Dr Ying-Ying Law

Course Director - Esports

Digital, Tech, Innovation & Business

Ying-Ying is a sociologist and an active researcher in digital technologies. Her main area of interest includes video gamer culture, communities, play, esports, and gender studies from a sociological perspective.

I am the Course Director in Esports at Staffordshire University at the Stoke-On-Trent campus. I am the module leader for several modules for the BA (Hons) Esports course, as well as the Ethics Coordinator and Reviewer for Esports (I was the former School Deputy Ethics Chair) and the School of Digital, Technologies and Arts (DTA), where I lead my departments ethics process and liaise with other course leaders and module leaders. I also supervise esports related projects for PhD and Negotiated Masters students.

I used to be a competitive Hearthstone player, but now I’ve adapted into the role of an esports event manager and tournament organiser to promote the growth of competitive gaming communities. I have experience organising various competitive gaming tournaments (from Super Smash Bros. Melee, Hearthstone, Overwatch, League of Legends, Rocket League and more), as well as teaching and supervising students to run their own esports events (as part of their assignment), and in collaboration with external partners (such as Digital School House and Fête Smash).

I also enjoy baking and challenging students to seasonal bake-offs during term-time.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Founding and member of the Esports Research Network
  • Member of the Manchester Games Studies Network
  • Reviewer for DiGRA
  • Board member, organiser and reviewer for British DiGRA
  • Reviewer for FDG
  • Former board member for Women in Games, Esports

Academic qualifications

  • PhD, ‘The Travelling Gamer: An Ethnography of Video Game Events, The University of Salford (2012-2016)
  • HEA Fellowship, Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice, University of Salford (2013-2014)
  • MSc Sociological Research Methods, University of Manchester (2010-2011)
  • BSc Sociology with Criminology, University of Salford (2007-2010)

Research interests

  • Video Games, Players, Communities and Cultures
  • Competitive Gaming and Esports
  • Embodiment and Play Practices
  • Gender Studies
  • Data Analytics
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods


- Successful PhD project proposal bid awarded for a GTA-PhD scholarship (14 projects proposals submitted, 4 selected): Using AI to Measure Cognitive Behaviour Patterns of Esports Players (Supervisors: Dr. Ying-Ying Law, Dr. Mohammad Hasan and Prof. Huseyin SEKER) 

Enterprise and commercial interests

Event Contributions:

Event manager, tournament organiser and student volunteering supervisor for Fête 2 at Staffordshire University, 500+ player national tournament (event postponed due to Covid-19): https://smash.gg/tournament/f-te-2/details

Event manager, event host, tournament organiser and student volunteering supervisor for Fête at Staffordshire University, 300+ player national tournament (over 4 days): - https://smash.gg/tournament/f-te-2/details

- Organised Digital School House Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (North and South) Semi-Finals at Staffordshire University for ages 12-16 year old school children (event postponed due to Covid-19) https://www.digitalschoolhouse.org.uk/

- Organised Digital School House Overwatch Regional Qualifiers in the Esports Lab at Staffordshire University for ages 12-16 year old school children https://www.digitalschoolhouse.org.uk/

- Organised fieldtrips with Staffordshire University students to gaming events across the UK – including Play Expo Manchester and Insomnia Gaming Festival. Interview Contributions:

- 2021, December, invited guest speaker for ‘Women in Esports Interview’ at Popelyn High School (Year 11), Belgium.

- 2021, February, invited speaker for ‘The Virtual Esports and Education Symposium’ at Abertay University: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-virtual-esports-and-education-symposium-tickets-142509502759#

- 2019, July, interviewed for Fête Smash - Interviewed by BBC and broadcasted on BBC Breakfast.

- 2019, July, interviewed for Fête Smash - Interviewed by BBC Radio Stoke - 2018, November, interviewed for Develo esports podcast – Develo, interviewed by Luke McDowell. Available at: https://www.devolo.co.uk/podcast.html

2018, April, interviewed for a live magazine show for ‘Esports’ – Staffordshire University Student Project, interviewed by Jacob Lawton. - 2018, February, invited panel discussion for ‘Women in Tech’ – Geek Play, Margate.

- 2017, October, interviewed for Staffslive on ‘How Women are Treated in the Gaming World’ - Staffordshire University, interviewed by Francesca McWilliams. - 2017, November, telephone radio interview for ‘Esports’ – BBC5live. - 2016, February, interviewed for ‘The Supergamers’ as a competitive Hearthstone player - Esports documentary (1 hour), BBC Three (Documentary). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NiqLgssfp0&ab_channel=aktobyurbanrivals 



  • Esports Ecosystems
  • Competitive Gaming Cultures
  • Building Teams
  • Esports and Competitive Gaming
  • Esports Analytics
  • Esports Expo
  • MMOG Design, Communities and Narratology
  • Narratology for Games
  • Fundamentals of Gameplay
  • The History of Games Technology
  • New Developments in Games


  • Research Methods and Esports Data
  • Esports Ecosystems and Metrics
  • Negotiated Project 1
  • Negotiated Project 2
  • Negotiated Study Masers Project


Noroozi, A., Raven, M., Razavi, B., Fisher, R., Law, YY., and Hasan, M. (Feb 2023) A Robust eLORETA Technique for Localization of Brain Sources in the Presence of Forward Model Uncertainties. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. Vol 70 (3), pp. 800-8011. Doi: 10.1109/TBME.2022.3202751.

Law, YY. (March 2021) ‘eSports Players: Gender – A Balance Between Community and Competition’, chapter in upcoming book, Global eSports: Transformation of Cultural Perceptions of Competitive Gaming. Editor: Prof. Dal Yong Jin.

Law, YY. (June 2020) The Consumption of Food at Video Game Events. DiGRA 2020 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere.

Law, YY., and Jarrett, J. (June 2020) Resistance, Play and Esports Changes: A Super Smash Bros. Melee Case Study. DiGRA 2020 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere.

Law, YY., and Jarrett, J. (October 2019) More than a Tournament: Grassroots Play and Participation at Esports Events. UCI Esports Conference 2019.

Law, YY. (August 2019) ‘Where are all the female gamers? – Female gamer and Competitive Gaming in Esports’. Abstract submission to the Gaming at the Boundaries: Imagining Inclusive Futures Research Stream for the 14th Conference of the European Sociological Association, 20-23 August, Manchester – United Kingdom.

Law, YY. (August 2018) GirlGamer Esports Festival was a Triumph for Inclusivity. Article for Ginx Esports TV. Available at: https://ginx.tv/esports/girlgamer-esports-festival-was-a-triumph-for-inclusivity/

Law, YY. (July 2018) ‘Meta-Gaming in Competitive Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft’ to DiGRA 2018 Conference: The Game is the Message, 25-28 July 2018, Turin – Italy.

External profiles

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021