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Psychologist plays vital role in success of esports industry

Updated: 2023-10-07 10:19 ( China Daily )
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Liu Tongyu conducts regular conversations with teammates at an esports club in Shanghai. CHINA DAILY

Counseling provides young players with outlet to relieve stresses of competing in high-pressure events

Liu Tongyu's daily life is closely tied to esports players, but even as a non-player, she has become increasingly indispensable within the team.

As one of the only full-time esports psychologists in the nation, the 27-year-old serves in the LGDGaming esports club. Conducting regular conversations and self-psychological assessments with teammates, providing psychological intervention, organizing workshops, and adjusting players' mental states are all part of her daily job.

As a very niche profession, Liu believes that her career choice is a natural outcome.

Born in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Liu studied Applied Psychology at Beijing Sport University and pursued a master's degree in Performance Psychology at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom.

"I have learned about the factors that affect high-level sports, targeted training and improvement methods, as well as courses on how to improve team performance, coaching skills, and cohesion," said Liu, adding that the matched major was one of the reasons she chose this job.

"I know the importance of psychology in competitive sports. While some people don't have any concepts about this profession, Pan Fei, the general manager of LGD, strongly agrees with psychological counseling. Therefore, I have become a full-time esports psychologist for this club, and I am currently the only one in the country," she added.

Although she began to make progress, it was not a simple task.

Being able to build trust with the team was her first obstacle.

"Psychological counseling can easily be misunderstood and lead to strong resistance when people have a lack of understanding of this profession," Liu said.

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