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Spring forward, the next lap 2023 and beyond

Reflecting on progress, charting new horizons

by Paul J. Foster, CEO, Global Esports Federation

Spring has always been special for the Global Esports Federation. Some of the ideas for the GEF were shaped in the Spring of 2019, in Singapore, and we have come a long way since then.

Paul J. Foster speaking to the #worldconnected community at the Istanbul 2022 Global Esports Games, December 2022

In fact, it was in Spring two years ago, that I was appointed CEO, and despite the world’s relentless headwinds and challenges, we have continued to progress and create moments to celebrate together; listened to our community, and moved in to help.

Esports continues its unprecedented growth – including charting new horizons – and last year proved to be the most extraordinary year to date for the GEF.

Esports has arrived

Moving beyond the times of global lockdown, we successfully convened our #worldconnected community IRL, at the landmark Commonwealth Esports Championships in Birmingham last summer.

The Commonwealth Esports Championships Birmingham 2022 gave athletes a chance to shine on a big, bright global stage.

It felt like esports had arrived center stage and the community experienced a truly international, multi-title esports event.

This marquee event gave our athletes a chance to shine on a big, bright global stage. The experience was electric, uncharted, and unique. We witnessed the determination, preparation, skill, drive, mental focus, and most of all, the pride of these brilliant warriors competing under their flags – and we saw the pressure that brought too.

We wrapped the year in grand style, at the second edition of GEF’s flagship Global Esports Games. The Istanbul 2022 Global Esports Games was a spectacular showcase of #worldconnected in action.

Istanbul 2022 Global Esports Games closed with esports the biggest winner of all.

With participation from 65 countries and territories and over 660 athletes, the competition and presentation were of a very high standard, and everywhere you went, people were getting together, united by a love of esports, and being connected and re-connected.

Continued commitment to education and equality

The worldwide launch of the Global Esports Academy during Istanbul’s GEG will have far-reaching benefits for our community and life-long learning. The GEA elevates our ambition as we help build a sustainable pathway for the future of work, great global competition formats, and exhilarating entertainment, for our diverse community and fans.

Our commitment to equality in the community remains steadfast. Crossing a milestone target, now over 40% of our leaders are women. Our efforts continue to create opportunities that promote diversity and inclusion in the world of esports. A place where everyone can feel welcome.

The future of #worldconnected

As we continue to contribute to the ever-evolving esports landscape, I see a future that is all about immersive convergence and elevated life experiences - driven by our GEFx platform - that will transform the way our entire GEFuniverse connects and has fun.

With the help of creative, human-focused technologies, the speed and efficiencies are limitless. With the advancements of accessible, borderless Cloud-enabled technologies, people can connect with each other and the world in a more meaningful way.

These cutting-edge technologies are changing the way we live, learn, work, and interact with each other. It’s exciting to imagine what new possibilities will emerge from these innovations. #worldconnected (our motto) becomes even more relevant than ever.

Global Esports – the next lap

This year, we continue working to build deeper, more meaningful partnerships, paving the way for even more opportunities for our community to connect, grow and thrive.

Together with our partners at the European Olympic Committees and Panam Sports, we will stage two inaugural marquee events this year – the European Games Esports Championships in Katowice, Poland, and the Pan American Esports Championships, alongside the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.

We are looking forward to another show-stopping GEG – with our flagship Riyadh 2023 Global Esports Games in Saudi Arabia this December.

Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO address during Istanbul 2022 Global Esports Games.

As we reflect on our achievements so far, there is so much to do and so many opportunities around us. The breadth, depth, and speed of our organization continue to evolve rapidly as we prepare our organization for the opportunities that lie ahead.

Our universal values of equality, fair play, diversity, inclusion, and innovation - remain as relevant today as they were at our launch. Now, we can see the impact of these words in action – and continue to help guide our every, single step.

With our Members innovating across every continent and the hopes of many young people throughout the world, we are more committed than ever to our vision for a #worldconnected, this year, and beyond.


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