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First class of Future Leaders inducted to the Global Esports Federation

Eight have risen through a competitive global selection process and will be involved shaping the inaugural Global Esports Games in December

It was more than 14 years ago, but to this day, Jordan Vasileiadis still remembers the first esports event he watched as a kid.

Just 11 then, the World Cyber Games in Seattle was much more than just an introduction to the world of esports. Even then, it was clear to him esports was what he wanted to do later in life. From then on, he charted a clear path toward it.

At 13, he co-created one of the first Counter-Strike 1.6 esports teams in his native Greece. He also led Greece’s first university research projects about esports and motor skills, and also co-organized the first esports roundtable discussion in one of Greece’s most established sport management conferences.

Vasileiadis has taken his next stride, having recently joined the Global Esports Federation as part of its first batch of interns. The inaugural class of eight hail from all over the world: from Azerbaijan to Greece, Portugal to Singapore.

Five came through a competitive selection via the Global Esports Federation’s Global Esports Future Leaders Program, and three are Sport & Wellness Management students from Singapore’s Nanyang Polytechnic.

They are:

  • Afonso de Brito, Portugal

  • Brian Cheng, Singapore

  • Kylie Goh, Singapore

  • Nicholas Nah, Singapore

  • Jordan Lee, Singapore

  • Sim Ser Lyn, Singapore

  • Jordan Vasileiadis, Greece

  • Fidan Zohrabova, Azerbaijan (currently living in Italy)

For some who have lived and breathed esports for as long as they can remember, snagging the internship was a dream. For others, this will be their first time working with an organization on a global scale like the GEF. They will be remunerated for their work across the GEF’s five divisions, and will also be included in management-level meetings as part of their immersion.

Through the next few months, the interns will be attached to various divisions and have a part in running events that include the GEF’s flagship Global Esports Games in December.

Here’s a look at what they’re thinking ahead of the experience:

What led you to the Global Esports Federation?

Afonso Brito: I have always been very interested in the history of video games and their progress in modern society. For me, esports are an important evolution of this sector, and even though I'm not an active player I am deeply interested in esports events and its culture. I wanted to be a part of a global team whose values are based on equality, diversity, and inclusion, since those, for me, are the most important causes to support. I want to help GEF in its mission and believe I can be an important element in helping it achieve its goals.

Sim Ser Lyn: I’ve always been interested in gaming, mostly FPS. I enjoyed just watching gaming with tens of thousands of people and it made me feel like I wasn’t alone. It’s generally not very “feminine” or common for girls to play games or like esports, so I didn’t find many like-minded people. When I watch Twitch streams and I see so many other people enjoying what I enjoy, it makes me feel accepted and part of a community.

What are you most looking forward to doing during your internship?

Fidan Zohrabova: The most exciting part of this internship for me is to meet new people from different parts of the world, to learn from them, to share my experience, to enter the esports world and to be more familiar with it. I would like to highlight for myself the connection between sport and esports, to find something in common… as well as to use my experience in sport to manage esports.

Brian Cheng: This internship is an opportunity that I will definitely make full use of. I hope to go through this experience having learnt as many skills and having had as many unique experiences as I can cram into these 21 weeks.

Kylie Goh: I’ve always had an interest in sports events management. I look forward to learning the many considerations, logistics, manpower and all that goes into hosting an esports event.

What do you foresee to be a challenge for you during the internship?

Jordan Vasileiadis: Although I have been an active part of many different esports projects and events in the past, most of them did not have an international element. In GEF, I will not only have the opportunity to assist in a mega esports event, but also challenge myself in working in a global-scale environment, something that I will be doing for the first time.

What do you hope will be your takeaway from the internship?

Jordan Lee: A better understanding of how things are managed on a global scale from conceptualization to execution, and definitely to learn as much as I can from my peers.

Nicholas Nah: I wish to take away a better understanding on how the entire federation operates internationally especially when a project is incoming. Furthermore, I’m still a newbie with regards to esports, thus I hope this internship will broaden my perspective on how esports is promoted across the world, how esports events are conducted, and maybe understand why esports is becoming wildly popular.


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