IESF and AESF align on esports development

Gamers playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

The International Esports Federation (IESF) and Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop esports in Asia and globally.

With the signing of the MoU, the IESF recognises the AESF as the sole federation for esports in Asia, with the AESF reciprocating this for the IESF on the international level.

According to a press release, the agreement unites all of the federations’ constituent member associations and federations, many of whom were already members of both. Other continental federations are expected to become part of the alliance.

The agreement was signed by Colin Webster, president of the IESF. Members of the IESF board include vice-president Vlad Marinescu, former director-general of SportAccord; current Korean Esports Association president Young-Man Kim; and Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family.

From the AESF, the MoU was signed by president Kenneth Fok, who is also vice-president of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, and Sebastian Lau, director-general of the AESF.

The AESF also announced that esports will feature as an official medal event at the 2021 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. The Games are scheduled to take place in Bangkok and Pattaya from April 24 to May 5 next year. The AESF said: “We are pleased to announce a successful and fruitful meeting between us and the Thailand Electronic Sports Federation and the National Olympic Committee of Thailand in regards to the 2021 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.

“With the objective of having AESF as the ‘Official Continental Esports Federation’ we can also confirm that for the first time in AIMAG’s history, Esports will be one of the official medal events.”

Previously, esports had been a demonstration event at the Games, with competitions in four game titles: Hearthstone, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, The King of Fighters XIV, and Dota 2.

The IESF-AESF agreement was signed digitally yesterday due to ongoing, Covid-19 travel restrictions.