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Hawks Talon Gaming Club hosts educational panel of experts for gamers

The coach said the three biggest concerns for his players are healthy eating, sleep and posture.

ATLANTA — Who knew that gaming can take such a toll on the human body? Who knew that the gamers on the Hawks Talon Gaming Club, the official NBA 2K League affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks, sometimes spend more than 10 hours a day practicing? 

Some of the advice provided during Wednesday's gaming and eSports virtual Q&A session could come in handy for those working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Are you sitting at your kitchen table for work all day? Maybe sitting in a non-traditional desk chair? How about your kids - do they seem to be gaming all day and night?

Wednesday's session primarily focused on eSports, the video game industry and how gamers, regardless of age, can maintain a healthy lifestyle during these difficult times.

The panel, moderated by the Atlanta Hawks digital reporter Annie Finberg, included Hawks Talon GC Team Manager and Head Coach Wesley Acuff, experts from the Northside Hospital Orthopedic Institute Sports Medicine including Orthopedic Surgeon and Chief Dr. Vonda Wright, Senior Sports Physical Therapist Dr. Matt Lopez and Registered Dietician Lauren Cicinelli.

Northside Hospital has an ongoing partnership with the Talon to provide better eating and sleeping habits for the athletes, offer them physical therapy and fix injuries that may occur. 

Also on the call was Clint Kennedy, director of education at PlayVS, who touched on a few topics ranging from the video game industry to how parents can ensure their kids are being good stewards while playing video games online.

“As more and more youth spend time playing video games during this unprecedented time, we are grateful that they took a break to learn how they can improve themselves as they train to become the future esports professionals,” Acuff said. 

Kennedy said his company partnered with high school's in Georgia to teach the younger generation about some gaming tactics. 

“We partnered with the Georgia High School Association to help young people foster a healthy, positive relationship with gaming, so we’re honored to be part of the conversation to educate students and parents,” Kennedy said.

Hawks Talon (3-1) will continue its regular season competition as part of six weeks of remote gameplay. The club’s next match takes place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 21 against the undefeated Raptors Uprising GC (5-0), the official affiliate of the Toronto Raptors. These games will be livestreamed on the league’s Twitch and YouTube channels as well as on ESPN.com and the ESPN app.


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