Developing esport tourism through fandom experience at in-person events

Jamie Thompson, Babak Taheri, Florian Scheuring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104531
JournalTourism Management
Early online date1 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Esport
  • Event attendance
  • Fandom
  • Gaming
  • Socialisation
  • Visit intention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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