Research Summary: Understanding Esports from the Perspective of Team Dynamics – Esports Psychology

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Research Summary: Understanding Esports from the Perspective of Team Dynamics – Esports Psychology

This article explores the attributes of esports player and team dynamics from the perspective of esports psychology, addressing a variety of topics including the unique considerations of esports, the similarities to traditional sports, the current state of research, and future research aims.

Team dynamics are an important factor in the success of esports teams. Team resources, composition, and cohesion can all impact esports performance. Cohesion can be conceptualized in different dimensions, including task and social cohesion. Task cohesion refers to the degree to which team members are focused on and committed to achieving a common goal, while social cohesion refers to the relationships and bonds among team members. 

Studies have shown that team cohesion can facilitate cooperation among team members and contribute to team performance in various contexts, including sports and esports. In esports, a high level of task cohesion is particularly important due to the highly stressful and task-oriented nature of the virtual environment. Team cohesion in the task dimension can impact team process and output by influencing decision-making and response rates among team members.

Communication and social support are also key elements of high-performing esports teams. In order to form a successful esports team, it is important to consider a variety of team resources, such as skill level, experience, and teamwork ability, as well as team composition, including diversity and balance.

Participation in esports can also have an impact on players’ social behaviors, with some studies finding a relationship between gaming experience and changes in social pro-social behaviors, such as helping and sharing, as well as decreases in anti-social behaviors. However, other research has found no significant relationship between esports participation and social behavior, or has found that the relationship is negative, with more hours spent gaming being associated with decreases in social interactions.However, there is also potential for negative consequences, such as physical and mental health issues, as well as social and psychological problems. 

The virtual environment of esports performance is characterized by its commercialization, task-oriented and competitive nature, and the importance of teamwork and communication. As the esports industry continues to grow and professional events become more commercialized, high-performing teams will become increasingly valuable financially. There are two types of esports teams: professional teams, which are often associated with traditional sports franchises and have more structured player recruitment, contracts, and compensation, and casual teams, which are composed of voluntary groups of gamers.

Team communication is another important aspect of team dynamics in esports. Effective communication can facilitate teamwork and coordination, and can help to build trust and cohesion among team members. However, communication in esports teams can be complicated by the virtual nature of the environment, language barriers, and cultural differences. Research has shown that communication patterns in esports teams can vary depending on the specific game being played, the level of competition, and the team’s level of experience.

Esports research, including esports performance, esports psychology and esports medicine, is still a very young field, and there is still a lack of consistent definitions and theories surrounding the discipline. In order to perform this kind of research, interdisciplinary communication must occur to better standardize definitions. Once these are established, future research could focus on understanding the specific factors that contribute to team success in esports, as well as the potential long-term effects of participation in esports on players’ mental and physical health.

Tang, W. (2018). Understanding Esports from the Perspective of Team Dynamics. The Sport Journal, 24.

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