Burnout in esports athletes, according to former Dallas Fuel player Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel, isn’t caused by mental strain or a tough practice schedule, but a failure to adapt.
The conversation started when Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise, tweeted about the seemingly high rate of burnout in esports players in their 20s.
After Nate Nanzer, Commissioner of the Overwatch League responded, the conversation naturally switched to burnout in Overwatch more specifically.
In response to esports reporter Kevin Hitt, who claimed Overwatch League Team’s intense practice schedules could be to blame for player burnout, xQc said he didn’t think mental strain was to blame.
The core issue is that the games change. With each change every team has to practice as a unit and consider every permutation. That requires intense practices and a lot of time . It's the main reason I wouldn't buy a LOL team . Support is great. But doesn't change the issue
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) December 28, 2018
“I don't know where these numbers come from,” Felix told Hitt, who said players often practice 12-14 hours a day, 6 days a week. “Teams (almost all of them) practice 3 blocks of 2 hours. Vod reviews and & stuff aren't as mentally straining, but even when compiled it doesn't come close to that.”
Instead, xQc claimed that “Players don't last long because they fail to adapt” to changes in the game.
I don't know where these numbers come from, teams (almost all of them) practice 3 blocks of 2 hours. Vod reviews and & stuff aren't as mentally straining, but even when compiled it doesn't come close to that. Players don't last long because they fail to adapt
— xQc (@xQc) December 28, 2018
If anyone would know about Overwatch burnout, it’s xQc, who played for the Dallas Fuel before being released during Stage Two of the league’s first season for repeated controversies, even after that, he was still one of the game’s most prolific streamers on Twitch.
There was one team, the Shanghai Dragons, who reportedly practiced 12 hours a day, six days a week during Season One, but the team parted ways with the head and assistant coaches shortly after the season was over.
Burnout is an important topic in esports, especially the Overwatch League, and some teams, like the Seoul Dynasty, have made player mental health a top priority headed into Season Two.