International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) has announced a partnership, so called ‘Exclusive Strategic Partnership’, with Alibaba Sports Group(Alisports) in Shanghai, China on July 26, 2016.
Alisports and IeSF have first met in Beijing early this year. Although, it is a quite short period time to make something concrete between two different parties, both parties shared a same vision on future goals which made IeSF and Alisports to reach consensus for such partnership.
There are three specific goals which both shared. First of all, both parties want to have a tournament which all amateur e-Sports players and professional e-Sports players can participate. This means that IeSF will fully endorse WESG Game Series initiatives. Second, both parties will work together to let e-Sports to be recognized as sports. Last but not least, both parties will create the unique IP.
As IeSF World Championship’s journey has been begun from 2009, IeSF now has know-hows, experience, resources and more in operating tournaments as well as with its global coverage through its 47 member National Federations. These various strengths from IeSF will support the World Electronic Sports Games, WESG, hosted by Alisports to be a tournament which can benefit e-Sports players, fans, and officials.
IeSF has put great efforts to enter International Sports Society. IeSF has been approved as one of the official signatories of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 2013. IeSF is currently an international member of The Association For International Sport for All (TAFISA) and IeSF is approved as counterpart for e-Sports discipline by Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). IeSF is preparing documentation to submit to International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Sport Accord at this moment. IeSF will now spread its wings to enter International Sports Society with support from Alisports.
To make sports market-oriented and gaming sports-oriented, Alisports hosts WESG with a total prize more than $5.5 million and total investment more than 1 billion yuan ($149 million), attracting e-Sports players from over 100 countries and regions in this inauguration. Meanwhile, Alisports is also planning to build the e-Sports Stadiums around China, hoping to make e-Sports become a way of life.
Alisports CEO, Mr. Zhang Dazhong addressed: “As the most authoritative international organization in e-sports industry, IeSF has been committed to promoting e-Sports movement into the mainstream, including pushing it into the Olympic Games, which is consistent with our ideal. We are honored to cooperate with IeSF as the exclusive global partners in a long-term. I believe the two sides will jointly promote the development of the global e-Sports industry. “
IeSF President, Mr. Byung Hun Jun said “This partnership is one big step to IeSF. I believe IeSF and Alisports will maximize each other’s strength by this partnership. I also believe e-Sports Stadium can be transformed to be a fashion place for Youth. IeSF will make our all effort to be with more e-Sports fans in more countries together with Alisports from now on.”
Talking to Lokesh Suji (Director – eSports Federation of India), he said “This has been so far the best news for eSports. The investment of 150 Mn$ is highest (excluding Twitch acquisition by Amazon for nearly 1 Bn $), till date in eSports worldwide and just to give an overview its nearly four times the cost of acquisition of Major League Gaming by Activision, Twice the money which MTG group had paid to get 76% stake in ESL.
With the vision of IeSF and support of AliSports, things will get bigger and better for eSports, as the Indian Federation and being part of IeSF we are super excited. We hope that more and more brands in India will start realizing the potential of eSports, please note that eSports is not “Gaming”, its competitive video gaming and it’s a Sport. Indian eSports community is pegged around 10 Mn and these are serious gamers who spend 3-4 hrs/daily competing against each other and have got 4X influencer effect, who would not want to reach out to them. Lots of good things are lined up for the Indian eSports community and will share details as we move forward”.
Lokesh was the person who had introduced eSports to Mt. Dew and helped them conceptualize the “Dew Arena” (eSports Championship launched by Pepsi last month) and is also the Founder of Indian League Gaming.