In the paper presented during this ZEW Research Seminar, we analyze careers of eSports professional players. Professional video gaming is a fast growing spectator ‘sport’ with huge fan bases. The industry has been able to monetize this spectator demand to offer tournament prize money that now exceeds $100,000,000 per year. While tens of thousands of eSport gamers have earned prize money, only a few hundred earn enough to remain professional gamers exclusively. We examine three aspects of professional eSport player careers. First, we find a ‘superstar’ effect in which increases in prize money draws amateurs into the professional ranks. We examine the effects of age and experience on player productivity. We show that career exits reflect a quick resolution regarding the uncertainty a player has regarding his actual ability.


Michael R. Ward

University of Texas at Arlington


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26.02.2018 | 14:00 - 15:30 (CET)

Event Location

ZEW – Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung

L 7, 1 68161 Mannheim