The eSport industry has seen rapid growth over the previous decade with additional opportunities for participants to compete in competitive and casual environments. As such, the sport industry has taken notice of this increase in popularity and exposure for eSport. A recent call to arms by sport management scholars suggests that the field of sport management needs to broaden research endeavors to include analyses of eSport and eSport spaces. To that end, this investigation serves as one of the first that investigates the playing experiences of eSport participants with a particular focus on the presence of discrimination and hostility in playing environments for men and women competitors. Previous events within the eSport industry, such as the now infamous harassment of female gamers known as Gamergate, suggests that female eSport players may experience discrimination and hostility at higher rates than their male counterparts. Guided by the frameworks of hegemonic masculinity and treatment discrimination, this investigation gauged the experiences of men and women eSport participants with discrimination and hostility in eSport playing environments. Results indicated that female eSport participants reported experiencing instances of treatment discrimination more frequently than their male counterparts, while male participants reported experiencing hostility more frequently. Results aim to assist the eSport industry as well as sport management scholars in guiding new policy to create inclusive spaces for eSport enthusiasts and career hopefuls.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License