NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - Athletes are getting specialized medical care, and not just the kind of athletes who play football or baseball.
Channel 2's Linda Stouffer learned more about a new program in North Fulton County that is giving gamers a workout.
“When I first started talking about gamers as athletes, I got some strange looks,” said Dr. Vonda Wright, chief of sports medicine at Northside Hospital.
Wright said these new sports stars can earn scholarships and sponsorships, so why not train them like other athletes?
“They get neck pain, shoulder pain. They get tendonitis on the palm side of their hands,” Wright said.
Gamers can also get back pain and eye strain.
Athletic training sessions are part of a new esports medicine program with Northside and Skillshot Media.
“To predict and prevent their injuries,” Wright said.
Professional gamer Chris Sonet goes by "Pow-tech" and thinks being active outside game rooms makes him better.
“Physical fitness is mandatory when you’re playing video games -- good for mental health, good for physical health,” Sonet said.
“It’s pretty revolutionary in the esports industry to have this sort of support for players,” said Todd Harris, president of Skillshot Media.
Esports is such big business, Skillshot just moved 90 players to the metro area for training and competition.
Harris thinks the new medical program gives their teams an edge.
“This will help them perform better on their playing field and extend their playing careers,” Harris said.
Doctors and trainers also want to measure mental stamina to figure out how to help players stay sharp and at the top of their game.
Georgia is now one of a few states recognizing esports in high schools. Students can now earn scholarships to college for their video game skills.
There are 50 esports teams across the state.
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