Esports World Governing Body and Asian Esports Federation Unite

April 6, 2020

The world of esports governance has reached a significant milestone with a landmark agreement between the International Esports Federation (IESF) and the Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF).

On 31st March, 2020, the IESF President Mr. Colin Webster and the AESF President Mr. Kenneth Fok both signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the goal of forming a formal collaborative relationship to promote and advance esports globally as well as across the Asian continent. Under this MOU, the IESF recognises and acknowledges the AESF as the sole federation for esports in Asia while the AESF recognises and acknowledges the IESF as the sole international federation for esports.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the signing ceremony was conducted remotely and digitally in the home nations of all signatories of this important partnership, including Hong Kong, Johannesburg and the Abu Dhabi, as well as messages from other parts of the World. A significant step for Asian esports that will also have an impact globally. It is expected that other continental federations will also be part of this alliance working collectively in the the interests of esports, the safeguarding and protection of players being a top priority. This MOU unites under one umbrella all Member Associations and Federations, thereby confirming a clear and transparent structure of esports globally.

Colin Webster, President of IESF: “The MOU between the IESF and the 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 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 would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved.”

His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Executive Board Member of IESF: “Esports is becoming ever more prominent in mainstream culture, the need for relevant governance structures, education programmes and development pathways to support the growth globally is essential to ensure the welfare and integrity of all that participate, fostering healthy and positive behaviours. The spirit of the games must be first and foremost. The closer relationship between both the IESF and AESF will provide the credibility and legitimacy of these activities and we encourage other continental federations to be part of this growing family.”

Vlad Marinescu, Vice President of IESF: “Today marks a significant and momentous milestone in the evolution and development of esports. The unity between the IESF and the AESF will reinforce the foundation of the Asian Continent – from the national associations to all stakeholders including athletes, publishers and event organizers. Moreover it will send the message globally that esports is united, and united we can, with respect and inclusion, further develop for the benefit of the people playing. I’m honoured to formally join forces with Mr. Fok, Mr. Lau and the AESF team, people who share our passion and professionalism. Great things are coming.”

Sebastian Lau, Director General of 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. 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. I truly believe that with the help from our partners at IESF who share the same vision, these goals are absolutely within our reach.”

President of GAISF, Rasffele Chiulli, stated: “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.”