Alibaba Is Throwing Hundreds Of Millions At Esports

Image: IeSF

You don't hear about it a great deal, but the International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) is one of the few international bodies in esports that has a footprint in Australia. It's been around for a few years, but there's hope that it might get a whole lot bigger thanks to a massive investment from the Chinese conglomerate Alibaba.

Alibaba, through its Alisports division, has continued to branch out into esports by partnering with IeSF to invest $US150 million into the industry. IeSF, which is a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Agency, will support the expansion and operation of the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) around the world.

According to the IeSF release, Alibaba and IeSF are looking to attract players and teams from more than 100 countries and regions. The IeSF is also trying to convince the International Olympic Committee of the legitimacy of esports, which dovetails nicely with the eGames pop-up event that is scheduled to take place in Rio in just over a fortnight.

The two companies are also looking to create their own esports-related IP, as well as a tournament that can host amateur and professional players alike. Curiously, the president of the IeSF also believes esports could make its mark in the world of fashion.

"This partnership is one big step to IeSF," Byung Hun Jun, IeSF president, said. "I believe IeSF and Alisports will maximize each other’s strength by this partnership. I also believe e-Sports Stadium can be transformed to be a fashion place for Youth."

The International Olympic Committee will reportedly respond to the IeSF's submission some time in December.

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