From players to viewers: the construction of the media spectacle in the e-sports context


  • José Agustín Carrillo Vera Department of Information and Documentation, Faculty of Communication and Documentation, University of Murcia


The emerging activity related to e-sports notes two significant facts: first; the video game used like a professional sports competition and; secondly; the fact that electronic sports do not involve only a change in the consumption of video games; but reinterpret their playful nature to become a true; professional sporting event. This work tries to establish a relationship between the spectacle of traditional sports and the electronic one. From that basis; the investigation sets out the similarities and differences between how traditional and electronic sports construct a mass spectacle. A state of the art to set an electronic sports ID is required. The academic corpus will help to delimit the identifying features of e-sports into four groups: formal organization; rules and playfield; capital investment and media treatment. The methodology moves between descriptive and qualitative; so that the defining characteristics of the phenomenon understood as a spectacle can be established. The results of the investigation allow affirming that the electronic sports spectacle adopts elements of traditional major sports; but also has some novel and unique elements; both of them (traditional and new features) forming the hallmarks of this new form of entertainment from the video game industry.


e-sports, spectacularization, videogames, game studies, new media.

Author Biography

José Agustín Carrillo Vera, Department of Information and Documentation, Faculty of Communication and Documentation, University of Murcia

Predoctoral Researcher from the Department of Information and Documentation at the University of Murcia, thanks to a contract within the University Staff Training Programme (FPU) 2014.  Doctoral candidate from the International Doctoral School of the University of Murcia in the programme for the Management of Information and Communication in Organisations, with a thesis on e-sports and the streaming of videogames. He is holder of a degree in Communication from the International University of La Rioja and a university master’s degree in the Information and Knowledge Society from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. He is a member of the Visual research group attached to the Rey Juan Carlos University. His lines of research encompass television fiction, transmedial narratives and digital contents amongst which videogames are prominent.




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