Cleveland Clinic Sports Health Official Medical Provider of UA Esports

New research opportunities, quicker medical care for varsity esports members and a new course were born from this partnership.


(Image via Akron Esports)

The Zips Gaming Lounge, located in the Williams Honors College, features 24 state-of-the-art gaming PCs and five consoles for recreational use by UA students in good academic standing.

By Megan Parker, Editor-in-Chief

Although video gaming may not have the same physical toll as professional football or basketball, the medical industry still wants to keep collegiate esports gamers healthy.

In a partnership with The University of Akron, Cleveland Clinic Sports Health is now the exclusive medical provider for
Akron Esports.

Varsity student-players will not only receive quicker health care, but will also take part in a research effort between Cleveland Clinic Sports Health and UA to learn more about the care of esports participants.

The University of Akron

According to a UA press release, this will also give UA esports varsity members access to personalized nutrition assistance through Cleveland Clinic’s Express Care Virtual Visit platform.

(Image via The University of Akron)
Currently, Fay has student-players participate in high-intensity interval training and yoga each week to help with stress release and mental alertness.

Michael Fay Jr., head coach and director of UA’s esports programs, said this partnership is a huge step in collegiate esports as it intends to keep players healthy and increase research in the field of competitive video gaming.

“It’s crucially important that we are not only able to gain cutting edge insights about what mechanical and neurological factors contribute to our player’s success, but also that we fulfill our obligation as educators to proactively maximize the welfare of our student-players,” Fay Jr. said.

Dr. Dominic King will act as the medical consultant for UA esport student-players, as well as work with his team and the varsity program to evaluate baseline research related to esports.

King is one of the sports medicine physicians and director of the Esports Medicine Program at
Cleveland Clinic Sports Health.

According to the press release, results from King’s initial evaluations will become part of the benchmark for researching “the effective and comprehensive care of esports athletes.”

In addition, a new course in the University’s
School of Sport Science and Wellness Education is being developed as an introductory to esports and this new discipline.

“The course, which is anticipated to be offered Spring Semester 2020, is a global overview of the esports industry and available job opportunities, from health care to coaching, and promotions to administration,” the press release said.

One aspect of this course will help students understand how to avoid neck and shoulder injuries, counter the mental stress associated with video gaming and improving reaction times.

Overall, Dr. Mark Schickendantz, director of the Cleveland Clinic Sports Health, believes this is a unique opportunity as it brings together experts from several different fields in sports science.

“It provides a great opportunity to collaborate, innovate and demonstrate the positive impact we can have on the health, wellness and wellbeing of esports athletes,” Schickendantz said.