The emergence of new technologies and competitors within the marketplace has given rise to a variety of new platforms for streaming media content targeting a wide array of traditional broadcast audiences online. Streaming allows for a new type of social TV that provides an interactive platform for audiences to engage, on a personal level, with their favorite gamer personalities. With the increase in professional gamers and their fandom, streaming platforms like Twitch TV have created a new interactive Internet exclusive marketplace that does not require traditional broadcasting methods.
The emergence of an online technology known as Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) (Scholz, 2011) has spurred the growth of a new user-generated and content-driven Web community. This new technology is the backbone that competitive online gaming (eSports) is relying on to reach users. Twitch TV สล็อตออนไลน์ is currently the platform that dominates the marketplace, attracting over 34 million unique viewers a month (All about Twitch, 2013). Twitch’s easy to use platform provides fast and easy access for viewers and streamers alike, attracting hundreds of thousands of unique viewers daily on computers or smart devices. With the rise of a new web community, online platforms like Twitch TV are receiving growing attention and viewership among active participants within the gaming and eSports community. Enthusiastic audiences tune into tournaments, tutorials, competitive game play, and social online chat rooms with their favorite gamer personalities playing their favorite titles (Cheung & Huang, 2011).
Live online video-casting is the technology that the growing sphere of competitive gaming rests upon; therefore, this research examines how this new technology has influenced the growth and viewership of eSports internationally. Furthermore, this technology has provided a social outlet for users to become actively involved within the eSports community. This research sought to analyze how live streams influence social interaction within the eSports community; focusing on the relationship between viewers and broadcasters. Lastly, this research explored the reasons why people actively seek out and tune into live streams.In the following literature review, the author examined articles that analyzed the eSports community, its rise as a popular entertainment outlet, the unique attributes that contribute to its success, the industry’s rapid growth within the United States and international spheres over the past decade, and how streaming has influenced the growth of the eSports community and its viewership.
eSportss of many game genres, including real time strategy (RTS), first person shooters, multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) and arcade style fighting games. The eSports community is made up of professional and amateur gamers, teams, commentators, sponsors, spectators and fans (Kaytoue, Silva, Cerf, Meria, & Raissi, 2012). Similar to traditional sport players, professional gamers are especially skilled and participate in intense training regiments. Pro-gamers generate their income through tournament winnings, sponsorships, coaching fees and revenues earned from advertisements on their live streams (Hamilton et al., 2012). Online live video streaming, also recognized as social TV, allows gamers to attract tens of thousands of unique viewers daily (Kaytoue et al., 2012).The eSports community has grown and evolved over the last 15 years. First popularized in South Korea, Internet cafes fostered an environment of competition and spectatorship as early as 1998. As time progressed, friendly competition grew into tournaments, professional leagues, teams and superstars; spectators became fans and a new web community (Cheung & Huang, 2012). Starcraft II and League of Legends (LoL) have grown to be the largest spectator sports in South Korea and some of the most established eSports communities. Television channels are dedicated to broadcasting Starcraft and LoL matches in South Korea (Cheung & Huang, 2012). Match-ups between the most skilled gamers and teams are streamed live from tournaments, which are spectated by on location and online audiences. The Global StarCraft League finals at Blizzard Entertainments gaming convention, Blizzcon, in 2011 attracted 25,000 on location viewers and over 300,000 online viewers (Hamilton et al., 2012). In addition, Major League Gaming attracted over 11 million unique online viewers in their 2012 Pro Circuit Championships held over four weekends throughout the year (What is MLG?, 2013). “These tournaments are the driving force behind IPTV in eSports.” (Scholz, 2011).