Singapore takes controls with first global body for esports

Singapore has reinforced its position at the top of the leaderboard in esports as the headquarters for the new Global Esports Federation (GEF).

Established as the world’s first global governing body for e-sports, it aims to grow esports, act as a forum to develop a sustainable ecosystem, and be the voice and authority for international esports coordination.

It will also develop and stage the first Global Esports Games in 2020.

According to research firm Newzoo, global esports revenue is set to increase nearly 27 per cent to US$1.1 billion this year, reaching an estimated audience of 453.8 million people.

The video games and esports industries generated more than US$140 billion (about S$194 billion) globally last year. Almost half of this came from the Asia-Pacific.

The development and distribution of video games in Singapore contributed S$1.95 billion in 2017.

Singapore’s burgeoning esports and gaming industry is home to success stories such as globally prominent brands Razer and Secretlab, and Sea, one of Singapore’s unicorns. Foreign companies including French video games group Ubisoft and Japanese video game maker Bandai Namco also have operations in Singapore.

A number of measures are in place to help grow the sector and ensure Singapore is a video games and esports hub: The Startup SG initiative provides a range of financial and non-financial support options like mentorship and start-up capital support; the Infocomm Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) PIXEL innovation space, offers incubation and co-working spaces for digital start-ups. 

The city-state is also building a robust talent pipeline for the video games industry, with courses available at Nanyang Polytechnic and local game school DigiPen Institute. 

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing says the Government is working to build “international mindshare” as well, by playing host to the first Asian edition of gamescom – the world’s largest gaming festival – in October 2020. The last event in Germany saw 370,000 visitors and more than 1,000 exhibitors.

“The Singapore edition will let our video games companies showcase their capabilities and connect with prospective investors, collaborators and buyers,” he said.

The new global body is headed by president Chris Chan, who is also secretary-general of the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC).

The GEF aims to encourage the establishment of national e-sports federations with a set of standards and regulations, set up an athlete commission and develop world-class governance structures and guidelines, similar to the National Olympic Committee (NOC) system. 

It will differ from various international esports associations such as the International Esport Federation (IeSF) based in Busan, South Korea, because it intends to work with NOCs around the world. 

Federation membership is open to international and national federations, publishers, developers, sponsors, event organisers and cities and other non-government organisations.

Its first partner is Chinese technology company Tencent, the company behind popular battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile (PUBG) and Call of Duty Mobile. 


(via Channel News Asia, Channel News Asia)