Transitioning Out of Esports: Exploring the Experiences of Professional Esports Players in South Korea



Hong HJ & Hong SH (2023) Transitioning Out of Esports: Exploring the Experiences of Professional Esports Players in South Korea. Journal of Electronic Gaming and Esports, 1 (1), Art. No.: jege.2023-0008.

This study explored the experiences of retired esports players, focusing particularly on their transition out of esports. Utilizing a qualitative approach, interviews were conducted with four retired professional esports players in South Korea. A thematic analysis revealed four recurring themes: career pressure and uncertainty, lack of preretirement planning, demand for mentorship support, and necessity for a realistic perspective on talent. The findings indicated that significant pressure and financial insecurity during their careers often catalyzed the players’ decisions to retire. Players were unprepared for postesports life due to inadequate preretirement planning. This study highlights the crucial roles of mentorship and realistic talent assessments in facilitating smoother career transitions. The main contribution of this research lies in its empirical evidence, which stresses the need for structured support systems for esports players transitioning out of professional gaming. Stakeholders within the esports industry can utilize these findings to formulate policies and programs aimed at providing financial assistance, career planning, mentorship, and guidance to players during their careers and upon retirement. The outcomes of this study can serve as a foundation for future research by clarifying the necessity for broader investigations into the experiences of esports players and the development of practical strategies to mitigate their transition challenges.

career planning and development; career transitions in esports; life after esports; support systems

Journal of Electronic Gaming and Esports: Volume 1, Issue 1

Publication date31/12/2023
Publication date online30/09/2023
Date accepted by journal26/07/2023
PublisherHuman Kinetics

People (1)


Dr Hee Jung Hong

Dr Hee Jung Hong

Senior Lecturer, Sport