- Tencent Esports has been named the global partner of a new Global Esports Federation, headquartered in Singapore.
- The organization is led by Chris Chan from the Singapore National Olympic Council, with Tencent’s Edward Cheng to serve as one of its vice-presidents.
- Multiple entities already exist that are trying to govern the esports industry, though this is the first with direct backing from a game publisher.
A new self-described Global Esports Federation (GEF) launched today, with Tencent Esports listed as its global founding partner. Headquartered in Singapore, the federation’s president is Chris Chan, secretary-general of the country’s National Olympic Council. According to Chinese publication People Esports, the group wants to hold an international tournament as early as January 2020.
GEF’s vice-presidents include Wei Jizhong, former secretary-general of the Chinese Olympic Committee (and an honorary life vice-president of the Olympic Council of Asia); Charmaine Crooks, a former Olympian and founder of NGU consultants; and Cheng Wu, vice-president of Tencent Holdings and CEO of Tencent Pictures.
At its launch conference, the federation stated it wanted to be “the voice and authority for the worldwide esports movement.” Its key objectives include establishing national esports federations, an athlete commission, guidelines related to fair play, doping, and governance structures.
Some of the initial board members for GEF include Chris Overholt, CEO of esports team ownership group OverActive Media and former CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee; Chester King, CEO of the British Esports Association; Lorenzo Giorgetti, chief business officer of soccer club AC Milan; and Adrian Lismore, chief investment officer of Calypso Investment, and former chief business officer of British Petroleum.
The esports industry is almost entirely decentralized, with game publishers acting as intellectual rights owners and competition regulators. As such, there are multiple organizations attempting to govern the space, none of which are officially recognized as the single global governing body for the industry, or even a single game.
Today, the International Esports Federation (IeSF), a South Korea-based organization that formed in 2008 and has members from 56 different countries, announced the results of its own executive elections. Some notable members of its board include Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifah Al-Nahayan, a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family; and Young Man Kim, the chairman of the Korean Esports Association (KeSPA).
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