MELT, the award-winning sports, entertainment, culinary and lifestyle marketing firm announce alongside MELT clients Skillshot Media, Hi-Rez Studios, Todd Harris and Dr. Vonda Wright the creation of the world’s first Esports Medicine program with Northside Hosptial.

“What’s been created here is incredible,” said MELT Founder, Chairman, and CEO Vince Thompson. “The quality and level of work being produced by Todd Harris and Dr. Vonda Wright with Northside Hospital is outstanding and I’m honored to have introduced these two MELT clients and fostered a dynamic business partnership.

This project and clients Harris and Wright introduce MELT’s new and groundbreaking esports marketing division. Thompson continued, “What MELT’s esports division is doing with Skillshot Media and Hi-Rez Studios is truly a game-changer in a rapidly growing industry. The impact on Atlanta and really the nation is impossible to miss.”

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In partnership with the Northside Hospital Sports Medicine Network in Atlanta, Skillshot Media launches the first Esports Medicine Program to benefit professional SMITE and Paladins esports players and to further medical research in the esports industry.
As esports continues to grow with more organizations, teams, and players entering the scene and playing video games at a highly-competitive level, Skillshot Media, a turnkey esports provider, and Northside Hospital have come together to form a comprehensive esports medical program for SMITE and Paladins esports athletes. Northside will apply existing knowledge of sports science and sports medicine to maximize performance and minimize injury with esports players.

“In discussions with the Northside Hospital Sports Medicine Network, it became clear that they are not only taking early notice of the rising trend of esports injuries, but also aspire to serve our pro players just like athletes in traditional sports — benefiting from nutrition, exercise, rest, and best practices for optimizing performance and prolonging careers,” said Todd Harris, President of Skillshot Media. “We are thrilled to partner with Northside to provide complementary injury-prevention services for our players and also share ongoing research with the broader esports community”

Skillshot will serve as an esports consultant to help educate Northside about the esports industry, support Northside’s research studies, and run original esports medicine programming.

“As the convergence of technology expands our definitions of ‘athletes and competition,’ Northside Sports Medicine is proud to step into this unique role,” said Dr Vonda Wright MD, Orthopedic Surgeon and Chief of the Northside Hospital Sports Medicine Network. “The growth of esports is a worldwide phenomenon, and Northside is ready to provide elite sports medicine and performance therapy to the professionals of Skillshot Media. Through preventive care and innovative research, we hope to maximize performance while minimizing injury for these pro players, while setting a standard of care for esports athletes at every level.”

Common injuries that frequent esports athletes include carpal tunnel, issues with the lumbar spine, brain fatigue, and ocular strain. As part of this partnership, Northside will provide pre-performance injury screenings for each SMITE and Paladins team, hold weekly endurance training twice a week, and provide a team/league doctor as needed for tournament play. Access to Northside Hospital’s Sports Medicine experts for physical and mental health management, group sports nutrition training, and an injury training room will also be provided to esports athletes.

Though this partnership directly benefits the 90 SMITE and Paladins esports athletes traveling or relocating to Atlanta for the 2019 season, research gained from this partnership will shape new insights and best practices in the emerging athletic field of esports. Topics like injury prevention, documenting injury epidemiology, and measuring mental stamina will be explored in the research and innovation phase of this partnership.