*Rustono Farady Marta, Kenn Lazuardhi Syarnubi, Changsong Wang, Ignatius P. Cahyanto, Rizki Briandana & Muhamad Isnaini
The internet transcends time and space providing dynamic opportunities for communication during the COVID-19 pandemic, which bodes well for the practice of physical distancing in most countries worldwide. Sports fans and players, affected by the cancellation of physical tournaments started shifting to virtual gaming tournaments and esports as the most viable alternative. In this context, sports-related news media outlets in Indonesia have paid more attention to esports and its related events. This research aims to examine the different perspectives of esports as reported by three selected online news portals in Indonesia during the lockdown (social limitation) period, namely Indosport.com, Detik.com, and Viva.co.id. Based on Fairhurst and Sarr’s Framing Theory and their seven tools, the researchers analysed news stories from these selected news portals using the qualitative content analysis method. The present study, focusing on PUBG Mobile Pro League Indonesia (PMPL ID) Season 1, reveals a high level of user engagement with video games and esports. The study identifies a neutral perspective whereby the news media outlets reported that the match can be watched through online streaming platforms during the lockdown period. Additionally, the constructive perspective focused on the stimulation and awareness of the public to watch livestreams and support via donations. Conversely, the deconstructive perspective highlighted the unfulfilled expectations of public by the organisers.
Keywords: qualitative content analysis, esports, framing theory, public excitement, news portal