Empowering Communication for Collegiate Esports Players
My master’s project is about empowering communication for collegiate esports players. My partner, Aditya Kundu, and I are working with our project advisors to research areas of improvement where a technological intervention will be useful.
Note: This project is in progress
My partner completed the initial research. Following his literature review of esports team communication as a whole, he found a set of pain points and possible research opportunities. I joined the conversation at this point, and we talked through different design paths and research questions. In the end, we arrived at the topic of improving in-game communication for collegiate esports players. As soon as we had a topic, we completed the IRB process necessary to continue with our research.
Before conducting our research, we identified a set of research questions to base our methods off of. The primary two goals are:
1. What differentiates successful teams from the rest of the competition?
2. How could we help coaches and players identify their latent communication and shot-calling habits, and subsequently, their effect on the team’s results?
With these two questions in mind, we framed a set of survey and interview objectives and questions to answer them. The overall objective of these research objectives are to define design opportunities from findings from the answers provided.
On the left are some of the findings from the surveys that we sent out. The surveys were created and distributed through Qualtrics. Surveys were sent primarily to collegiate Rocket League players through Discord in relevant servers.
Overall, we received 65 responses from a minimum of 7 universities (many survey respondents did not specify their university). These findings confirmed much of what we found through literature review, including that many are not satisfied with their current communication practices (only 21% are extremely satisfied), and that vast majority view communication as important (78% answered extremely important and >90% view it as important). Another big finding is that while many view communication as important and more than 2/3 of the respondents speak constantly during a game, 3/4 of the respondents feel like they should be speaking more during a game.
My partner completed the initial research. Following his literature review of esports team communication as a whole, he found a set of pain points and possible research opportunities. I joined the conversation at this point, and we talked through different design paths and research questions. In the end, we arrived at the topic of improving in-game communication for collegiate esports players.
The next steps are to consolidate this information and proceed with design ideation. To decipher the results from the interviews, we plan on completing an affinity map. Following this, we will progress to the design phase. This phase will include divergent and convergent designs, wireframing, prototyping, and various evaluation and usability testing methods.