NOTE: This article has been updated to include research methodology.
100 Thieves Founder Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag has partnered with Excedrin to educate gamers on how to prevent and treat headaches.
This is Excedrin’s first foray into esports. The partnership includes a six-step mindfulness routine designed to help reduce both physical and mental stress that can lead to painful symptoms.
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In a release, Excedrin cited internal research that 71 per cent of gamers are concerned about headaches related to prolonged gaming, yet the majority of them play through the pain. Meanwhile, 92 per cent of gamers reported that they are spending more time gaming during the COVID-19 pandemic, which exposes them to more headache triggers.
KRC Research conducted the online Excedrin Gaming survey of 1,000 Americans aged 18 and over who play video games ‘on a regular basis’. In total, two studies took place, one in August 2020 and the other in February 2021.
Excedrin reported to Esports Insider that its mindfulness routine was tested in a ‘live, exploratory study’ with gamers. The routine was also developed in partnership with Nadeshot, alongside experts such as Dr. Elizabeth Seng, a clinical psychologist and Excedrin’s head pain expert. If the routine doesn’t work, the initiative recommends Excedrin Extra Strength pain reliever.
Speaking to Esports Insider, Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag, the Founder of 100 Thieves, said: “Headaches are not something widely discussed in the gaming world.
“Many of us just brush it off and avoid getting to the root of the issue finding ways to prevent themselves from getting future headaches. This sucks because headaches can really take you out of the game and negatively impact performance.”
Haag added that his partnership with Excedrin is important because gamers tend to ‘power through’ headaches and suffer needlessly while impeding performance. He now incorporates Excedrin’s six-step mindfulness routine into his everyday activities.
“Many people don’t realise it, but both physical and mental health are important components to being a successful gamer,” he said. “Practicing mindfulness is crucial because when we feel our best, our minds and reflexes are quicker, sharper and more focused, which helps us to play better. I’m really impressed with how Excedrin is taking the steps to help gamers embrace mindful gaming and think it’s something that should be brought up more in the gaming world.”
The former Call of Duty player added that he suffers from painful headaches if he is exposed to excessive stimulation and light.
“If the headache gets really bad, I may have to take a break for a few minutes to take something, like Excedrin, until the pain starts to go away,” said Haag. “That can be really frustrating at times because I don’t want to let anyone down.”
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Rishi Mulgund, the Brand Director of GSK Consumer Healthcare told Esports Insider: “Connecting with gamers on a personal level is important to us as a brand.
“So much so that in addition to the [six-step mindfulness routine], we also evolved our creative content to be hyper-focused for gaming. We even developed a whole cast of characters we’re calling The Healing Academy.”
Mulgund added: “A partnership with Nadeshot felt so natural to us because he can speak authentically to both headaches and gaming and we know that having a mindful and healthy mentality is important to him and the entire team at 100 Thieves.”
Esports Insider says: Excedrin is the latest healthcare brand to step into the esports/gaming world — a trend that will likely continue as organisations take the healthcare of their players more seriously. This partnership with Nadeshot could also open the door for additional sponsorship opportunities down the line. As a gamer who also suffers from ocular migraines, it’s nice to see brands try to solve a problem rather than simply cash in on the hype-filled esports market.