31st March, 2020 became a historic date for the esports community worldwide as two of the largest international esports federations reached an agreement to work together for the development of the esports and its industry. Following a signed memorandum of understanding between the International Esports Federation (IESF) and the Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF), the esports scene now has a clearer structure when it comes to esports governance as well as the direction of the industry.
Through a ceremony which was conducted online due to the Covid-19 situation, representatives from the IESF and AESF based out of the Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong and Johannesburg put pen to paper which signifies the partnership between the global esports governing body with the federation most active and impactful in the Asian region. As detailed in the official press release, this partnership confirms a clear and transparent structure of esports globally.
The MOU signed is significant in several aspects beyond the structure and governance as mentioned earlier. With both parties involved sharing the same objective in advancing the esports scene, the show of solidarity and unity is paramount in convincing the masses that Esports is well equipped and ready for the biggest stage of all.
Outcome of the signed MOU includes the shared vision to establish a legitimate esports governing structure across all continents and for the world. This in turn brings everyone to be on the same page, allowing a streamlined form of governance and communication for all parties involved.
Other important points include recognition to and from both parties whereby;
- IESF recognises and acknowledges AESF as the sole confederation for esports in Asia; and
- AESF recognises and acknowledges IESF as the sole international federation for esports.
An immediate effect entails cooperation and sharing of resources related to streamlining of an international esports calendar involving all key stakeholders, anti-doping and match manipulation monitoring and protection of esports players.
Following the latest development, several individuals including Presidents of respective federations and key personnel share their views;
Colin Webster, President of the IESF
The MOU between the IESF and AESF further reinforces IESF’s position as the only true international federation for esports. The IESF was founded in 2008 and today is the largest international federation of its kind and is acknowledged to be the leader in its field. The MOU thus solidifies the IESF’s position, as well as that of the AESF. Together, the two federations will ensure a greater degree of delivery and expertise, as well as ensuring the development and recognition of esports as a sport.
Kenneth Fok, President of the AESF
I am sure that the partnership today is strong enough to unite the esports community, including publishers, organisations, and most importantly our esports players. It is also groundbreaking as it paves way for better collaboration and cooperation between the International Esports Federation, IESF and the Asian Electronic Sports Federation, AESF. This is an exciting day for us and we look forward to new initiatives from this partnership. Lastly, I like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved.”
Raffaele Chiulli, President of Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF)
Despite the extremely difficult situation sport is facing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we still need to plan for the future of sport development. That is why I welcome this landmark announcement; it shows that esports really is making progress and becoming more unified and organised with higher standards of governance. These type of initiatives will make it much easier for our international sports federation members to collaborate with esports which in turn will result in exciting and dynamic developments for all involved.
Haider Farman, Director of Sports of Olympic Council of Asia
I applaud this move as it establishes a clearer structure of governance for electronic sports. I have no doubt that it will help standardize all the necessary rules, regulations and practices and form a solid ground to develop electronic sports.
His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Executive Board Member of the IESF
The closer relationship between both the IESF and AESF will provide the credibility and legitimacy of these esport activities and we encourage other continental federations to be part of this growing family.
Sebastian Lau, Director General of the AESF
This partnership with the IESF is a key milestone as part of our strategic master plan to develop and support the growth of esports globally. Working together with all members, publishers, athletes and stakeholders, we have a strong belief that it has to be sustainable and should be able to create a sound ecosystem where our esports community can grow collectively.