Former snooker world champion Neil Robertson has spoken out about his videogame addiction, which he says negatively impacted his career. He got sucked into some of PC’s biggest online games, such as League of Legend, World of Warcraft, and FIFA.
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In an interview with Eurosport, the Australian player was candid about how videogames had adversely affected his career since his UK Championship wins in 2013 and 2015.
“I’ve been playing some videogames, and end up playing it through the night. One of them was League of Legends which is the most consuming game of all time”, he says.
“In fact, my partner Mille was talking to one of the designers of the game. She met him in Cambridge, and he said they are trying to make more games that don’t ruin people’s lives. Mille absolutely hates it. League of Legends is banned in my house. And rightly so. It is just awful.”
He says it was an addiction that caused a real slump in his career. But it wasn’t just LoL – things got pretty serious in WoW too, in which he was part of a Raiding team.
“I was part of a (WoW) raid team, and we played a few nights a week. When we got out to China for a tournament, I was trying to make the raid slot. When I got out there, the connection was so bad that I couldn’t get access. I was furious for four or five days,” he said.
“All I was thinking about was getting back home for a connection from China. I lost my spot on the team, and all of a sudden that became more important than the snooker which is absolutely crazy.”
Robertson said he would often play until 6am, just before he had to take his child to school. Sometimes he would come back and sneak in a quick game before snooker practise, but often those games turned into another session that would last until it was time to pick his kid up.
“I’m two months sober – if you like – from playing them”, he says. “My friend said to me: ‘you don’t get to choose the crack you are addicted to’. And the [mutliplayer] online ones I can’t touch because I just get too hooked on them.”