Delineating adaptive esports involvement from maladaptive gaming: a self-regulation perspective

Damien Brevers, Daniel L. King, Joël Billieux

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


The last decade has witnessed the rise of electronic sports (esports), yet little is known about how involvement in intensive esports relates to self-regulatory processes, such as executive functioning (EF). In this paper, we review the evidence on EF in problematic and non-problematic video-game use. We also consider research on EF in traditional sports athletes, as well as in ‘exercise addiction’. The focus of the review is on two core components of EF, namely response inhibition and cognitive flexibility. The available evidence suggests that EF is a reliable marker for indexing specific types of sport and video-gaming expertise, but does not appear to consistently delineate maladaptive from adaptive video-game involvement. Future research avenues on EF that characterize esport players are suggested to advance this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-146
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • esports
  • maladaptive gaming
  • electronic sports
  • executive functioning


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