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Burnout in esports

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

Explanations, symptoms, energy drainers / gainers & burnout prevention suggestions.

Tip #1 - What is it?

BURNOUT is often mistaken with its "I don't have energy to do anything" end state.

It is physical, emotional & mental exhaustion & is months in the making, creating an overwhelming buildup, until the body says no more.

Burnout is a product of your habits: physical, mental, emotional & behavioral. You can prevent it by having habits that align with you & don’t feel like you’re betraying yourself. It’s about preventing it rather than waiting until it shuts you down. Don’t allow it to accumulate .

"Easy to prevent, hard to recover from & sneaks up on you." – Z&K

Tip #2 - How does it start?

It starts small; but unattended, it builds up overtime with an unhealthy work/life balance - until one day we're full-on Burnt out & nothing seems to help but time off. The more we're in it - the harder it is to shake it off as it becomes familiar, making it our new default mode.

Tip #3 - How does it build-up?

How it builds-up ex:

  • Not sleeping well at night/long time to fall asleep

  • Easily triggered by things, finding myself reactive

  • 'm starting to not enjoy the game I used to love

  • It's getting harder to focus/give it my all in prac

  • My confidence & consistency are shaky

Tip #4 - How is it full-on-blownout?

End Result full-on Burnout ex:

  • Spend days in bed, night sleep doesn't help I wake up exhausted with no energy

  • Reluctant to play & when you have to, it just doesn't feel right, low performance

  • Everything ticks me off, I'm moody, don't talk to me

  • Feeling like a shell of myself

Tip #5 - Why it happens?

It happens because we're:

  • Running our energy on reserves for so long

  • Avoiding feelings

  • Succumbing to unhelpful behaviors

  • Doing things that don't align with us Not allowing outlets, storing traumas in our body & psyche.

Your whole being is saying no more of this.

Tip #6 - What drains my energy?

Energy drainers ex:

  • Feeling unappreciated & low sense of meaning/purpose

  • Doing something when I really want to do something else, saying yes when I want to say no, culture of not voicing things that bother me/suggestions with my team

  • Trying to carry the team & overthinking

Tip #7 - What refuels my energy?

Energy gainers ex:

  • Loving & engaging with my day-to-day, not autopiloting, being fully myself

  • Feeling a part of the team & what's being created, having a say

  • Taking the time to release experiences that weigh on us

  • Refuel - sunlight, outdoors, healthy food, water, movement

Tip #8 - What is an example of where I should look into it?

Ex: If at the end of practice you feel good but at the end of tourneys you feel like you’ve been hit by a track & then sat-on by a bear.. there needs to be some relief in tension & pressure there. Over time, this will create burnout, more anxiety from officials, frustration, etc.

Tip #9 - What are some solutions?


  • Emotional ->

* Staying in-touch & fully engaging with my emotions

* Emotions=Energy in Motion, expressing is releasing

* Creative outlets like journaling, breathing exercises, releasing stuck emotion visualizations

* Standing in my power & learning to speak my truth

  • Behavioral ->

* Sharing with my team openly, vulnerably & freely

* Discovering what I love beyond the game & doing it, so it doesn't consume me

* 5 mini recovery breaks daily to do nothing & just process

* Not trying to overperform but play my game, drop into flow/instinct play

  • Mental ->

* You're not your thoughts, you can doubt what they say & chose differently

* Learn to relax in chaos: practice mindfulness

* Taking intentional relaxation

* Accepting I can only be me, focus on me, letting go of what I cannot control

* Reducing anxiety (worry + stress)

  • Physical ->

* Tending to my physical body, listen to it & give it what it needs to keep it healthy - ex:

replacing energy drinks/sodas with water/juices, movement / walks / stretch

* Releasing stress/intensity visualizations

* Don’t buy-into the grindset, work with smart intentions


Bottom line:

# Notice the signs - what feels aligned to you & what feels wrong. Locate the source of the energy draining & stop it first, then add energy gainers.

# It's not the length of time but how we use it - prac can be stressful & tiresome or it can be engaging & full of team synergy!

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