The Founding of the Esports Research Network
The Esports Research Network was founded on the 7th July 2019 at the ESL One Cologne Event by researchers from Tampere University, Jönköping University, and University of Siegen. This network was formed to foster future research collaborations. The goal is to connect researchers around the world and create a meeting point for researchers and practitioners. Thereby the Esports Research Network is open for anybody and is an interdisciplinary research group that examines the esports phenomenon.

Mission Statement:
The Esports Research Network is a collaboration of various researchers fostering interdisciplinary research on the emerging phenomenon of esports. Esports is truly global and truly digital, therefore, esports can be utilized to research existing social issues and act as foresight into the digitised world. Research on esports can be seen as a future lab. Furthermore, in order to understand esports, it is necessary to research in-depth the social impact, the evolution of esports as well as the current and future role of esports in society. The goals of the Esports Research Network are to gain rigorous insights into esports, foster the sustainable growth of esports, shape the role of esports in the society and translate this knowledge to obtain cognition for the digitised world society is growing into.

Goals of the Esports Research Network

  • Connect researchers around the world 
  • Achieve rigor and relevance in esports research
  • Teach the next generation
  • Foster diversity in esports
  • Create a link to practitioners
  • Help other researchers to enter esports research
  • Solve essential problems in a fitting way for esports and the digitized society

Anchoring of the Esports Research Network
Esports grew in recent years exponentially and is a phenomenon that is born digital and global, consequently, it can serve as a case for the digitised society. The case of esports can serve as foresight into the digitised world and could be used to reverse-engineer the social impact of the digital transformation. Esports can act hereby as a Future Lab for different phenomena. Social issues can be observed in esports, as well as, solutions can be identified for pressing issues on levels of society and economy, especially in developed regions like Europe. This broad and interdisciplinary research understanding of esports can be translated in the following Figure 1.

Interdisciplinary research streams of esports under one umbrella (7th July 2019)

At the first event in Cologne we discusses several potential outlets for research and sorted them into the research streams as following. This development is ongoing and will be updated in the future.

Results from the discussion at the ESL One Cologne Workshop (work in progress, 7th July 2019)