esports: Creating New Sports from Online Gaming

Published 15 Jan 2021
Reference 6634
Topic Strategy
Region Global
Length 9 page(s)
Language English

The notion that innovation is tied to creative destruction is embedded in the psyche of innovators and entrepreneurs, which is why individuals and companies instinctively focus on disruption in pursuit of innovation and growth. But is disruption the only way to innovate and create new markets? And is it the best way? This case explores the other side of market-creating innovation, what Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne call “nondisruptive creation”. It happens when you innovate and create new markets where there once wasn’t anything, so there’s no displacement. Emerging from online gaming, esports is a new sporting experience where spectators watch professional athletes compete playing video games. Since esports is an entirely new industry, it does not disrupt an existing market. The case illustrates the evolution of esports from a game for individual players to a spectator sport, creating an entirely new market space where both incumbents and new entrants find new business opportunities, as well as the social and economic impact of nondisruptive creation by examining the externalities of esports on various industries and communities.

Teaching objectives

1) To present a broader concept of innovation that goes beyond disruption, showing how it is possible to create a win-win for society and for companies that does not displace existing markets or players. 2) To learn about “nondisruptive creation”, a term coined by Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne to describe how innovation and growth can be pursued by seizing a brand new opportunity. The esports industry morphed from online gaming by tapping into a desire to watch video game playing as a spectator sport. 3) To understand the impact of nondisruptive creation beyond the esports industry, which over a decade has grown to become a multi-billion-dollar business, creating opportunities in various industries, from media to sports, cinema and retail.

  • esports
  • sports
  • Online gaming
  • Videogame industry
  • Entertainment
  • Gaming
  • League of Legends
  • Blue Ocean
  • New market
  • Disruption
  • Blue Ocean Strategy
  • Fortnite
  • Q12021