Pretty Boys and Muscle Shirts: The Group Dynamics of Professional Gaming Teams

First presented at CGSA 2016 Calgary on June 3rd 2016.

I’m going to be talking about the proliferation and boyband-ification of all-male professional gaming, or, esports teams. And in the sentiment of our keynote this week, I am not going to bother explaining why people who play video games professionally or the esports industry is worth studying.  I will be speaking not only from the research of esports scholars but also my own personal experience in the esports industry as a player.

Firstly, I’d like to make it clear that there is a huge challenge when discussing esports teams when thinking about what we consider to be an “average” or “textbook” example what an esports team looks or behaves like. While there can be some generalizations that can be made about particular scenes based on genre, teams and even more so, individual players are surprisingly diverse (minus gender of course).

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Play, Immersion and Flow of League of Legends’ Champion Select System

Many League of Legends players will claim that the results of a match are determined during the champion select screen. A successful team will boast players with high APM (actions per minute) and vast knowledge of not only their own champion mechanics, but also how they function between their teammates and enemy champions. The developer of League, Riot Games, is a strong proponent of supporting the game as an e-sport and in general, to have the game be played competitively. An element, or more so, a requirement of a successful e-sports team is to master the inner workings of the game, not only the rules, but how your opponents and teammates work within the affordances of the game.

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