- The International Esports Federation (IESF) announced new member federations from Colombia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and Ukraine.
- An existing member, the New Zealand Esports Federation, has been confirmed as the national sporting organization for esports in New Zealand.
- The IESF includes 21 nationally recognized esports federations, but the industry’s political landscape remains fractured, with several competing organizations.
The IESF announced last week that it had added four new members, bringing its total federation count to 56. The South Korea-based organization will allow the following federations to recruit and send players to its next World Championships event in Eilat, Israel, scheduled for November of this year:
- The Federacion Colombiana de Deportes Electronicos (Fedecolde)
- The Qazaq Cybersport Federation (QCF)
- The Turkish Esports Federation (TESFED)
- The Federation of E-Sport of Ukraine (UESF)
In addition, the New Zealand Esports Federation (NZESF), an existing IESF member, confirmed that it had been approved by Sport New Zealand as the country’s national organization for esports. The NZESF, also known as the “E Blacks,” was first formed in March 2016. It will now be privy to guidelines and processes for visas and tax statuses, prize money distribution, and resources for education and travel costs.
According to a list compiled by the IESF, New Zealand is the 21st country to recognize a national body for esports, either directly or through its National Olympic Committees or national sport agencies. Five of those federations (Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Syria, and Thailand) are recognized by both.
The IESF was first established in 2000, and while it is recognized by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), esports is not recognized as a summer or winter sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In addition, no esports federation has joined the Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF)—which includes a number of sports not on the Olympic program, such as American football, chess, and motorsports.
There are now a number of competing organizations looking to represent esports on the political level. The Global Esports Federation (GEF) was formed late last year with leadership from the Olympic movement, and commercial backing by Tencent Esports. The European Esports Federation (EEF) formed earlier this year, though federations from France, Spain, and Switzerland did not ultimately join.
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