Ceb with OG at Epicenter 2019

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Ceb Explains Why Mental Health Will be the ‘Game Changer’ at Highest Level of Esports

Rakshak Kathuria
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Highlights
Esports Research Network Conference 2021 conducted a discussion on mental health in esports involving two-time The International (TI) winner, Sébastien "Ceb" Debs, and two well-known sports psychologists, Mia Stellberg and Martina Cubric.
Ceb mentioned that there were some extremely talented individuals in the top-level competition today, but it would be the mental side of things that would determine who would prevail.
In addition, Stellberg and Cubric shared expertise on a wide range of mental health topics in esports during the discussion.

Esports Research Network Conference 2021 conducted a discussion on mental health in esports involving two-time The International (TI) winner, Sébastien "Ceb" Debs, and two well-known sports psychologists, Mia Stellberg and Martina Cubric. As a veteran Dota 2 player who recently retired, Ceb talked about his experiences with mental health, emphasizing that it will become a game-changer at the highest level of esports. He mentioned that there were some extremely talented individuals in the top-level competition today, but it would be the mental side of things that would determine who would prevail. In addition, Stellberg and Cubric shared expertise on a wide range of mental health topics in esports during the discussion.

Ceb, Stellberg, and Cubric share their opinions on mental health in esports

As esports continues to develop, there is still a lot to explore and embody as more structure and attention is given to it. The mental health of esports competitors is one aspect that is only now beginning to garner attention.

As part of its Conference 2021, the Esports Research Network invited Ceb, Stellberg, and Cubric to participate in a discussion on mental health in esports on 10th Dec 2021. Ceb is a former professional Dota 2 player, while Stellberg is a sports psychologist who has worked for top-tier esports organizations such as OG and Astralis. Cubric is currently working at Mad Lions, a Spanish esports organization, as an esports psychologist.

Stellberg was a part of OG's championship run at TI9

Ceb spoke passionately about mental health in high level esports, highlighting the importance of it in his personal career. According to him, this aspect has come a long way, and now that it's starting to gain some attention, it is going to be a major part of professional esports success.

“This topic is very close to my heart. Back when I started, there was very little awareness. That was probably 10 to 15 years ago, there was very little awareness, very little structure around mental health. Mental health, as far as I am concerned, is really what’s gonna be the game-changer, the difference-maker in high level competition because you do get to a place where all players are almost equally talented. Teams are functional but then it’s really gonna come down to the mental side of things. How it has been prepared and how you are able to deal with the high pressure situations that come with the tournaments. And I think it’s a particularly tricky topic in esports for different reasons.”

Ceb also commented that staff members who assist the players in their mental well-being are underrated and they deserve a lot of credit because esports players are generally not very good at managing their emotions.

The three present in the discussion emphasized that awareness about mental health is a very important part of making players aware of the benefits it can provide. This is due to the fact that players will tend to focus more on game practice rather than practicing their mental health when they are first introduced to it.

Both psychologists pointed out that it is important to become part of the group and make them feel tangible to the players rather than just being a mental health expert. In this way, their work will go smoothly, and players will also understand and respect their opinions, and action will follow.

For advice for young people interested in esports, Stellberg and Cubric suggested that they begin playing the role of a professional player in their lives within their own limitations. In doing so, they will be able to understand various aspects of competition that will allow them to become more mature professionals. Ceb said that there is still a lot of work to be done in the area of mental health and that it is important for players to be more aware of it to improve both their performance and mentality.

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Rakshak is an undergrad, an inquisitive person who likes to acquire information and knowledge of varied sectors in esports. However, his current focus is specifically on Dota 2.