Australian snooker player Neil Robertson, a former world champion, has admitted that his form has dipped recently after he became addicted to playing games like League of Legends and FIFA.
Speaking with Eurosport, Robertson—who also won the UK championship in 2013 and 2015—says that despite recently becoming a father he’s been spending too much time playing video games and not enough practising.
“I’ve been playing some video games, 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 a video interview.
“Those kind of games are designed to take over your life really. You find yourself sitting in front of the computer screen for six, seven or eight hours straight. Which is obviously not healthy.”
In addition to playing too much League, which he thinks contributed to some poor results earlier this year, Robertson has also had some problems with World of Warcraft in the past.
“I was part of a 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”, he says. “When I got out there, the connection was so bad that I couldn’t get access. I was furious for four or five days.”
“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.”
Image: Neil Robertson
Some of the biggest regrets, though, come from his passion for FIFA, which he thinks cost him a higher tally of “centuries”, a snooker feat which requires clearing the table without missing a shot (Robertson currently holds the record for most centuries in a snooker season, with 100).
“The years I had the 100 centuries, I should probably had around 120 because I got addicted like hell to FIFA 14,” he says. “I was obsessed with winning the title against other players. I’d get up in the morning to take Alexander to school then turn on the Xbox, thinking ‘I’ll just have one game with a cup of coffee to wake myself up. Before you know it, it is 2pm in the afternoon. It is then too late to go to the club to practice because I’ve got to pick Alexander up from school.”
Having realised the effect that playing too many games was having on his career, the 35 year-old has pulled back on video games in favour of more sedate pursuits. “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 multi-play online ones I can’t touch because I just get too hooked on them.”
Instead of video games, Robertson is these days spending his spare time painting Warhammer 40k models.