Graduation Term


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Kinesiology and Recreation

Committee Chair

Liz Sattler


As the esports industry approaches adolescence, research on esports environments is only beginning. Despite the plethora of work done on team cohesion and coaching in traditional sports (e.g. Carron et al., 1985; Gardner et al., 1996, Pescosolido & Saavedra, 2012), current esports coaches are ill-equipped to lead and mentor a team of young adults. The present study aims to lay the groundwork for exploring team dynamics in esports through a team cohesion lens. A qualitative approach featuring semi-structured interviews from individual collegiate esports players across a variety of university-affiliated teams was adopted to explore players’ perceptions regarding their team environment experiences. Common themes found included the perceived importance of in-person social interaction, an individual mentality stemming from players’ experiences in ranked solo queue, a great deal of team autonomy, the importance of a shared level of effort across the team, and several other external factors. The study verifies the plausible validity of applying the existing team cohesion model for traditional sports (e.g. Carron et al. 1985) to esports contexts, despite differences to traditional sports and the breadth of experiences possible given the current state of collegiate esports.


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