Understanding Esports Teamplay as an Emergent Choreography

An Ethnomethodological Analysis





teamplay, multiplayer, ethnomethodology, choreography, coordination, collaboration, esports


We, as analysts and researchers of game play, may be overlooking important aspects of players’ actions that may help us understand the interconnectedness of interactional resources, such as body, gaze, talk and avatar actions, in players’ gaming experiences. Players, from their perspective, do not necessarily concern themselves with making distinctions between, for example, off-screen and on-screen actions at all. They employ all, and whatever, interactional resources that are available to them to play together as a team. This may become especially salient in multiplayer esports games where players are geographically dispersed. This study analyses several Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) matches being played by esports teams, in an attempt to, from an ethnomethodological (EM) participant perspective, understand how teams coordinate, or choreograph, their game play as part of larger sequences of situationally emergent tactics. We incorporate an understanding of expanded choreography developed within the field of dance and draw on the structural possibilities of choreography, seeking to understand the actions, collaboration, and coordination in the players’ game play through analyzing interactional resources and movement qualities enacted when playing. Understanding individual players’ actions and team actions as part of a larger, emergent, choreography may help us to better realize how esports players in a team, intersubjectively, construct a ’mental map’ of current and next actions, which affect their own (individual) current and next actions.


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How to Cite

Rusk, F., Ståhl, M. and Jusslin, S. (2022) “Understanding Esports Teamplay as an Emergent Choreography: An Ethnomethodological Analysis”, Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture, 13(1), pp. 49–80. doi: 10.7557/23.6629.