Esports Governance: An Analysis of Rule Enforcement in League of Legends

Renkai Ma, Xinning Gui, Yubo Kou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Esports, like traditional sports, face governance challenges such as foul play and match fixing. The esports industry has seen various attempts at governance structure but is yet to form a consensus. In this study, we explore esports governance in League of Legends (LoL), a major esports title. Through a two-stage, mixed-methods analysis of rule enforcement that Riot Games, LoL's developer and publisher, has performed against esports participants such as professional players and teams, we qualitatively describe rule breaking behaviors and penalties in LoL esports, and quantitatively measure how contextual factors such as time, perpetrator identity, and region might influence governance outcomes. These findings about rule enforcement allow us to characterize the esports governance of LoL as top-down and paternalistic, and to reflect upon professional players' work and professionalization in the esports context. We conclude by discussing translatable implications for esports governance practice and research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number440
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW2
StatePublished - Nov 11 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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