Meet the physical therapist who specializes in esports-related orthopedics

When you think of physically taxing professions, esports may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But anyone whose job requires sitting in front of a desk all day may tell you otherwise. 

Matthew Hwu is a physical therapist and a gamer himself. Hwu spoke with In The Know about how he creates structures to improve esports athletes’ wellness and performance.

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Hwu knew a clinical setting wasn’t necessarily the ideal match for him and decided to bring his expertise to the gaming industry instead. He is the founder of 1HP, a health and wellness resource for esports athletes.

“Our main mission to just help gamers be better,” Hwu told In The Know. 

He is also the head of performance and esports medicine at Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE), one of the leading American sports and entertainment companies. Hwu works with KSE’s Call of Duty and Overwatch League esports teams. 

“Twice a week regular team-based activities to build camaraderie as well as just [addressing] a lot of the issues that might come along with sitting for extended periods of time,” Hwu said.

In recent years, gaming injuries have been on the rise. Hand-related conditions are most common, like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and synovitis, according to the Health Nexus. Thus it’s no surprise that as esports evolves into a more lucrative industry, Hwu’s services are much needed in the field. 

“I think because I’m a gamer myself, I care a lot about this community,” Hwu said. “I see both perspectives, both inside and outside of the actual practice and training environment that they have to deal with that I think are really paralleled in all traditional sports.” 

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