SACRAMENTO, Calif.—A new multi-year partnership, which will promote eye health to the gaming community and focus on vision performance, was recently announced between Kings Guard Gaming, the official NBA 2K League affiliate of the Sacramento Kings, and the VSP Global Innovation Center. The program will leverage emerging technology to improve vision performance for the athletes. The partnership also named Dr. Randall Fuerst, a VSP network optometrist, as the official eye doctor of the Kings Guard Gaming team who will work with the esports athletes on personalized vision training regimens to improve player performance in the 2021-2022 NBA 2K League season.

“When competing at an elite level, marginal differences can be the deciding factor between winning and losing,” said John Rinehart, president of business operations, Sacramento Kings. “Our team is excited to partner with the great minds at the VSP Global Innovation Center and explore how vision performance technology can help our players achieve a greater competitive edge and improve gameplay.”
“VSP Global has been a long-standing partner of the Sacramento Kings NBA team and we are thrilled to enter into the esports community with Kings Guard Gaming,” said Earnie Franklin, VSP Global's chief operating officer. “Vision performance is critical for professional esports athletes but also for the more than 214 million video game players (according to the Entertainment Software Association), in the U.S. Our team is evaluating and testing innovative solutions with Kings Guard players to better understand and serve this growing market and bring more awareness about the importance of eye health.”

Vision performance training utilizes the connection between the eyes and the brain to help improve functions throughout the entire body. Some of the innovative solutions being piloted through the partnership, according to the announcement, include:

  • Eye-tracking technology that gathers amplitude and velocity of rapid, involuntary, and oscillatory ocular movements and compares vision skill from a range of levels from youth to professional athletes. The system then customizes training programs and drills for each player.
  • Stroboscopic devices that manipulate light and visual stimuli to strengthen connections between the eye and other sensory systems that force the brain to fill in the gaps and anticipate movement. This sharpens and streamlines vision, in turn improving eye-hand coordination, movement, balance, and reaction time.
  • Interactive virtual reality exercises and vision assessment tools that measure strabismus (eye muscle imbalance), assess binocular vision (use of both eyes to see), and treats suppression and amblyopia (dimness of vision without any apparent disease of the eye).
Kings Guard Gaming players participating in the pilot include veteran power forward/center Yusuf “Yusuf_Scarbz” Abdulla, veteran shooting guard/forward Waseem “Seem” Talbert, veteran guard/forward Rafel “Crush” Davis, veteran and recently acquired veteran point guard Nidal “Mama Im Dat Man” Nasser, veteran forward/center Stanley “MaJes7ic” Lebron and rookie forward Kerry “KerryJJr” Thompson. The team is led by coach Del “DJ” Layton, who returns for his third season.
VSP Global announced the expansion of its VSP Innovation Center in June 2019, as VMAIL reported.