Dr Ying-Ying Law


School of Digital, Technologies and Arts

I am a lecturer in Games Studies (School of Computing and Digital Technologies, Games and Visual Effects) at Staffordshire University. I am the course leader for Games PR and Community Management and I am also the module leader for several modules for the BA (Hons) Esports and MA (Hons) Esports course (School of Business, Esports).

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

Board Member - British DiGRA: http://bdigra.org.uk/ Law
Event Manager and Tournament Organiser: Fête Smash (UK Super Smash Bros. Melee Major): https://smash.gg/tournament/f-te-2/details

Academic qualifications

I have a PhD in Sociology and HEA fellowship (FHEA) from the University of Salford. My doctoral thesis, ‘The Travelling Gamer: An Ethnography of Video Game Events’, focused on various video game events across the United Kingdom (between 2012-2016). In particular, it explored the motives for participating in video gaming related practices away from the gaming screen; using theories from play, communities, and games culture.

I have a MSc Sociological Research Methods (upper second-class honours) from the University of Manchester. My Master’s thesis explored the demographic of gamers at GamerBase Manchester; in particular, the representation of gender within public and private domains.

I also have a BSc Sociology with Criminology (first-class honours) from the University of Salford.


Competitive Gaming Communities, Grassroots Esports, Qualitative/Quantitative Research Methods.

Research interests

My research interests include video gamer culture, play, communities, esports and gender studies.


I am currently the module leader for the following modules (Stoke Campus and Digital London Institute):
Esports Ecosystems: ESPO40001 and ESPO40009
Competitive Gaming Cultures: ESPO40002 and ESPO40012
Building Teams: ESPO50005
Esports and Competitive Gaming: GAME60250
Esports Ecosystems and Metrics: ESPO70000 and ESPO70005
Research Methods and Esports Data: ESPO70002 and ESPO70007
I also supervise Games Studies Projects: GAME60428

Previous modules I have taught include (Stoke Campus):
Narratology for Games: GAME40246
Fundamentals of Gameplay: GAME40401
Computer Games in Society and the Workplace: GAME40264
New Development in Games: GAME50424
History of Games: GAME40422 and GAME50648
MMOG Design, Communities and Narratology: GAME60177


Law, YY., and Jarett, J. (2019) More Than a Tournament: Grassroots Play and Participation at Esports Events. Proceedings of the UCI Esports Conference 2019.
Law, YY. (2018) Meta-Gaming in Competitive Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Proceedings of the DiGRA 2018 Conference: The Game is the Message.
Law, YY. (2016) The Travelling Gamer: An Ethnography of Video Game Events, PhD Thesis, University of Salford.
Law, YY. & Crawford, G. (2015) 'Play' in E. Rothenbuhler (Eds), International Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy, Wiley-Blackwell (2000 words).

Top 250 Young University

Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2020

Top 15 for Teaching Quality

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

Top 15 for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

Midlands University of the Year

Midlands Business Awards 2020