Such efforts, along with the esports profile that Dreamhack has bestowed the Jönköping region, has meant that local government has been more inclined to fund community esport projects in the form of organisations such as Pheonix Blue, a Jönköping-based organization that works to provide opportunities for young gamers. Female Legends is another example of grassroots level organization that works to promote women and non-binary people within esports and has been active in the Jönköping region.
“The fact that local authorities fund and support projects like these is also a sign that the local esports market is gaining legitimacy. Grassroots actors are helping show that esports is about more than just playing video games,” says Brian McCauley.
According to him, the kinds of innovation and change instigated by these local actors could prove a useful model for other markets too.
“Esports is a future lab for society. It’s driven by a young passionate and digitally innovative audience who are goal-focused and change-orientated. Areas such as education and sports have been influenced by esports while increasingly business areas such as HR and management are realising the value that players learn through team-based organized play.”
Increasing esports research
Brian McCauley is assistant professor in business administration and esports resaercher at Jönköping International Business School. (image: Patrik Svedberg)
Brian McCauley is a member of the Media, Management and Transformation Centre (MMTC) at JIBS, a research centre that, recognizing the growing impact esport is having on society, has made esports one of its main research focus areas. Back in 2019, the centre became a founding member of the Esports Research Network, of which Brian McCauley is Vice Chair.
“We’re now part of a network of 300 researchers worldwide who want to work with companies, to shine a light on the topics that matter most to esports stakeholders.”
And it’s not just the esports industry that this research will benefit. If the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that society has to learn to conduct itself more and more online.
“We can learn from esports in this respect,” says Brian McCauley. “There is value in understanding esports better and using it to help solve problems for a society that is becoming increasingly digitized.”
More information on esports and esports research…