MSE Research Project Database

eSports in Australia

Project Leader: Martin Gibbs
Staff: Robert Fordyce (Melbourne Networked Society Institute)
Student: David Cumming
Collaborators: Marcus Carter (University of Sydney), Emma Witkowski
Primary Contact: Martin Gibbs (
Keywords: eSports; Internet
Disciplines: Computing and Information Systems
Domains: Networks and data in society

This research will investigate the issues, potentials, and barriers to eSports spectatorship in Australia. The term ‘eSports’ is used in public and academic discussion to describe the cultural practice of treating videogames as a spectator sport. Players congregate either online or at events and compete against each other in particular videogames. The game is simultaneously displayed to an audience either at a live event or by streaming over the internet. Current literature indicates that this practice involves hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue across the eSports industry, and is expected to crack the billion-dollar mark in the next 18 months. Unlike the US, Japan, and Korea, to name a few, there is as yet no dedicated organisation of eSports in Australia. Despite this, our initial survey of publicly available data indicates that there may be hundreds of thousands of spectators in Australia, viewing eSports matches hosted overseas. This research seeks to understand the existing practices of these eSports spectators in Australia through the use of semi-structured interviews. This project will examine the barriers and opportunities for developing the eSports industry in Australia.

Indicative publications:

Carter, M., Gibbs, M. and Arnold, M. (2015). The Demarcation Problem in Multiplayer Games: Boundary-Work in EVE Online's eSport. Game Studies. 15(1),