Esports - "More knowledge needed."

Big names from the world of esports gathered this week at the MMTC research centre at Jönköping International Business School, for two days of workshops and networking, in order to discuss the future of the hugely popular esports phenomenon.

Resaerchers and practitioners brainstorm ideas at one of the workshops at the esports symposium.

Hosted by the newly created Esports Research Network (ERN) and MMTC, the esports symposium, which is taking place from 27th - 28th November, is a bid to get all stakeholders within esports to take stock, discuss current problems and work for a more sustainable future for the industry.

“Our aim with this symposium, is to bring together researchers, practitioners, game developers and people from the grassroots of esports," says Dr Tobias Scholz, Assistant Professor at the University of Siegen, Germany and a founder member of the ERN. "These people don’t usually meet, but if we want to achieve sustainability in this industry, then all stakeholders need to be onboard.” 

"I'm really pleased that this is happening" - David Jawette.

Esports is a gigantic industry, where a lot of money can be made. But it’s also an industry that no one really understands, least of all those who are investing huge amounts of money into esports and the teams involved.

“Investors need more knowledge about esports so that they know what they are putting their money into,” says David Jawette, Nordic Field Marketing Manager for Dreamhack. “There needs to be unbiased research that can build statistics and data around esports, so that investors can make better judgements. Equally, more research will help legitimise the sport, encourage governing bodies to set better regulations and structures, and make esports organisations more accountable.”

What are the challenges for the future of esports?

Opening the symposium on Wednesday, Dr Brian McCauley, MMTC researcher and organiser of the event, highlighted the ideal location of Jönköping for this kind of gathering.

“Jönköping is the city of Dreamhack, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. People here have grown up with Dreamhack, and this has fostered a vibrant esports ecosystem in Jönköping, something that Jönköping International Business School is already collaborating with. So, this symposium is happening at the right place and at the right time. Our hope is that by coming here this week, people build networks, learn something and find solutions to move forward.”

Read more about day two of the symposium here

For more information about esports research and the Esport Research Network, contact Brian McCauley at MMTC, Jönköping International Business School. 

From left: Founding members of the Esports Research Network, Tobias Schoulz, Brian McCauley and Juho Hamari; MMTC Co-Director Emilia Florin Samuelsson; and founding member of the Esports Research Network, Joseph Macey.