Major Boost For International E-sports

Top Chinese e-commerce group invests $150 million in the International eSports Federation

The massive Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba, working through its subsidiary Alisports, has announced a $150 million (a billion yuan) investment in Jack Ma's International e-Sports Federation.
The move follows an announcement by Alisports in March this year that it had invested $5.5 million in the "World Electronic Sports Games" a eSports tournament hosting disciplines such as Dota 2, CS:GO, StarCraft 2 and Hearthstone.
The arrangement with the International e-Sports Federation is an exclusive partnership with the organisation, which claims that it is the governing body for eSports activities in 47 nations.
Member countries include South Korea, China, Australia, Russia, Finland, Italy and Norway.
The partnership has ambitions to create a tournament in which all eSports players, both amateur and professional, can compete. It will also seek international recognition for eSports as a legitimate sporting activity that can be included in major global events like the Olympics.
On a practical level, the partners also propose the creation of unique intellectual property rights germane to eSports.
International e-Sports Federation president Byung Hun Jun said in a statement that the partnership with Alisports was a major step forward by his organisation, in which the partners would maximise each other's strengths and enhance efforts to engage with more eSports fans internationally.
There are plans to invest in the construction of eSports stadia across China, Alisports chief executive Zhang Dazhong revealed, saying:
"IeSF has been committed to promoting the eSports movement in the mainstream, including pushing it into the Olympic Games, which is consistent with our ideal. I believe the two sides will jointly promote the development of the global e-Sports industry."

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