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Working paper

Team vs. Individual Tournaments: Evidence from Prize Structure in eSports

This study tests the implications of tournament theory using data on eSports (video game) competitions. We incorporate team production with the theory of rank order elimination tournaments since in our analysis, competitors in an elimination tournament are groups rather than individuals.  In this setting, the issue of proper incentives becomes more complicated than in the normal tournament model. Our findings demonstrate that the prize structure is convex in rank order which means that the contestants in eSports tournaments are risk averse. The results for the team games are more consistent with the tournament theory than the results for individual games. From the practical point of view, we provide decision-makers in both sports and business with the insights about the compensation design with respect to importance of the competition and its type.