Document Type



E-sports, or electronic sports, is a term referring to competitive (video)gaming, where players face off against each other in serious matches and tournaments. While e-sports have become one of the major forms of digital culture and form of business in gaming, research within e-sports is yet scarce. This exploratory study aims to further the understanding of the business ecosystem surrounding e-sports. We document and investigate different actors, players, their relationship and revenue models in one of the world’s biggest e-sports ecosystems around the game Starcraft 2. We employ the e3-value methodology, along with a qualitative analysis, to build an understanding of the e-sports ecosystem. Through this ecology analysis, five distinct revenue models are identified and the key actors of these are presented. Based on our results, e-sport players employ tournament earnings, casting, coaching, team salary and sponsorships as their main revenue models. Furthermore, the study illustrates the vital importance of sponsors to the ecosystem.