Mapping the contemporary esports ecosystem

  • Mo Jia

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMasters by Research


Electronic sports (esports) appeared in the public eye around 20 years ago. As a newly emerged industry, it has developed rapidly in the recent decades. This study aimed to: (1) explore key stakeholders of the contemporary esports industry, (2) explore real situations of operation and cooperation in the esports industry and (3) discover an updated and inclusive map of the esports industry ecosystem. This novel study used document analysis and in-depth semi-structured interviews to collect detailed information on the esports industry. The interviews focused on operations of the contemporary esports industry, especially one main component of the industry: esports competitions. Three participants who work in the esports industry participated in the interviews and produced a series of data relevant to the esports industry: general information on the esports industry, especially from the aspects of esports clubs and tournament organisers, and detailed information on organising formal esports tournaments and the cooperation between the stakeholders. The researcher identified seven key stakeholders of the esports industry and explored how each element operates with each other in the real world. The researcher also gathered a series of important information on how the esports industry works in reality and developed a map of the esports industry ecosystem. This study provides a clearer overview of the evolution of the esports ecosystem, which fills the research gap of current esports studies to a certain extent.
Date of AwardOct 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Abertay University
SupervisorWilliam Huber (Supervisor) & Alex Avramenko (Supervisor)


  • Esports
  • Esports industry ecosystem
  • Operation of esports industry

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