At least a dozen professional football players, including some from the Premier League, are said to have sought help after developing an addiction to Fortnite.
The battle royale game, whereby you are one of 100 players fighting each other to be the last one standing, is hugely popular within the professional game.
However, as per an in-depth report from the Sunday Mirror, citing a counselor, several players have apparently gone about receiving treatment due to their obsession spiraling out of control.
A therapist who specializes in addiction has claimed that two footballers at the same club have been getting treatment after seeing their performance levels drop due to their gaming habits.
What’s more, it’s also said that the game is the cause for many players turning up late for training and being fined as a result.
Tottenham and England star Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Kieran Trippier are frequent Fornite players and have played a total of 11,559 games between them since July 2017, as per The Mirror.
Steve Pope, an addiction therapist who has offered psychological help for Manchester United players, is working with 50 gaming addicts and says a quarter of them are footballers who play Fortnite.
World heavyweight champion Boxer Anthony Joshua admitted to having a FIFA addiction that hampered his training. Image: Complex
He revealed that he was called in to provide specialist help for two players at the same Championship team who found themselves bashing the game.
“Fortnite has been rife in football for over a year – I’m working with a North West team where two left-backs are fighting over the same position on the pitch and fighting on Fortnite off it,” Steve said.
“They’ve been playing until 5 am some nights, hitting their performance in matches and training. While drink, drugs, and gambling are monitored in football, gaming is under the radar.”
In the same report, a 20-year old youngster from a North West Football League club came forward to detail how he got locked in the routine of doing 10-hour all-nighter, missing training and even a match on one occasion.
With his form disrupted and his contract in danger, he ended up getting in touch with Steve and after cutting his gaming down to two hours a day, to begin with, he was eventually able to pack it in altogether.
Back in February, we told you how The World Health Organisation (WHO) officially classified gaming disorder as a mental health condition in the 11th edition of International Classification of Diseases.
The BBC suggested that 20 hours a week of gaming qualified as an ‘addiction’ in a short news video, with FIFA and Fortnite being named as the most popular titles.
According to WHO guidelines, to be diagnosed with gaming disorder you must ‘experience significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of function’ And you must have lived with this for at least one year.
News of Fortnite addiction being rife in football comes after Prince Harry criticized the game and said it was “created to the addict”.