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Accepted Papers

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Interactive Visualization For Strategy Acquisition In Esports Spectatorship

Erica Kleinman, Northeastern University
Magy Seif El-Nasr, Northeastern University

Professional esports teams develop strategies in order to achieve goals and emerge successful in the complex and dynamic environments of their respective games. Understanding and learning such strategies, often in order to recreate them, is a core component of esport spectatorship. However, esports streams move fast, and it is often difficult for viewers to grasp the intricacies of complex strategies. In this paper, we present an interactive data visualization tool that can allow users to playback and label data. We argue that such a tool can allow esports spectators to learn advanced strategies from professional gameplay by facilitating the interactive exploration of replay data.

Visual Dashboard Design for eSports Spectatorship: Opportunities and Challenges

Qiyu Zhi, University of Notre Dame
Ronald Metoyer, University of Notre Dame

Spectatorship is an integral part of the massively popular eSports due to its spectator-friendly nature. Previous research has examined eSports fans’ spectator motivation and the role of technology in supporting and enriching fans’ spectator experience for eSports and traditional sports as well. Inspired by this work, we discuss the opportunities and challenges of three future directions on designing a visual dashboard for eSports spectatorship.

Do You Love It Already or Do You Still Ignore It? The Two Faces of the Phenomenon Spectatorship in Esports

Alexander Pfeiffer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thomas Wernbacher, Donau Universität Krems
Natalie Denk, Donau Universität Krems
Simone Kriglstein, Austrian Institute of Technology & University of Vienna

The rise of interest in Esports and in spectating other people playing games increased over the years and has developed into a mass phenomenon. However, there still exists a big gap between people who love Esports and people who don’t. This gap itself was probably just as big several years ago as it is today, only the number of Esports fans has increased. Nevertheless, there seems to be no grey area, either one stands on one side or on the other. In this paper we will discuss several possible reasons for this phenomenon with the goal to initiate a discussion for finding ways and strategies to close this gap.

Social Design for Complex Participatory Livestreamed Activities

Chance Lytle, Carnegie Mellon University
Parker Ramsey, Carnegie Mellon University
Joey Yeo, Carnegie Mellon University
Trace Dressen, Carnegie Mellon University
Dong Hyun Kang, Carnegie Mellon University
Joseph Seering, Carnegie Mellon University
Brenda Bakker Harger, Carnegie Mellon University
Jessica Hammer, Carnegie Mellon University

Livestreaming platforms such as Twitch and live improvisational theater seem like a natural fit. Twitch and its audiences seek out opportunities for creative performance; meanwhile, improvisers have limited access to global audiences and seek new, technology-enabled ways to perform. However, our initial research shows that connecting the two requires not just a technology platform, but a social platform that communicates performative information otherwise lost when streaming live theater. As an example, we present StAGE, a live streaming system that accommodates participatory roles for performers, hosts, and audiences. We propose that the social transfer of roles and information, particularly by hosts, is a critical aspect of empowering spectators to participate.

Leveraging and Extending Autobiographical Design to Understand Prospective Spectators

Nour Hammad, University of Calgary
Owen Brierley, University of Calgary
Sowmya Somanath, University of Victoria
Patrick Finn, University of Calgary
Ehud Sharlin, University of Calgary

In this paper, we ask how we can explore engaging new and inexperienced spectators by utilizing autobiographical design as a starting point. As eSports become more and more ever present in the gaming zeitgeist, the challenge of engaging new spectators, ones who may not be experienced game players, becomes increasingly important as an untapped viewer market. We frame this preliminary exploration with our current work in which we utilize autobiographical design as the medium for a first-hand account of a return to a long-term game experience. Our experience with using autobiographical design as a means for preliminary exploration of a games experience has shown promise. We ask if and how an autobiographical approach can help us in understanding, and engaging, prospective eSports spectators.

What Spectators Watch (and Why): Audience-Oriented Game Design

Ophélie Bernard, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue

This study seeks to apply communication and media studies concepts to video game live streaming to see and understand it as a new form of media, separate from video games themselves. Through the lens of semio-pragmatics and by using previously realized user studies, we will explore some of the motivations for game stream spectators to create a succinct classification for use in game design. We will then analyze two groups of games, their relative success on online streaming platforms and their potential appeal to each of the categories outlined. By doing this, we hope to reach a deeper understanding of how viewers, streamers and the games themselves interact and work together to create a new experience. Finally, we will explore design concepts that can be used by developers to improve game stream experiences for these types of viewers in the future.

