Masculinity’s New Battle Arena in International e-Sports: The Games Begin

  • Lily Zhu
Part of the Palgrave Games in Context book series (PAGCON)


While e-sports fans and participants claim that digital play can subvert traditional conceptions of masculinity, offering alternative narratives of worth not as reliant on the physical body, it is becoming clear that competitive video games are still reinforcing certain toxic behavioral and linguistic patterns, particularly along ethnic boundaries. This chapter focuses on League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena game whose recent, international tournaments have been rife with antagonistic confrontations extending beyond the computer screen. The persistent East versus West dynamic, and the accompanying rhetoric that at once dehumanizes and effeminizes the perceived “enemy,” are symptomatic of a cultural friction rooted in notions of masculine superiority.


Masculinity Digital games Nationalism Ethnicity e-Sports 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lily Zhu
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TexasAustinUSA

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