The psycho-social work environment of e-sport professionals : Applying the Job demands-resources theory to pro-players

University essay from Umeå universitet/Institutionen för psykologi

Abstract: In recent years, the area of e-sports has been growing rapidly and has consequentially drawn attention from the general public as well as researchers. However, research in this area still remains sparse, especially concerning the psycho-social work environment of e-sports professionals. This is even more true when referring to research that includes the individual perspective of pro-players. To provide more knowledge in this area, this study aims to explore what psychosocial aspects are mentioned by pro-players in documentary interviews and investigate if the experiences portrayed could be understood using a theoretical perspective by applying the JD-R theory. This study is based on 12 docu-series episodes featuring two League of Legends teams where 10 different pro-players participated. The research sample could both be considered availability sampling, since the data was already available, and purposeful sampling, choosing a sample consisting of pro-players. The episodes were transcribed and then analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Many psycho-social aspects emerged from the analysis, resulting in two higher themes where the first theme “Working as a pro-player” portrays what the profession entails and the second, “The interdependent work”, depicts the experience of being a pro, a teammate and an individual at the same time. By applying the JD-R theory on the aspects mentioned, it was concluded that these experiences indeed could be understood using a theoretical approach, providing incentives to conduct future research in the area. Possible areas of research interest were also presented in relation to this.

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