Emerging Discourses: eSports

About Emerging Discourses

The goal of Emerging Discourses  is to address issues facing modern sport in a more flexible, approachable way. This series will bring perspectives from scholars, researchers, practitioners, and members of the private sector together to answer one simple question per issue. For our first issue, we've asked the question:

 

“What impact, if any, will eSports have on the landscape of modern sport?” 

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Thomas M. Hunt and Austin Duckworth

University of Texas, Austin

"Before answering, we would like to first provide some context as to why we find the subject so interesting. Throughout our relationship as faculty supervisor and (now recently graduated) doctoral student, we have shared in a commitment to employ sport as a means by which to better understand the broader political world. The works that we have respectively produced under this aspiration have to a large degree concentrated on “major” sporting affairs such as the Olympics and the World Cup. Given their sizable political meaning, such topics of course deserve considerable scholarly attention. But over the last several years, we have become increasingly aware of new modes by which sport is both consumed and performed ... "

Click here to read Thomas and Austin's full response

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Brody Moore

Host/Producer Heads Up Daily, https://www.twitch.tv/liefx

"I think one of the biggest impacts eSports is going to have on traditional sports is the involvement in community that the pros will have. The more we get to indulge in the brands of the professionals in traditional sports, the more personal that scene becomes. Traditional professionals need to make themselves available, connected, and open to the community that supports them. We are beginning to see these things as they join up on twitter and some even streaming on twitch. Cable companies need to begin to innovate and allow for these athletes to have these options like gamers do, to stay connected to fans..."

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Sean Willett

Video Game Infrastructure Researcher at University of Calgary

"In my mind, the single biggest effect e-sports will have on traditional sports is the emergence of a new platform owner in the broadcasting ecosystem — Amazon. Through Twitch, an online service that allows users to easily stream live video footage, Amazon has established a functional monopoly over live online broadcasting. E-sports have been critical to the success of Twitch, with third-party broadcasts of Counter Strike and League of Legends tournaments regularly attracting millions of concurrent viewers ..."

Click here to read Sean's full response

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Camille Croteau

PhD Candidate, Western University

"eSports, while broadly referring to video games outside of the realm of conventional sport, also contain video games based on popular professional sports, like the American-based National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), and National Basketball Association (NBA). While Esports are sometimes dismissed as trivial, they have a surprising, underground effect on the sporting world. eSports operate as an expansion of the sports they simulate and offer a virtual and social connection to fanbases from arenas to living rooms. But how powerful is the Esports world and what does it mean for the professional sports world? ..."

Click here to read Camille's full response

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