Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now

  Antecedents of consumer involvement with esports and its impact on users’ psychological wellbeing

   Sheffield Business School

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Dr Olga Polyakova  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Despite the increased popularity of esports globally, there is still limited research on the psychographic profile of esports users, the patterns of involvement with esports and the relationship between the level of involvement and psychological wellbeing. There is some evidence that playing video games can enhance relaxation, reduce stress and improve mood, depending on the profile of the users and their attitudinal and behavioural attachment with esports. Yet, in 2018 the World Health Organisation included gaming disorder as a diagnosable disorder in the 11th International Classification of Diseases (World Health Organization, 2020). It is therefore important for academics and esports providers to answer the question if esports contribute positively (or negatively) to the psychological wellbeing of users and what are the factors that determine this association.

In the context of this study, esports is defined as a form of serious leisure (Polyakova and Alexandris, 2022) and involvement in esports represents the extent to which a consumer views them as attractive, central in his/her life and a way of express himself/herself (Kyle et al, 2004). In order to stage users’ involvement levels, this project aims to describe how consumers progress across stages of involvement in order to finally develop a psychological connection with esports. The project will employ theories of wellbeing and happiness and study wellbeing as one of the outcomes in relation to the stages of involvement. This call for proposals is open to a variety of methodologies including quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods design.

The ideal candidate will be interested in the esports sector, particularly from a consumer viewpoint. Interest in topics such as consumer psychology, diversity studies and digital marketing would be particularly welcome.


To apply for a self-funded PhD, you will need to meet our entry requirements and provide:

1. fully completed Sheffield Hallam University application form

2. research proposal (4-6 sides of A4 in length).

3. transcript of marks from your highest qualification (we require a dissertation mark of 60+).

4. copy of your award certificates

5. two references, one ideally from an academic source. References must be supplied as recent letters on headed notepaper or on the reference section on the University's application form.

6. Where English is not your first language, we require evidence of your English language ability to the following minimum level of proficiency. A current IELTS score of 7.0 overall (with all component marks of 7.0 or higher and preferably Academic IELTS); or a current TOEFL test with an overall score of 100 internet based (with a minimum component score of 23 in listening and reading, 26 in writing and 22 in speaking) or recognised equivalent testing system. Your test score must be within the last two years.

Information on entry requirements, tuition fees and other costs can be found here

How to apply

Please submit your application to [Email Address Removed]

Business & Management (5)

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project. The applicant will need to fund their own tuition fees, research costs and living expenses. Information on tuition fees, research and other costs can be found on our Online Prospectus here: