Attendees played Call of Duty: Black Ops III by Activision Blizzard at the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California.
Patrick T. Fallon Bloomberg | Getty images
A 25-year-old professional video gamer has been forced to retire due to a thumb injury.
Thomas “ZooMaa” Paparatto announced that he is “taking a step back from the competitive Call of Duty”
“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write, I’m retiring and I won’t be competing in the competitive Call of Duty in the foreseeable future,” he said in a separate blog post.
“It breaks my heart to withdraw from a game in which I put my heart and soul every day for eight years,” he added. “I’m just tearing up the writing of this, but I don’t know what else to do at this point.”
Paparoto plays for an sports team called the New York Subliners and has won $ 387,019 in 87 tournaments, according to Esports Earnings. His biggest prize in a tournament came in April 2018, when he won $ 53,125 in Call of Duty: World War II.
The American gamer struggled with weakness of his thumb and wrist a few years ago while playing a game called FaZe Clan. As a result, he had to be operated on.
“Going through this recovery process was again one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do, both physically and mentally, which has led to a lot of stress and anxiety,” he said. “Unfortunately, the injury came back, which really made it difficult for me to compete at the highest level against some of the best players in the world.”
He said playing through the pain in his arm was “just not possible anymore” and that he didn’t like competing when he couldn’t be “ZooMaa that everyone knows and loves”.
Fans and fellow gamers shared their support after his announcement.
Many professional gamers train or compete for more than 10 hours a day, and some earn over $ 1 million a year in the process. However, physical and mental strain on the body can sometimes lead to health problems.
Sam Matthews, founder and CEO of Fnatic, told CNBC in December: “These people are largely healthy and healthy, but there is always an anomaly in the rule.”