International Esports Federation

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International Esports Federation
International Esports Federation logo
Map of member and associate nations
  Member nations
FormationAugust 11, 2008; 11 years ago (2008-08-11)
TypeSports federation
HeadquartersBusan, South Korea
Official language
Colin Webster
Main organ
General Assembly

The International Esports Federation (IESF) is a global organisation based in South Korea whose mission it is to have electronic sports recognized as a legitimate sport.

It has also just revealed an agreement with the Asian Electronic Sports Federation, which saw the pair sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the objective of further promoting esports.   

Member Nations[edit]

So far, there are 56 member nations in IESF[1]:

Continent Member Nations
Africa(4)  Egypt,  Namibia,  South Africa,  Tunisia
The Americas(7)  Argentina,  Brazil,  Costa Rica,  Dominican Republic,  Jamaica,  Mexico,  United States
Asia(23)  China,  Chinese Taipei,  Hong Kong,  India,  Indonesia,  Iran,  Japan,  Lebanon,  Macau,  Malaysia,  Maldives,  Mongolia,  Myanmar,    Nepal,  Philippines,  Saudi Arabia,  South Korea,  Sri Lanka,  Syria,  Thailand,  United Arab Emirates,  Uzbekistan,  Vietnam
Europe(21)  Austria,  Azerbaijan,  Belarus,  Belgium,  Denmark,  Finland,  Georgia,  Germany,  Italy,  Montenegro,  North Macedonia,  Netherlands,  Portugal,  Romania,  Russia,  Serbia,  Sweden,   Switzerland,  Slovakia,  Poland,  Israel
Oceania(2)  Australia,  New Zealand


The International Esports Federation was founded in August 8, 2008 by nine esports associations from Denmark, South Korea, Germany, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Vietnam and Taiwan, and held its first general meeting in November of the same year.

A year later, in December 12, the IeSF was able to host its own international tournaments, starting with the "IeSF challenge" in 2009, followed by "IeSF Grand Finals" in 2010, and the "IeSF World Championship" in 2011 and onward.[2]

2012 saw a massive breakthrough for esports and the IeSF, as the IeSF 2012 World championship presented an esports tournament for women for the first time.

In July 7, 2013, IeSF was selected as counterpart for the electronic sports discipline of the 4th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.[3] This was a big breakthrough for esports and the IeSF, as the branch was introduced in an Olympic event for the first time.

In May 2013, IeSF was approved as the official signatory of the World Anti-Doping Agency in the branch of e-Sports.[4]

In July 2013, IeSF submitted an application to join Sport Accord, and is expected to be approved as a temporary member in April 2014.[5]

In November 2013, IeSF saw a successful overseas launch of its events, as the IeSF 2013 World Championship and the 2013 General Meeting was held in the city of Bucharest, Romania, in what was the first time of an IeSF event held outside of South Korea.

In May 2014, IeSF was approved for membership by TAFISA. The IeSF will be represented at the 2016 TAFISA World Games for All, to be held in Jakarta.[6]

In 2014, IeSF restricted female players from participating the in Hearthstone tournament, as part of the World Championship division of tournament into male and female sections. IeSF later revised the policy, uniting the section into open-for-all tournaments while maintaining female-only tournaments with smaller prize pools.[7]

In the 2015 World Championship, an esports panel was hosted with guests from international sports society to discuss the future recognition of esports as a recognized, legitimate sporting activity worldwide.[8]

The four federations which are newly represented in the IESF are Colombia’s Federación Colombiana de Deportes Electrónicos (FEDECOLDE), Kazakhstan’s Qazaq Cybersport Federation (QCF), Turkey’s Turkish Esports Federation (TESFED), and Ukraine’s Federation of E-Sport of Ukraine (UESF).[9]

The addition of four more countries brings the IESF’s total count of member nations to 60, with six continents represented. Asia and Europe make up the bulk of the numbers with 24 and 22 respectively, with Macau’s arrival in 2016 marking the last time a new member joined until now.[9]

In July 2016, Macau became the 56th member nation of the IESF.[10]

The International eSports Federation (IeSF) has voted to accept the United States eSports Federation (USeF) as a full member. The decision, taken at the IeSF General Meeting in Kaohsiung in Taiwan, means that USeF is the official recognized national governing body of esports in the US.[11]

Esports is set to expand across the Middle East with Korean non-profit International Esports Federation (IESF) recently announcing plans to enter the region. IESF has signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the UAE’s Motivate Media Group, parent company of Gulf Business, to expand regionally. Currently, the Esports category has over 300 million gamers across the Middle East alone.[12]

Official World Championships[edit]

So far, the IeSF has held ten World Championships:

