Investigating Fandom, Motives, and Consumption Patterns of Esports Consumers
Anderson, Devin Justice-Francois
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Esports is commonly referred to as “competitive gaming” (Robbin, 2016). Esports competitions are generally formatted by organized leagues, tournaments, and events with professional teams, or individual players, competing against each other towards a specific goal (trophy, prize money, etc.) (Hamari and Sjöblom, 2017). The purpose of this study was designed to be exploratory in nature due to the emerging nature of esports research, and the variety of results reported in prior studies. A total of 611 (N = 611) participants were included in this study. The survey package that participants completed consisted of general demographics, two modified versions of the Sport Fandom Questionnaire (SFQ) (Wann, 1995), a modified version of the Motivation Scale for Sport Consumption (MSSC) (Trail, 2012; Trail & James, 2001), and consumption variables related to attendance and viewership, social media usage, and spending. Three stepwise regression analyses were employed to examine the predictive capabilities of esports fandom and esports motivations on esports consumption variables. The first stepwise regression analysis used to predict ‘Attendance and Viewership’ was significant (p < .001), and the social interaction predictor accounted for most of the explained variance (31.7%). The second stepwise regression analysis used to predict ‘Social Media’ usage was also significant (p < .001), with the general esports fandom predictor accounting for a majority of the explained variance (28.1%). The third and final stepwise regression analysis used to predict ‘Spending’ was similarly significant (p < .001), with the vicarious achievement predictor accounted for much of the explained variance (17.0%). The results from this study suggest that it is essential to consider the different fandom and motivational profiles of esports consumers in order to successfully reach target markets in the esports industry, thus promoting esports consumption.