Dr Ying-Ying Law

Course Director - Esports

Staffordshire University London

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 a Senior Lecturer in Games Studies (School of Digital, Technologies and Arts) at Staffordshire University, with a background in Sociology. I am the module leader for several modules for the BA (Hons) Esports and MA (Hons) Esports course. 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



  • 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


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.

UK University

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Job Prospects

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Student Satisfaction

Complete University Guide 2022

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

for Course Content

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

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

Research Excellence Framework 2021