Year Title Location Titles played Winner Runner up
2009 IeSF 2009 Challenge South Korea Taebaek, South Korea FIFA Online  South Korea  China
2010 IeSF Grand Final South Korea Daegu, South Korea FIFA Online, WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne  South Korea  Romania
2011 IeSF World Championship South Korea Andong, South Korea StarCraft II, FIFA Online  Sweden  South Korea
2012 IeSF World Championship South Korea Cheonan, South Korea Alliance of Valiant Arms, StarCraft II, Tekken Tag Tournament 2  South Korea  Austria
2013 IeSF World Championship Romania Bucharest, Romania League of Legends, StarCraft II, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Alliance of Valiant Arms  South Korea  Sweden
2014 Esports World Championship 2014 Azerbaijan Baku, Azerbaijan Dota 2, Hearthstone, Ultra Street Fighter IV, StarCraft II, Tekken Tag Tournament 2  South Korea  China
2015 Esports World Championship 2015 South Korea Seoul, South Korea League of Legends, StarCraft II, Hearthstone  Serbia  South Korea
2016 Esports World Championship 2016 Indonesia Jakarta, Indonesia[13] Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Hearthstone  South Korea  Finland
2017 Esports World Championship 2017 South Korea Busan, South Korea Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Tekken 7  South Korea  Philippines
2018 Esports World Championship 2018 Taiwan Kaohsiung, Taiwan Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Tekken 7[14]  South Korea  Finland
2019 Esports World Championship 2019 South Korea Seoul, South Korea Dota 2, Tekken 7, eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020  Japan  Sweden
2020 Esports World Championship 2020 Israel Eilat, Israel Dota 2, Tekken 7, eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020

Official Tri-Nation Test Matches[edit]

The following online events were held by member associations and under the jurisdiction of the IeSF:

Year Date Countries Title played Result
2013 12 October 2013  Denmark,  Israel,  South Africa League of Legends 4, 2, 0
2013 5 October 2013  Denmark,  France,  Spain League of Legends 4, 2,

Official Test Matches[edit]

The following Test Matches were held by member associations and under the jurisdiction of the IeSF:

Year Date Countries Title played Result
2020 16 May 2020  Azerbaijan,  South Africa DotA 2 [15] 2 - 0
2020 25 April 2020  South Africa,  Namibia DotA 2 2 - 0
2019 14 June 2019  Korea,  Sweden Summoner's War 3 - 0
2018 28 August 2018  Russia,  South Africa Tekken 7 (Male), Counter-Strike: GO 1 - 0, 1 - 0
2018 23 June 2018  Namibia,  South Africa Tekken 7 (Male), Tekken 7 (Female), FIFA'18 0 - 2, 0 - 1, 1 - 1
2017 16 September 2017  Tunisia,  South Africa League of Legends 2 - 0
2017 9 September 2017   Switzerland,  South Africa CounterStrike: GO, League of Legends, Tekken 7 2 - 0, 2 - 0, 1 -0
2017 30 July 2017  Namibia,  South Africa FIFA '17 1 – 0
2016 9 October 2016  Egypt,  South Africa HearthStone 1 - 1
2016 6 February 2016  Ghana,  South Africa FIFA '16 5 - 1
2015 4 December 2015  Finland,  South Africa StarCraft II 2 - 0
2015 14 November 2015  Israel,  South Africa League of Legends 2 - 0
2015 11 July 2015  Austria,  South Africa FIFA '15 6 - 0
2015 27 March 2015  South Africa,  Zimbabwe FIFA '15 2 - 0
2014 25 October 2014  Namibia,  South Africa Dota 2 0 - 2
2014 4 October 2014  Finland,  South Africa StarCraft II 2 - 0
2014 4 October 2014  Finland,  South Africa DotA 2 2 - 0
2014 8 August 2014  Egypt,  South Africa DotA 2 2 - 0
2013 8 September 2013  Mexico,  South Africa DotA 2 0 - 1
2013 31 July 2013  Romania,  South Africa DotA 2 1 - 0
2013 31 March 2013  Romania,  South Africa StarCraft II 2 - 0

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "About".
  2. ^ leSF. "IeSF". Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  3. ^ leSF. "media > IeSF News > [IeSF News] Updates on 4th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games and IeSF 2013 Asia Conference". Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Anti-Doping Community". World Anti-Doping Agency. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  5. ^ leSF. "media > IeSF News > [IeSF News] IeSF submitted its membership application to "Sport Accord"". Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  6. ^ "IeSF, 국제체육기구 가맹 "e스포츠도 생활체육"". Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  7. ^ Jenna Pitcher. "Previously male-only Hearthstone competition now open to all genders". Polygon. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  8. ^ [2015 IESF] e-Sports Summit with International Sports Society -EsportsTV. 3 December 2015 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ a b Zalik, D. & Dejan. (2019-08-25). International e-Sports Federation Launches Initiative To Bring Esports To The Olympics.
  10. ^ "Grow uP eSports".
  11. ^ Mackay, D. (2019-08-12). The Sports Digest. International eSports Federation Accepts United States as Latest Member.
  12. ^ Freelance, M. (2019-11-14). Motivate, IESF sign MoU to grow regionally.
  13. ^ "8th E-Sports World Championships to Be Held in Jakarta, Indonesia - Esports by". 18 March 2016.
  14. ^ "TEKKEN 7 Announces as Game Title for 10th Esports World Championship -". 2018-03-30. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  15. ^ "DOTA2: South Africa vs Azerbaijan".