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ELECTRONIC SPORT: HOW PRO-GAMING NEGOTIATES TERRITORIAL BELONGING AND GENDER

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Abstract:

The article explores the phenomenon of electronic sport (e-sport), which refers to organised and competitive video gaming. It is approached as a 'social world' and a specific culture of gaming, which produces organised groups, events and broadcasting. Located at the intersection of gaming and sports, e-sport adopts elements from both areas. From a grounded theory perspective, the article discusses the contexts, meanings and practices of pro-gaming within e-sport as researched in a study consisting of semi-structured interviews with e-sport fans, gamers, journalists and team managers and observation of e-sport events and clubhouses. The results point out that territorial belonging and gender remain relevant for pro-gaming. Both can inspire belonging and result in exclusions or inclusions. But while territorial belonging is adopted as a flexible practice, gender is structuring gaming within e-sport.

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