AOASM Position Statement on Esports, Active Video Gaming, and the Role of the Sports Medicine Physician
Electronic sports, or esports, has a global audience of over 300 million fans and is increasing in popularity, resulting in projected revenue of over $1 billion by the end of this past year. The global pandemic of 2020 had little to no effect on these increasing numbers because athletes have been able to continue to engage in sports because of its electronic nature and fans have been able to follow them virtually. Esports has been recognized as an organized sport by the International Olympic Committee, the US National Collegiate Athletic Association, and several secondary school athletic associations within the United States. In addition, professional teams have been established in several major cities within the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. With the growth of esports, the necessity of incorporating esports medicine into the practice of sports medicine physicians has become paramount. Esports can be played on a monitor or screen and played using physical activity in what has become known as active video gaming. Within both of these platforms, there have emerged certain conditions unique to esports. There are also certain conditions seen in other sports applicable to esports athletes. This document will review the evaluation of the esports athlete, introduce conditions unique to these athletes and review common conditions seen in esports, discuss diagnostics used in the evaluation of esports athletes, introduce treatment options for conditions unique to esports and review those for commonly seen injuries in esports, discuss prevention of injuries in esports, and introduce a framework for the future development of esports medicine that can be introduced into the daily practice of the sports medicine physician.