E-sports Broadcasting Conventions

2014-2015: Jesse Sell (S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2015)


In this work, I situate e-sports broadcasting within the larger sports media industrial complex, discuss e-sportscasters, and investigate the economics behind the growing e-sports industry.

E-sports, often referred to as competitive or professional gaming, stands as a prime example of the merger of work and play. A growing body of literature has started focusing on this pastime turned profession. As more professionals enter the scene and audiences continue to grow, e-sports broadcasters look towards older models of broadcasting to inform their own style. This reapplication of former conventions stands in contrast to the trends in the larger sports media trajectory. E-sports broadcasting is largely informed by traditional sports broadcasting, yet remains unable to fully capture the success of the global sports industry. On-air talent, once informed solely by traditional sportscasters are now looking to their fellow e-sportscasters to create something new. Revenue streams which form the foundation of the sports industry are making their way into e-sports but not in the way that one might expect. Through a variety of qualitative methods, including historical analysis, interviews, and fieldwork, I have investigated e-sports broadcasting to better evaluate the role traditional sports broadcasting has played in shaping the e-sports industry. This work looks not only to what e-sports broadcasters have borrowed from prior sports media, but also where they have innovated.


Sell, Jesse. “E-sports broadcasting”