Thursday, April 20, 2017

Esports as an entertainment industry

The concept of esports as a legitimate entertainment industry in recent years has been given credence due to its rapid growth and exposure. As millenials move away from traditional forms of viewing entertainment in favor of livestreaming platforms, where esports primarily is found, investors and advertisers have realized that it is through industries such as esports that they can reach millennial viewers. SuperData Research projects that by 2019, esports will generate upwards of 1.2 billion dollars in revenue, which has drawn the attention of many from outside the industry. The North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS) stands as the premier competitive circuit in esports, coming the closest to traditional sports leagues in terms of structure.
With the conversation over legitimizing esports as an entertainment form growing, many have sought changes to the NA LCS to do so. Primary concerns come in the form of franchising and discipline within the league. The NA LCS currently features relegation within its league, meaning no team is guaranteed their spot for the next season, a feature not found in traditional sports. Franchising is believed to give investors and teams stability within the league without worrying that they’ll lose their investment. Issues of discipline come as a result of no third party arbitrator for the league, meaning all disciplinary rulings come directly from the developer.

Juho Hamari notes in an article discussing esports that “viewers who focus more on the aesthetic aspects may have a wholly different experience to those viewers who focus on the technical and rule-based proceedings of the sport,” highlighting the potential barrier preventing esports from reaching wider audiences (Hamari 221). Despite this, the shift in viewing habits of millenials has led advertisers and investors alike to seek out new forms of entertainment to reach them and esports is one such industry.

Works Cited

Gonzales, Dennis. "Tempo Storm's Reynad: 'To Buy An LCS Spot Plus A Roster Was Going To Cost Me $1.5 Million'". N.p., 2017. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.
Hamari, J., & Sj√∂blom, M. (2017). What is eSports and why do people watch it?. Internet Research27(2), 211-232. doi:10.1108/IntR-04-2016-0085
Holden, J. T., Kaburakis, A., & Rodenberg, R. (2017). The Future Is Now: Esports Policy Considerations and Potential Litigation. Journal Of Legal Aspects Of Sport27(1), 46-78.
Minotti, M. (2016, July 20). SuperData: Esports is now a $892 million market, but growth is slowing. Retrieved April 20, 2017, from
Rozelle, W. (2016, May 8). Competitive Ruling: Renegades and TDK. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from
Seo, Y. )., & Jung, S. ). (2016). Beyond solitary play in computer games: The social practices of eSports. Journal Of Consumer Culture16(3), 635-655. doi:10.1177/1469540514553711
Weiss, T. )., & Schiele, S. ). (2013). Virtual worlds in competitive contexts: Analyzing eSports consumer needs. Electronic Markets, 1-10. doi:10.1007/s12525-013-0127-5

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