Thumb damage forces video gamer to retire

Attendees play the game Call of Duty: Black Ops III from Activision Blizzard during the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California.

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A 25 year old professional video gamer had to retire due to a thumb injury.

Thomas “ZooMaa” Paparatto announced on Twitter 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 am resigning and will no longer be participating in the competitive Call of Duty for the foreseeable future,” he said in a separate blog post.

“It breaks my heart to step back from a game that I’ve put my heart and soul into every day for eight years,” he added. “I tear it up just writing that, but I don’t know what else to do yet.”

Paparatto plays for an esports team called the New York Subliners and has made $ 387,019 from 87 tournaments, according to Esports Earnings. His single tournament biggest prize came in April 2018, when he won $ 53,125 in a Call of Duty: World War II competition.

The US player struggled with a thumb and wrist weakness a few years ago while playing a game called FaZe Clan. As a result, he had to have an operation.

“It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do physically and mentally to get well again, which resulted in a lot of stress and anxiety,” he said. “Unfortunately the injury has returned which makes it very difficult for me to play at the highest level against some of the best players in the world.”

He said that it is “just no longer possible” to gamble through the pain in his hand and that he does not like to compete unless he can be the “ZooMaa” everyone knows and loves.

Fans and teammates shared their support after his announcement.

Many professional players train or play more than 10 hours a day, and some of them make over $ 1 million a year doing so. However, the physical and mental stress on the body can sometimes lead to health problems.

Sam Matthews, Fnatic’s founder and chief executive officer, told CNBC in December, “These people are largely fit and healthy, but the rule always has an anomaly.”

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