GEF and IESF establish Esports Leadership Group

25 January 2024

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GEF and IESF MOU
Image credit: GEF

The Global Esports Federation (GEF) and the International Esports Federation (IESF) have created the Esports Leadership Group (ELG) to facilitate collaboration between the entities.

According to a release, the ELG will focus on developing initiatives based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) previously signed by the two bodies.

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The Esports Leadership Group is chaired by International Olympic Committee Vice President Ser Miang Ng, as well as HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, President of the International Esports Federation, and Chris Chan, President of the Global Esports Federation.

Both presidents signed the MoU during the GEF’s Riyadh Global Esports Games in December 2023 to ‘drive advancement and deliver new opportunities’ across the global esports ecosystem. Ser Miang Ng was also present during the signing.

Founded in 2019, the GEF is an international esports governing body that aims to promote the credibility and legitimacy of esports. The organisation recently announced a new executive team in line with its ‘GEF 5.0’ strategy for the 2024-2028 period.

Last year, the GEF increased its global influence by launching the Oceania Esports Development Federation and the Europe Esports Development Federation.

Based in Busan, South Korea, the IESF has strived to foster the recognition and diversity of esports since 2008. To do so, the IESF works with esports stakeholders, including the Chinese city Qingdao and the Fédération Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA), and over 100 member nations.

In October 2023, the organisation appointed Prince Faisal, who is also the Vice President of the GEF and President of the Arab Esports Federation, as its Active President. Saudi Arabia’s increased involvement in esports has been the subject of criticism due to the country’s human rights record regarding LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights and censorship.

Ser Miang Ng commented on the newly founded ELG: “We are entering an exciting phase in the development of esports, including the recent announcement by the IOC on the Olympic Esports Games, and diverse content being offered around the world. The collaboration of efforts and work between GEF and IESF will contribute to the global development of esports and the prospect of collaborating with the International Olympic Committee and sports.

“The bridging of esports and sports will create limitless opportunities for young people around the world, capitalizing on the innovation of esports and the values of sports. It is my privilege and pleasure to work with HRH Prince Faisal and Chris Chan on this exciting endeavour.”

Lea Maas
Lea is a business student with too many passions and too little time. In addition to missing her shots in Valorant, she spends her free time advocating for mental health awareness and fostering inclusive esports communities.