Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Online multiplayer computer game competitions—so-called esports—attract millions of spectators around the world and show spectator numbers comparable to the Super Bowl. Despite that, game publishers, which often organize these large-scale competitions, still struggle to establish esports as a profitable business venture. One way they can do so involves how they position fee-based streaming services for watching esports online. To draw spectators to their streaming services, esports organizers need to focus on attracting spectators with a high willingness to pay (WTP), and the streaming services need to satisfy spectators’ motivations. Grounded in uses and gratifications theory and a fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis, our results show that four different configurations of motivations relate to WTP for esports streaming services. We contribute by showing that 1) motivations form WTP in the esports context, 2) multiple interacting motivations explain WTP, and 3) spectators follow different rationales for their high WTP.





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