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
interests of esports, the safeguarding and protection of players being a top priority. This MOU
unites in 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
like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved.”

 

Raffaele Chiulli, President of Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF)
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 higherstandards 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.

 

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 globally. Working together with all members,
publishers, athletes and stakeholders, 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.”

International Esports Federation (IESF) is a non-profit organization founded in 2008 that
consistently works to promote esports as a true sport beyond barriers. IESF is composed of
more than 60 members national federations across all continents, organizes an annual World
Championships and strives to ensure the synergy between stakeholders. Its esports academy
strives to improve the level of academic research and also professional development of
officials in the industry. IESF is a WADA Signatory since 2013. Key IESF activities include the
IESF World Championships, the IESF General Assembly uniting all National Federations and
the Global Esports Executive Summits.

Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) is the sole governing body of esports in the Asian
region and is also recognized by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). Following the
implementation of the esports Demonstration Games at the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial
Arts Games in Turkmenistan, the AESF successfully staged esports at the 2018 Asian Games
in Jakarta which saw six titles contested and having esports athletes accorded equal stature
to their traditional sports counterparts. Also, the AESF, at the 2019 Southeast Games in
Manila, brought esports to fans and media as an official medal sport event for the first time
in its history and will again be responsible to showcase esports at the 2021 Asian Indoor and
Martial Arts Games in Thailand as an official medal event. The AESF has launched its own
competition, the ‘AESF e-Masters’ series in January 2020 and will soon introduce the ‘AESF
University Championship’ and ‘AESF Amateur League’ for the esportsfans and players in Asia.
For more information on the MoU and both organisations, you can visit www.ie-sf.org and/or
www.aesf.com or contact the respective media office at [email protected] and
[email protected]