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2020 is set to be the cornerstone everyone involved in e-Sports would have been waiting for as the Asian Electronic Sports Federation’s (AESF) e-Masters. 

Following its official launch in the Chinese city of Shenzhen earlier this week, Mr. Kenneth Fok, President of the AESF declared the Federation’s goal of improving the public mindset and perception towards e-Sports, while championing the athletes and the scene in which they compete in – a bold statement which should send anyone involved in the e-Sports scene into a frenzy.

Image: Courtesy to AESF e-Masters Shenzhen 2020

Addressing the attendees in regards to the potential of e-Sports going forward while simultaneously shedding the negativity oft-linked to it, Kenneth elaborated “My great hope is that the e-Masters would serve as a catalyst in not only denouncing these negative claims, but also in transforming the doubters’ opinions of the gaming scene.” 

The AESF e-Masters is definitely going to be a massive undertaking which results in the AESF partnering with one of the largest media companies in China to make it happen, the Sun Media Group. 

With several AESF Executive Board members present in the audience including the Thailand Electronic Sports Federation President, Mr. Santi Lothong and the Vice President of AESF, Dr. Tran Van Manh, alongside co-organising partners of the AESF e-Masters Invitational Tournament, Kenneth emphasised on the importance of strong bonds in partnership with like-minded partners. In sync with the growing list of AESF member-associates, the AESF hopes to see a continuous growth of the AESF e-Masters beyond Shenzhen. 

“We are very well aware that we cannot do it alone, hence why I can’t thank our partners at the Sun Media group and the city of Shenzhen enough in making this tournament a step closer to reality.” 

Image: Courtesy to AESF e-Masters Shenzhen 2020

“e-Sports is the new global language. Thanks to the widespread access and reach of the internet, e-Sports, when compared to the traditional sports, has higher participation, interactivity, user engagement and acquisition rate. Similar to their traditional counterparts, e-Sports athletes also demonstrate perseverance and teamwork,” he added. 

Not just limiting the action to on-screen, AI robots and VR drone competitions are set to make their competitive debut at the e-Masters. The AESF President hopes that this inclusion would unearth new aspects of competition done in the spirit of e-Sports in the coming years.

The AESF e-Masters is one of the many projects undertaken by the AESF who has been busy on the trail of rapidly growing the Asian e-Sports scene following their successful hosting of the e-Sports demonstration games at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. At present, the AESF is currently occupied with the upcoming SEA Games in Manila which would see e-Sports being included as a medal event for the first time. 

As the sole governing body of e-Sports in the Asian region, the AESF has been actively enrolling new country members to the Federation, well on course for a cohesive regional structure. Also present at the launching ceremony was retired professional e-Sports athlete, Warcraft III legend, Li ‘Sky’ Xiaofeng who also shared his anticipation and expectation for a more globally standardised e-Sports tournament. A dialogue on the differences and similarities of traditional sports athletes and e-Sports athletes also took place between Li and the member of the IOC, who was represented by 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Speed Skating Champion – Zhang Hong. 

Image: Courtesy to AESF e-Masters Shenzhen 2020

Winding down his speech, Kenneth voiced his vision for the years to come by reflecting on the past and showing optimism for the future. “2019 has been a very productive year for the AESF and while things seem bright in the horizon, our goal has always been for the long haul and with the successful implementation of the inaugural season of the AESF e-Masters Shenzhen 2020, we hope to build the foundation blocks for many more similar events in years – no, decades to come.” 


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