The academic study of eSports, or professional competition through the medium of video games, has tended to focus on players' motivations to play and watch eSports as well as marketing concerns of huge eSports corporations. Instead of utilizing marketing or psychology to analyze this phenomenon, I investigate three areas of focus in accordance with available literature: the fans and their characteristics, the design of the game itself, and the relationship between fans and the game's developer. This investigation was conducted by first examining existing literature surrounding eSports fans, then collecting public domain data such as Reddit posts, forum posts, and YouTube videos, and last by studying interviews with developers and players. With this thesis, I apply a fan studies approach to eSports by creating a series of indicators based in each of the three focus areas which can be utilized as a systematic method of evaluating an eSport's popularity and growth.
- Ambassador Communities, Hybrid Spectatorship, and Other Indicators of Success in eSports
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