Comparison of Traditional Sports and Esports Consumption Motives

  • Home
  • Comparison of Traditional Sports and Esports Consumption Motives
Comparison of Traditional Sports and Esports Consumption Motives

In addition to the unique considerations of esports medicine and esports performance, esports media consumption exhibits its own distinct patterns. This study explored the motivational and behavioral patterns in order to determine if esports media consumption is entirely unique or somewhat similar to patterns observed in traditional sports with regards to game participation, game attendance, sports, viewership, sports readership, sports listenership, Internet usage specific to sports, and purchase of team merchandise. The study used a survey instrument containing scales measuring eSports consumption motives, traditional sports involvement, enjoyment, and loyalty. The survey was completed by a sample of university students in South Korea, and the data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, correlation analysis, and multiple regression analysis.

The results of the study showed that entertainment, competition, and fantasy were the most important motives for esports consumption. Comparison of esports consumption motives and traditional sports involvement showed that consumers of both had high levels of enjoyment and loyalty, but there were differences in terms of game participation and broadcast competition viewing. Multiple regression analysis found that competitiveness, peer pressure, and skill building for competition were significant predictors of time spent playing games. The authors highlighted multiple times that competitiveness is a significant influencer of esports participation and consumption. The study concluded that esports consumption can be considered a distinct market, but it also has similarities and complementary aspects to traditional sports consumption.

There were also some unique findings in the study. For example, the factor measuring skill building for actual sport had a negative influence on time spent on esports game playing, which suggests that there may be a discrepancy in the perception of skill building in a virtual environment versus a real game setting. The study also found that televised sports viewing and internet usage specific to sports were more related to esports, while game attendance and participation in traditional sports were more related to non-esports.

Based on the findings of this study, coaches and support staff should consider the following:

  1. Peer pressure and competitiveness can be leveraged as positive influences on esports game playing.
  2. Coaches and support staff looking to retain players should consider the importance of providing resources for skill development and goal achievement
    1. However, a focus on skill building is not necessarily useful for marketing streams/broadcasts.
  3. A note of caution: there is a degree of conflation of competitive esports and casual gameplay in this paper


Lee, D.D., & Schoenstedt, L.J. (2011). Comparison of eSports and Traditional Sports Consumption Motives.

Leave a Reply

Dr. Jennifer Thai


Name Surname

The largest collection of gaming-specific health, fitness, and performance information on the internet, brought to you by the experts currently working in the industry with top-tier esport organizations.

Organizations that have benefited from the expertise of our authors include Cloud 9, Team Liquid, 100 Thieves, FNATIC, G2, TSM, and more.