eSport management: Embracing eSport education and research opportunities

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Consumer demand for eSport and the growth of organized video game competitions has generated considerable attention from the sport, event, and entertainment industries. eSport therefore represents a novel and popular area for sport management academics to conduct research, educate students, and service industry. However, despite growth and acceptance by consumers and practitioners, academics debate eSport’s position within the domain of sport management, their debates largely concentrated around the question of whether eSport can be classified as sport. In this article, the authors argue for the inclusion of organized eSport events and competitions within sport management vis-à-vis eSport’s meeting certain defining criteria of sport in general. eSport’s connection to traditional sport and defining characteristics are addressed to support eSport’s role as a sport entertainment product recognized by industry as representing a substantial growth opportunity for sport and related organizations. As eSport continues to evolve, practitioners face managerial challenges that are similar to those in traditional sport, particularly in areas of governance and diversity. Sport management academics should embrace the potential of eSport in order to examine this evolution and provide guidance to industry through education and research.




This article is the authors' final published version in Sport Mangement Review, Volume 21, Issue 1, July 2017, Pages 7-13.

The published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smr.2017.07.008. Copyright © Informa UK Limited