Exploring the Growth Factors of new Esports Teams

Jin-Su Lee

Student thesis: Master thesis


In Western culture, esports is seeing a surge in popularity that leads to the
emergence of an increasingly structured ecosystem in the professional scene. Such developments underpin the relevance to investigate the circumstance of building and growing esports teams. As such current academic research on the founding and growth of traditional ventures has primarily focused on using factors to quantitatively measure how much new ventures grow and why some ventures grew more than others. These quantitative models and their utilized growth measures are seen to generate contradicting and unreliable results as they often fail to explain the complexity of contextual aspects, which exist, not only in new venture growth literature, but across entrepreneurship studies. Especially in the esports industry, such quantitative raw data are not accessible because esports is still in its beginnings and the industry is very dynamic. Thus, such quantification is not clearly established yet and not appropriate to use for meaningful results. Instead, this thesis aims to provide a first meta-understanding on what internal or external means influence the growth of new ventures and how they do it: without going into measures of growth in numbers, but with a qualitative research approach. Therefore, I use thematic network-based analysis to explore the role of resources, strategy and industry factors and their coherence for the growth of new ventures. Thematic network has proven to be a successful tool to conduct analysis of textual data in social sciences as it helps to structure analysis and allows to explore textual data and its emerging patterns. The results identify that various types of resources, strategic approaches and external factors influence the esports ventures on their way to growth. The thematic networks also show that one factor’s impact cannot be observed isolated, but is only explainable in coherence with other factors in and around the esports venture.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages60
SupervisorsSven Junghagen