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Developing esport tourism through fandom experience at in-person events

Thompson, Jamie; Taheri, Babak; Scheuring, Florian


Babak Taheri

Florian Scheuring


Tourism research has yet to consider the growing esport sector. Through a mixed-method research design, we employ the theoretical lens of fandom to examine what online and experiential factors may influence esport players and spectators to attend physical events, which we argue have the potential to grow into a new tourism sub-sector. Study one surveys 549 League of Legends spectators; while study two consists of a twelve-month virtual ethnography on World of Warcraft coupled with 13 player interviews. We find antecedents such as star players, team loyalty, flow experiences, and self-congruity with event image may encourage live event attendance. Furthermore, our findings emphasise the importance of social and interactive experiences in generating friendship and a perceptual sense of belonging at events. Community socialisation is a fundamental tenet of fandom and plays a key role in intentions to attend esport events.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 24, 2022
Online Publication Date Apr 1, 2022
Publication Date 2022-08
Deposit Date Apr 1, 2022
Publicly Available Date Apr 2, 2024
Journal Tourism Management
Print ISSN 0261-5177
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 91
Article Number 104531
Keywords Esport, Gaming, Visit intention, Event attendance, Fandom, Socialisation
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