APRU Games and Esports Research Working Group
November 30, 2021


The APRU Esports Working Group takes an active role in the development and implementation of Program activities to considerably advance the study of the esports ecosystem and our collaboration across the APRU network, including:

1.Research collaborations: Harness multidisciplinary partnerships representing different types of academic institutions, working in different regions, and engaging in all divisions of the esports ecosystem and esports-related research.

2.Education: Facilitate discussion and potential collaboration among APRU members with diverse approaches to address rising demand for education in esports.

3.Policy and University impact: Build the capacity of the working group to engage international funding agencies, influence regional leaders, and make an impact on institutional codes of conduct.


The Core Group consists of a Chair/Co-chairs, members and APRU Secretariat representative(s).

Core Group Membership is open to:

-Experts in charge of esports and related areas within APRU member universities

– Academic experts with expertise in esports ecosystem research, teaching, mentorship, tournaments development, events, and coordination.


Scope of Activity

Members are expected to contribute and actively engage (on a regular and ongoing basis) by:

-participating in teleconferences or physical meetings to ensure decisions are collectively received and acted upon;

-taking an active role in the implementation and delivery of APRU esports activities;

-serving as a consultant or facilitator of APRU Esports workshops and other related meetings;

-serving as a champion or ambassador of APRU Esports at external events and internally within your university to solicit engagement and support across all levels.


Main Contact: Jackie Wong (jackie.wong@apru.org)


Chair of the Working Group
Prof. Patrick Williams
Associate Professor, Sociology
Nanyang Technological University, SingaporeJ. Patrick Williams (PhD) is Associate Professor of Sociology at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His primary areas of research are culture and identity, wherein he splits his time between the study of subcultural identity and authenticity on the one hand, and game-related experiences and identities on the other. Among his many publications, he has authored and edited several books on culture, identity and/or games, including Gaming as Culture: Essays in Social Reality, Identity and Experience in Fantasy Games (2006), Subcultural Theory: Traditions and Concepts (2011), and Studies on the Social Construction of Identity and Authenticity (2020). His current research focuses on the significance of DIY culture and identity in the growth of esports in Singapore.
Core Group Members
Prof Peichi Chung
Associate Professor, Department of Cultural and Religious Studies
The Chinese University of Hong KongProf Peichi Chung received her Ph.D. from the Department of Telecommunication, Indiana University-Bloomington. Her teaching and research interests include new media and digital culture. In her teaching, she focuses on new development in media cultural studies. She examines issues related to new media production and cultural policy in sub-regional locations within Asia. Her research focuses on media industry analysis at both corporation and government levels. Along with her previous projects, her current works include cultural preservation of Hong Kong in video game. Her co-edited book, Media Technologies for Work and Place in East Asia: Critical Perspectives toward Japan and the Two Koreas, was published by Bristol University Press in 2021.
Mathew Jessep
Senior Fellow, The University of Melbourne and Principal Lawyer, Game LegalMat is a pioneer and leading lawyer and consultant in the fast-growing esports sector, acting for clients with interests in leagues and teams in Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia. As a dedicated Sports lawyer, Mat has acted for National Sporting Organisations, State Sporting Organisations, sponsors, broadcasters, and leagues and event operators. In the media and entertainment industries, Mat has advised film producers, artists, authors, creatives, podcasters, streamers, and tech start-ups.Mat is admitted in the Supreme Court of NSW and is on the roll of the High Court of Australia. He regularly speaks to the media on sports, esports, and entertainment topics and is also an active member of the US-based Sports Lawyers Association (SLA) as well as the Australia and New Zealand Sports Law Association (ANZSLA). Mat teaches as a Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne Law School and as a casual academic at the University of Victoria in Melbourne and teaches the Sport Integrity & Ethics course.
Dr Mark R Johnson
Lecturer in Digital Cultures, Department of Media and Communications
The University of SydneyDr Mark R Johnson is a Lecturer in Digital Cultures in the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney. His research focuses primarily on live streaming and Twitch.tv, as well as esports, game consumption and production, and gamification and gamblification. He has published in journals including “Information Communication and Society”, “New Media and Society”, “Games and Culture”, and “The Sociological Review”. Outside academia he is also an independent game designer best known for the roguelike “Ultima Ratio Regum”, and a regular games blogger, podcaster, and commentator.
Dr Yupei Zhao
Deputy Director, International Cooperation and Exchange Office
Zhejiang UniversityDr Yupei Zhao (PhD in University of Leicester, UK) is an “Hundred Talent Program Young Professor” and doctorial tutor in college of Media and International Culture in Zhejiang University. She is currently vice chair-elected of International Communication Association Popular Media and Culture Division, vice dean of Chinese Society for Science and Technology Jounalism in Game and eSports Communication Research Professionals. Co-founder of UK-China Media and Communication Association. Before joining ZJU, she was working as a senior research associate in school of Communciation and Design in Sun Yat-sen University. Meanwhile, Yupei Zhao has been invited as senior researcher in Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies, China Policy institute at University of Nottingham (UK), and the Eurasian Sport Industry at Emlyon’s Shanghai Campus, visiting professor in Xi’an-Liverpool University and Beijing Institute of Technology.
Her research interests widely include mixed-methods use to examine digital culture and platformalization, global communication, media culture and industry. Particurly, she pays more attentions on eSports culture and industry, digital music and culture, fandom culture, media and platformalization. She has a PhD and MA focusing on Political Communication and New Media in University of Leicester (UK) since 2010 to 2016. Thus far, she is PI for twelve research funding projects, and her research has appeared in International Journal of Cultural Studies, Journal of Cultural Economy, International Journal of Communication, Social Science Quarterly, Sage Open, Social media + Society, Media International Australia, popular music and society etc. She got “The Best Paper” Paper Award in both 2020 and 2019 International Communication Association Popular Media and Culture Division, and 2019 European Association for Sport Management.