The Global E-Sports Federation has been established in hopes to bring together the esports industry and traditional Olympic sports values, with the largest gaming company and multinational conglomerate Tencent. The GEF will be directed by the secretary-general of the Singapore National Olympic Council, Chris Chan.
Chan explains that there is still a lot of confusion surrounding the esports industry, and he expects the GEF to be the voice and authority for the worldwide esports movement. The federation aims to bring recognition and legitimacy to electronic sports, stating that “with our collective effort, I believe e-sports will unleash the unlimited possibilities of sports in the digital age".
President of the Singapore E-Sports Federation, Ng Chong Geng says the biggest challenge is facing the prejudice many still have when it comes to considering esports a real sport, reminding that “It’s true the actual practice doesn’t require as much physical exertion (compared to most traditional sports), but it does require stamina, concentration and the same desire to win.”
“There’s still a certain stigma from the public that e-sports does not deserve to be a medal sport because of the lack of physical exertion... so I think before it can be an Olympic sport there needs to be a change in this aspect,” - Ng Chong Geng, President of the GEF
The GEF has five main objectives, including support and establish national esports with proper regulation, establish an athlete commission with fair play standards and ethical practices, oversee and develope esports competitions and conventions, develop a world-class governing structure, create and develop the annual "Global E-Sport Games", with the first event to be likely staged in China at the end of 2020.
Tencent has entered the GEF as its founding global partner raising eyebrows in the esports industry, as this is the first time an entity attempts to guide the esports industry with the backing of a game publisher. Chris Chan conducted the signature of the deal between the tech giant and the federation, during a ceremony that featured several Singaporean politicians, Olympian athletes and board members. Chan stated:
“We are excited to navigate the pathway and shape the future with the launch of the Global Esports Federation. The GEF will help develop the credibility, legitimacy, and prestige to esports in society by leveraging the history, foundations, the values of sport, and the principle of harnessing technology and innovation for sports. The commitment of Tencent and the vision of the leadership team are evident in this groundbreaking moment to join GEF as our Founding Global Partner. The inclusion of Tencent will tremendously help in the growth, education, culture, and wellness of the esports ecosystem.”
Several organizations across the globe have attempted to regulate the esports industry, including the International Esports Federation (IeSF), established in 2008 in South Korea, contributing to promoting the global esports industry, expanding from 9 to over 46 different participating nations. The IeSF is responsible for " hosting international esports tournaments, expanding our range of member nations and establishing standards for referees, players, certifications, titles and competitions", striving to be the first International Sports Organization of the esports world.
With proper guidelines, esports slowly but surely gains more legitimacy, but until we keep struggling to decide on how to spell the term esports (or e-Sports), twitter users will remain shutting us all down: