Esports athletes are employees too : organizational responsibilities for providing mental health support structures
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Mental health issues can be brought on by a variety of life stressors, including job demands which are a common threat to an employee’s working life. Organizations’ human resources departments have a number of different responsibilities, and responsible human resource management (HRM) practices should improve motivation and productivity for both the employee and organization. Esports is a young and developing industry that may require help from more established sports and business industries in order to develop a sustainable business model. The mental health of esports athletes is a hot topic within the industry and risks to mental health are seen as a threat to players’ careers. This thesis will examine the current state of organizational mental health support structures in the esports industry and what they might be able to learn from traditional sports and human resource management research. Seven esports professionals were interviewed in order to gain an understanding of the perceived current state of mental health support in esports. While some organizations have taken a direct example from traditional sports and hired sports psychologists to provide mental support for players, others rely on informal social support. Unique stressors to esports competition were also found that may require a more tailored approach by organizations when providing support to their athletes and employees. These unique stressors, as well as the online environment in which esports exists present a number of further opportunities for esports organizations and other industry stakeholders to create support systems to better help esports athletes have full and meaningful careers. ...
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