International e-Sports Federation Launches Initiative To Bring Esports To The Olympics

Published: Jun 23, 2016 - Last Updated: Sep 25, 2019

The International e-Sports Federation, or IeSF, has announced it is taking steps for esports to become a part of the Olympics.

The Korean-based organization is looking into establishing an Athlete’s Commission, an integral part for meeting the criteria set by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Esports receiving an increased amount of official recognition

Esports is now officially recognized as a sport in Russia, where esports players, as of June 18, will be able to earn titles such as “Russian Master of Sports,” “International Master of Sports” and “Honored Master of Sports of Russia.”

Similar steps toward esports recognition are being taken in France, where the national government is proposing a new bill to officially recognize both esports and players.

Germany is also making moves, with the Berlin Pirate Party lobbying for the official recognition of esports as a sport.

All this is contributing to the continuous growth of esports as well as awareness of the industry, which will be an essential piece of the industry becoming globally known and recognized.

IeSF’s goal: make esports a true sport on the global stage

The International e-Sports Federation was founded in 2008 in Korea and comprises 45 member nations.

The organization also hosts a world championship every year, featuring popular esports titles like League of Legends and StarCraft 2. By establishing international competitive standards and expanding its membership, the IeSF is pushing toward esports becoming officially recognized as a sport, and they hope one day becoming a part of the biggest worldwide sporting event, the Olympics.

Establishing an Athlete’s Commission would help develop international esports standards, which should help legitimize the industry across the world. It would significantly help with issues, for example, like players obtaining visas.

“The Athletes Commission is not only where the voices of the athletes heard, but it is an important sector which can advise IeSF in taking its steps for the future e-Sports development,” said Alex Lim, secretary general of IeSF.

Lim continued:

“IeSF will be in full support to establish of the Athletes Commission and will make sure to be in constant communication with one another. We would like to encourage athletes and ask for continuous support for the commission to be formed in the proper manner and direction. The current global e-Sports Academy, underdevelopment of IeSF, will be focusing on welfare and second life career developments of the athletes.

For it to function as a realistic and practical education program, IeSF will work closely with the Athletes Commission to integrate its opinion and needs.”

The commission should come to life during the organization’s world championship event in October, where players can share their opinions on a variety of issues surrounding the industry. Even though IeFS does not, for now, have a big impact in member countries, it is definitely a good starting point for the official recognition of esports on a global scale.

Image credit: Leonard Zhukovsky /

Dejan Zalik
Dejan Zalik

Since: September 12, 2015

Dejan has been involved in gaming for over 10 years. Moving from classics like Diablo 2, Lineage 2, and Warcraft 3, he found his passion in Dota 2, which he’s been playing ever since. He also likes to keep up to date by reading and writing about whatever is happening in the industry.

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