Esports Brands Are Now Focusing on Maintaining Players' Health

The unpredictable, exhausting games often lead to burnout


At the Nike Sport Research Lab in Beaverton, Ore., two young athletes are put through a gauntlet of tests. 

These aren’t NBA rookies with new shoe deals or local university runners; they are esports players from Shanghai. Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao and Zhen-Ning “Ning” Gao are two of the world’s best League of Legends (LoL) players. Riot Games, developer of LoL, holds leagues around the globe. Uzi and Ning, from China’s LoL Pro League (LPL), are in Beaverton so Nike can fulfill a promise it made in a deal with the LPL last February. 

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This story first appeared in the Oct. 21, 2019, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.