Basic psychological needs, passion and motivations in amateur and semi-professional eSports players

Samuel García-Lanzo, Andres Chamarro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


© Facultat de Psicologia, Ciències de l'Educació i de l'Esport Blanquerna Universitat Ramon Llull. Electronic sports (eSports) are a category of video games that are played competitively following rules, either in teams or individually. Currently, the top videogame is League of Legends (LoL), a game in the genre known as Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) with more than 100 million monthly active players worldwide. Research has shown that video games can satisfy basic psychological needs and be experienced as a passion, and that passion is a useful construct to help understand the different motivational patterns of video game use. In addition, no relevant studies have been found with professional players. Therefore, the objective of this study is to explore whether knowledge of the degree of frustration of gamers' basic psychological needs in everyday life, users' passion and their motives to play makes it possible to distinguish between types of players (amateurs or semiprofessionals). The participants were 195 Spanish-speaking LoL players (156 amateurs and 39 semi-professionals) who were passionate about LoL. The results indicate that the game is most often played for competitive, social and exploration reasons. As for passion, players play more out of harmonious passion than out of obsessive passion, the latter being associated with the frustration of basic psychological needs. As a whole, being younger, less motivated by the plot of the game, having greater motivation to improve mental abilities, and spending more hours playing are predictors of the type of player (semi-professional). It is concluded that eSports players are not characterized as obsessed or frustrated people, and that the use of videogames is not necessarily harmful.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-68
JournalAloma: Revista de Psicologia, Ciències de l'Educació i de l'Esport
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Basic psychological needs
  • ESports
  • League of Legends
  • Motivation
  • Passion


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