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Mediating effect of esports content live streaming in the relationship between esports recreational gameplay and esports event broadcast

Wooyoung William Jang (Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA) (Department of Sport Management, Wellness, and Physical Education, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, Georgia, USA)
Kevin K. Byon (Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA)
Thomas A. Baker III (Department of Kinesiology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)
Yosuke Tsuji (Department of Global Business, Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan)

Sport, Business and Management

ISSN: 2042-678X

Article publication date: 20 August 2020

Issue publication date: 8 March 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

Recently, Jang and Byon (2020) found that esports recreational gameplay consumption is causally linked to esports online media consumption. In the context of esports, live-streaming content (by individual creators) is a new type of media consumption, which should be distinguished from esports event broadcast. Extending Jang and Byon’s finding, the purpose of this study is to examine the mediating effect of esports content live streaming in the relationship between esports recreational gameplay and esports event broadcast because it allows the games to be more accessible to viewers due to two-way communication. In order to test for stability of the mediating effect of esports live content streaming, we examined the hypothesized model across the three genres (i.e. imagination [n = 224], physical enactment [n = 195], sport simulation [n = 179]).

Design/methodology/approach

Data (N = 598) were collected via an online survey from individuals who had experienced esports recreational gameplay. A total of 15 items with five dimensions (i.e. esports recreational gameplay, esports content live streaming, esports event broadcast, streamer identification, and pro-player identification) were adapted from existing studies. The two identification constructs and gender were used as control variables.

Findings

The model fit of the measurement model was found to be acceptable via CFA. The results of SEM indicated that the intention of esports content live streaming consumption played a full mediation role in the relationship between esports recreational gameplay behavior and the intention of esports event broadcast consumption. Additionally, we found the mediating effect of esports content live streaming across the three genres.

Originality/value

This study contributes to literature related to the esports consumer behavior by conceptualizing esports content live streaming and found that esports content live streaming represents a mechanism that underlies the relationship between esports recreational gameplay intention and esports event broadcast consumption.

Keywords

Citation

Jang, W.W., Byon, K.K., Baker III, T.A. and Tsuji, Y. (2021), "Mediating effect of esports content live streaming in the relationship between esports recreational gameplay and esports event broadcast", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 89-108. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBM-10-2019-0087

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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