Article

eSports: the need for a structured support system for players

Citation

Hong HJ (2022) eSports: the need for a structured support system for players. European Sport Management Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1080/16184742.2022.2028876

Abstract
Research question This study investigates the roles and responsibilities of eSports stakeholders in ensuring eSports players’ health and wellbeing through the following research questions: (1) What are the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders in helping ensure eSports players’ mental and physical health?; and (2) What are stakeholders’ perspectives on criticisms which may affect players’ health and wellbeing as well as the quality of their careers? Research methods Semi-structured interviews are conducted with 51 individuals from 18 nationalities including professional, semi-professional, amateur and retired players, a coach, game publishers, national eSports associations, a sponsor, a tournament organiser, and federations. Deductive analysis is applied to the data. Results and Findings The responsibility for ensuring eSports players’ health and wellbeing should be shared by all stakeholders. Stakeholders are aware of criticisms of eSports and understand this; such criticisms may be deflected with a growing appreciation of eSports’ value. The need for young players to balance training and commitment to eSports with broader educational requirements is highlighted. Implications The paper provides evidence on the need for a holistic developmental model for eSports players which provides better understanding of players’ careers and developmental needs. The study highlights a need for collective engagement and effort by various stakeholders in developing player-centred support schemes. Drawing on evidence from key stakeholders, the study proposes a modified categorisation of the eSports ecosystem model.

Keywords
Players’ wellbeing and welfare; eSports ecosystem; players’ mental and physical health; support systems for eSports players; duty of care in eSports

Notes
Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online

Journal
European Sport Management Quarterly

StatusIn Press
FundersInternational Olympic Committee
Publication date online31/01/2022
Date accepted by journal05/01/2022
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/33903
ISSN1618-4742
eISSN1746-031X