Esports Governance: An Analysis of Rule Enforcement in League of Legends

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Abstract

Esports, like traditional sports, face governance challenges such as foul play and match fixing. The esports industry has seen various attempts at governance structure but is yet to form a consensus. In this study, we explore esports governance in League of Legends (LoL), a major esports title. Through a two-stage, mixed-methods analysis of rule enforcement that Riot Games, LoL’s developer and publisher, has performed against esports participants such as professional players and teams, we qualitatively describe rule breaking behaviors and penalties in LoL esports, and quantitatively measure how contextual factors such as time, perpetrator identity, and region might influence governance outcomes. These findings about rule enforcement allow us to characterize the esports governance of LoL as top-down and paternalistic, and to reflect upon professional players' work and professionalization in the esports context. We conclude by discussing translatable implications for esports governance practice and research.

Publication
PACM on Human Computer Interaction, CSCW2

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