E-Sports Broadcasting

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.


Jesse Sell

About Jesse Sell

Jesse Sell’s thesis work focuses on broadcasting and spectating in the realm of professional video gaming. He currently works as a research assistant in the Education Arcade, where he designs educational video games. In the summer of 2014, Jesse spent time in Cologne, Germany working on the public relations team for Turtle Entertainment, the largest professional video gaming broadcasting/management company in the world. During his time with Turtle Entertainment, he acquired skills in managing press rooms for large events, writing press releases, pitching to potential investors, and creating media/press kits. While working as a mortgage consultant in Philadelphia, he became familiar with client relations and compliance. His time with the MIT Education arcade has helped him develop a deep understanding of the iterative process required for design projects. Jesse received a B.S. in Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012. Thesis: E-Sports Broadcasting


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