The world’s fastest-growing sports sector, Esports, has expanded its global footprint with the announcement of a strategic partnership that will see its operations make significant headway in the Middle East.
The new agreement – a joint venture between the International Esports Federation (IESF) and one of the region’s most established media companies, Motivate Media Group - comes ahead of the launch of a world-class annual Esports industry summit and consumer exhibition event in Dubai in 2020.
Endorsed by the IESF, Dubai Sports Council, and Emirates Esports Association, the event will be a celebration of Dubai’s journey as a global destination hub for Esports organizations and industry leaders, thinkers, influencers and gaming enthusiasts.
Esports is the fastest-growing sports category globally with more than 300 million gamers in the Middle East alone.
Colin Webster, President of the IESF and Ian Fairservice, Founder and Managing Partner of Motivate Media Group, signed an MoU establishing a joint venture that introduces the most significant initiative of its kind for Esports in the region.
‘IESF is really excited to be collaborating with Motivate to establish a number of world-class Esports products that represents an important step in supporting Esports growth in the UAE, the Middle East and globally,’ says Mr Webster.
‘The potential for Esports in the Middle East is now being realised. ‘A national strategy is required to establish and house this remarkable ecosystem, Dubai is an amazing city and Motivate Media Group, celebrating its 40th year, is a perfect partner that can help support this vision.’
Mr Fairservice concurred: ‘With the evolution of technology and the ongoing emergence of all forms of sport as a cultural and entertainment touchstone in society, there is no better time to launch an initiative that embraces this convergence.’
‘We see the future in Esports as being one of the most dynamic and rapidly expanding platforms in new media and are thrilled to be partnering with a leading institution such as the IESF to develop this in the Middle East.’
Colin Webster added that the IESF is absolutely delighted to be attending another world first by Dubai Sports Council.
‘Artificial Intelligence will have a considerable impact in all aspects of life, and sport is no exception. By providing thought leadership to AI in Sport, this will clearly help shape future policy and its applications for a better world. The UAE was one of the first countries, if not the first, to appoint an AI minister as part of its portfolio. HE Omar Al Olama is a remarkable person with such insight.’
‘The IESF looks forward to our continued collaboration with Dubai Sports Council for the betterment of sports and humankind.’
The International Esports Federation (IESF), based in Busan, Korea, is a not-for-profit organization that works consistently to promote Esports as a true sport which transcends language, gender, race and cultural barriers. Established in 2008, with nine founding nations, its membership has now expanded to over 56 countries.
The IESF has established robust policies that ensure the welfare of its participants, whilst protecting the integrity of Esports.
Structurally, it comprises a board, members of whom usually serve a four-year term and are duly elected by member federations.
Other initiatives that IESF has developed for the betterment of Esports include an annual Esports World Championship, which is in its 11th edition, and a Global Esports Executive Summit (GEES) which was launched four years ago.
The 11th World Esports Championship (2019) will be held from 11-15 December 2019 in Seoul where more than 45 nations are expected to compete.
As an international federation for Esports, the IESF’s obligations include hosting international Esports tournaments, expanding the range of member nations, and establishing standards for referees, players, certifications, titles and competitions.
About Motivate Media Group
Motivate Publishing was founded in 1979 by Ian Fairservice and, together with his partner HE Obaid bin Humaid Al Tayer, the United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Financial Affairs, has developed the company to become one of the most successful media groups in the region. Motivate Media Group has more than 25 editorial titles across print and digital, and a diverse range of contract publishing, as well as a celebrated books division, content provision services, events management, diverse international joint ventures and leading cinema advertising business, Motivate Val Morgan. www.motivate.ae