This study aims to examine firstly the motivations of esports spectators driving them to engage in consumption behaviour, and secondly, two spectator groups (League of Legends, LOL; Hearthstone) to compare the findings of the independence model and the competing model. In recent decades, the concept of esports has emerged as a major component of the sports industry and, therefore, of the global economy. However, the basic functioning of this new sector is relatively poorly understood. This study considers consumer motivations as they relate to esports and aims to assess how selected motivations interact. The motivations chosen in five categories were adopted from the Uses and Gratifications Theory. The independence model (based on Uses and Gratifications Theory (UGT)) and competing model (based on multiple theoretical perspectives) were applied to the LOL and Hearthstone spectator groups. Data (n = 574) were collected via online surveys with cross-validation measured and established between the two groups. The findings showed that social integrative motivations positively impacted consumption behaviour across game genres. Affective motivation partially mediated the relationship between social integrative motivation and consumption behaviour in LOL, and cognitive and personal integrative motivations positively influenced consumption behaviour in Hearthstone. The tension-release motivation had no significant association with consumption behaviour for spectators of either game. The findings can help the commercial interests of different esports game genres to predict why people consume particular esports and thus aid effective marketing strategies.
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