Australia's top snooker player has revealed that he was once addicted to video games.
Neil Robertson was the world snooker champion in 2010 as well as the UK champion in both 2013 and 2015. He has now given up playing video games, but was once an obsessive player of World of WarCraft, Diablo 2 and League of Legends.
In an interview with Eurosport, Robertson described how he would play until the early hours, much to the detriment of his training.
"It got to the point, back home in Australia, that my mum would have to create an account and log on to see if I was actually on it instead of playing snooker," he said.
Robertson went on to admit that, during important events, his relationship with video games caused serious problems.
"I was part of a raid team, and we played a few nights a week," Robertson says.
"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.
"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 has now gone cold turkey, and has had "really good application in [his] practice" since dragging himself away from online games.
"I'm two months sober, if you like, from playing them," he continued. "My friend said to me, 'You don't get to choose the crack you are addicted to'. And the multi-player online ones, I can't touch, because I just get too hooked on them."
Over 100 million unique players log into League of Legends every month. The MOBA is arguably the world's most popular PC game, and features deep mechanics alongside 136 playable champions. It's deep, free-to-play, and a notorious time-hog among gamers it snares.
It doesn't sound like Robertson will be playing much more League; his partner has banned LoL from the house.
"Mille absolutely hates it... and rightly so. It is just awful."
The snooker star now paints Warhammer 40K figurines instead, and takes his son outside to play in the park or kick a ball around every day after school.
"It is really sad to see that there is no longer any kids playing at the park," he added. "Empty goals, empty basketball courts and empty snooker halls when you think about it.
"They're all at home playing computer games. They're designed like that for the kids and on a side note, I think it is important for parents to keep the iPads away from kids if you want them to develop healthy life habits."
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