are simply unable to provide that type of support, so what can be done instead? I think the answer is collaboratively educating players on the importance of health as a professional.
Talking about health isn’t as sexy as talking about headshots, but it’s just as important as any other discussion. I’d even argue that it’s more important than things like tournament formats and scheduling. Physical stretching has been discussed and emphasized but it’s time it took a step forward. If players, teams, organizers, and everyone in between made a vested effort to educate the community, it would almost certainly improve its overall health.
Simple suggestions like “eat better” or “sleep more” are not meaningful enough to grasp the attention of a young player nor will it help players understand the risks of not taking health seriously. First hand accounts of what can happen should be shared and emphasized, along with tips on how to balance so many priorities at once. Setting and reaching a lofty goal to become one of the world’s best should be honored and appreciated, but that achieving that goal or even pursuing it shouldn’t come at the cost of long-term physical and mental well-being.
Kevin Hitt, the Editor-In-Chief for VPEsports and former assistant for the United States Women’s Olympic Volleyball Team says more needs to be done.
“I believe that the professional community including players, teams, tournament organizers and more, should be doing more to educate players about these types of issues,” Hitt said.“There is a lot that can be done including creating PSA’s, videos, and structured online educational videos that are mandatory to watch. All sorts of things.”
Photo: Adela Sznajder (DreamHack)