Understanding and Evaluating Social Interactions in Esports Spaces

Madison Klarkowski, University of Saskatchewan

The meteoric rise of esports is rapidly changing the landscape of digital games, live-streaming technologies, and online gaming communities. This cultural and technological shift is being fueled by the rapid growth of the esports’ audience, with esports spectatorship estimated to have reached 453.8 million viewers in 2019 [20]. In this paper, I discuss the resultant need for scholars from ACM SIGCHI to empirically investigate and evaluate player/streamer-audience interaction dynamics, as well as to appraise the potentially substantial influence of these interactions on both parties. While there is a clear need to explore hostile or toxic interactions in these spaces, I also propose that player-spectator interactions may be operationalised towards positive and prosocial outcomes.

Toward Game Aware Streaming Interfaces

Erik Harpstead, Carnegie Mellon University
Jessica Hammer, Carnegie Mellon University

Recently, members of our lab have been exploring the design and implementation of Game Aware Streaming Interfaces, which provide contextual overlay to game streams that can leverage live feeds of in-game metadata to augment the viewer experience and create novel spectator interactions. In this extended abstract we describe some prototype examples of Game Aware Streaming Interfaces and introduce an ongoing project to map out some of the design constraints for these types of interfaces.

Roles and Relationships in Live Esports Tournaments: In Person and On Twitch

Alina Goldman, CWI (Center Wiskunde and Informatica)
Raquel Robinson, University of Saskatchewan

The rapid growth of professional gaming has created hybrid eSports audience experiences, combining online Twitch streaming with physical stadium events. We consider the roles and relationships that exist in eSports tournaments in order to inform the design of future audience experiences. In this paper, we describe our plan to conduct ethnographic work in the domain. First, we will survey the eSports community to identify key roles and relationships. Then, we will record and analyze communication patterns and conduct interviews during live events. Together, our findings will in- form possible designs for richer audience and player relationships in this hybrid digital and physical space.

Pursuing Authenticity In Esports Spectatorship

David Cumming, The University of Melbourne


The computerized nature of esports lends the practice a placeless quality, raising questions regarding what authenticity looks like in esports spectatorship. Certain interpretations of authenticity suggest that authenticity cannot exist in conjunction with placelessness. The findings of an ethnography conducted at an esports bar addresses this conundrum. Although placeless, esports is spectated in situated places. Spectators at the bar draw on certain behaviors and rituals to authenticate their spectating experiences. With an identity in flux, established conventions and iconography from spectator sports were used as authenticators by spectators at the bar. Based on these findings, further consideration should be made to design for authentic esports spectating experiences across a variety of contexts beyond domestic spectatorship on personal devices.

An Eye-Catching Potential: Gaze Behaviour in watching E-Sports

Jesse Grootjen, LMU
Lewis Chuang, LMU

This paper discusses how the gaze behaviour of players during gameplay can be used to create a more enjoyable experience for spectators of e-sports matches. Eye tracking hardware is increasingly affordable, which allows them to be widely implemented across large communities. In fact, they are already used in the streaming community to indicate players’ gaze in real-time. However, gaze behaviour is rarely analysed in real-time for their implications on gameplay. Here, we discuss the opportunities that analysis can bring for the e-sports community across three different game genres in the context of research findings. We conclude with open questions posed by these opportunities.

Information Needs of Streamers

Keri Mallari, University of Washington
Spencer Williams, University of Washington
Gary Hsieh, University of Washington

Live streaming refers to a platform where streamers can broadcast their content along with their own commentary, and allows for communication between the streamers and their audiences. In this work, we explored current practices and experiences of streamers on their interactions and relationships with their viewers. We describe a preliminary line of research understanding streamers’ needs to grow and retain members of their community.

Weavr Companion App: Data-driven Storytelling for Live Esports Events

Ben Kirman, University of York
Alan Chitayat, University of York
Alistair Coates, University of York
Simon Demediuk, University of York
Isabelle Nölle, University of York
Oluseyi Olarewaju, University of York
Sagarika Patra, University of York
Justus Robertson, University of York
Daniel Slawson, University of York
Athanasios Kokkinakis, University of York
Peter York, University of York
Nicolas Hardie, REWIND
Peter Hughes, REWIND
Florian Block, University of York
Anders Drachen, University of York
Jon Hook, University of York
Marian Ursu, University of York

This position paper briefly introduces the Weavr project, a major UK industrial project for enhancing the audience experience in esports. We introduce the context for the project, describe the general approach and introduces the Weavr companion app, a second-screen app for mobile devices that has been deployed at two large international arena esports events.