Archive for 2019

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[Commlist] Research seminar on Chinese E-sports Professional Players

Tue Aug 06 15:53:54 GMT 2019

*“An athlete is not an athlete is not athlete”: Digital Identity Transformation, Stigma and Mental Wellbeing of E-sports Professional Players*

_Research Seminar, Tuesday 13 August, 2pm – 3pm_

Bankfield House, Ground Floor Lecture Theatre, School of Media, Communication and Sociology, 132 New Walk, Leicester LE1 7JA

  This event is supported by International Research Development
  Fund,University of Leicester.

Abstract: E-sports (electronic sports) is the term used to describe the sport of competitive video game playing. The world of professional e-sports has grown rapidly over the last few years and is expected to reach nearly US$5 billion in value and a global audience of nearly 600 million people by 2020. In China, The General Administration of Sport of China approved e-sports as the country’s 99th official sport in November 2003, the booming e-sports culture has facilitated a vast cohort of video gaming addicts whose golden aged between 15 to 21 years. These young players choose to play professionally over attending universities like people their age. However, they face the uncertainty of a career after their career peak of 3-4 years. In spite of its increasing economic importance, research on e-sports is still in its infancy, and relatively little has been written about the mental wellbeing of e-sports, in particular through political economic perspectives on stigma of professional players. This calls for a need to understand the complexity, dynamics and risk of their creative labouring through career development in order to improve the management and sustainable development of future e-sports talent in fast-developing countries like China. The data is drawn from in-depth interviews with players, coaches, managers, and commentators working in 15 top eSports clubs in Chinese cities of Shanghai, Guangzhou, Suzhou, and Chengdu. Having considered the political economy and the relationships between mental wellbeing and technology, this study explores the dynamic process of identity transformation and mental wellbeing of e-sports professionals in a stigmatised society.


Dr Yupei Zhao is a “100 Talent Program” Associate Professor in the College of Media and International Culture, Zhejiang University (PRC). Her research interests widely include digital culture, political communication and popular media. Her research has appeared in /International Journal of Communication, Social Science Quarterly, Sage Open, Social media + Society, Media International Australia /etc. Email: (519254310 /at/ <mailto:(519254310 /at/>

Dr Yimei Zhu is a lecturer in School of Media, Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester. Yimei has broad research interests studying digital media from sociological perspective and is working on a number of projects on digital health communication. Yimei also collaborates with colleagues from Huazhong University of Science and Technology on a number of public health projects funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). Email: (yz411 /at/ <mailto:(yz411 /at/>

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