The Global Esports Federation (GEF) has become a member of ITU's standardization arm (ITU-T) to launch a global dialogue on the new partnerships emerging in support of the fast-growing competitive esports industry. The dialogue aims to create the conditions necessary to establish international standards and guidelines for the esports ecosystem.
The meteoric rise in esports' popularity compels exciting visions of the future of sport, health and entertainment. Esports have come to enjoy an audience of over 450 million people, with revenues exceeding 1 billion USD per year and growing at an annual rate well over 20 per cent.
The series will explore the business and social dynamics underlying esports and the partnerships supporting its explosive growth. It will showcase innovations in fields such as Artificial Intelligence; Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality; IMT-2020/5G; and the Internet of Things. It will also discuss actions required to support esports competitors and fans in enjoying these sports actively and sustainably.
"All industries are innovating with ICTs, but ICTs have enabled the emergence of an entirely new industry in esports," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. "By joining ITU, the Global Esports Federation has signalled the intent of the esports industry to build its future on the reliability offered by international standards, in concert with the diverse ITU membership."
"We are honored to embark on this strategic partnership with the ITU in advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and further strengthening the GEF's mission of convening the world's esports ecosystem," said GEF President Chris Chan. "This partnership allows us to develop a pathway together to foster more international collaboration between our respective communities. The future of esports continues to be bright, and we look forward to developing great collaborations with the ICT industry, elevating esports based on the traditions and values of sport and the principle of harnessing technology for good."
Esports have the potential to form a leading example of 'Tech for Good', with innovations in the field demonstrating considerable promise to support health and wellbeing, gender equality, education and persons with disabilities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of connectivity and inclusivity to the economy and society, providing a powerful reminder of the importance of ICTs to the pursuit of the
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
GEF has also highlighted its intention to propose new ITU standardization studies addressing the relationship between esports and ICT advances in fields such as AI, Big Data, 5G and IoT.
"Our world is highly diverse, but sport has extraordinary power to unite us," said Chaesub Lee, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. "Just as each team player makes a unique contribution to their team, the inclusive dialogue led by ITU and GEF will help new partners to build a common understanding of how they could each play to their strengths to make complementary contributions to the growth of the esports ecosystem."
About the Global Esports Federation (GEF)
The Global Esports Federation promotes the credibility, legitimacy and prestige of esports. It convenes athletes, players and industry leaders together on one inclusive platform. With a mission to cultivate competition along with developing community and connection between esports, mainstream sport and active esports, GEF cultivates the authentic voice for the worldwide esports movement (#worldconnected). For more information, visit www.globalesports.org
About the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the specialized United Nations agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), driving innovation in ICTs together with 193 Member States and a membership of over 900 companies, universities, and international and regional organizations. Established over 150 years ago in 1865, ITU is the intergovernmental body responsible for coordinating the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoting international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, improving communication infrastructure in the developing world, and establishing the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to cutting-edge wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, oceanographic and satellite-based earth monitoring as well as converging fixed-mobile phone, Internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world. For more information, visit