The International Esports Federation (IESF) has welcomed HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, a prominent member of the Saudi Arabian royal family, as its active President. This appointment follows the departure of Vlad Marinescu, the former President of the IESF, who stepped down from his role. Prince Faisal will assume the responsibilities of President immediately, pending a General Assembly vote to confirm his position.
The IESF, an international governing body dedicated to advancing the recognition and legitimacy of esports, is renowned for organising the prestigious World Esports Championship—a global esports tournament that pits nations against each other in fierce competition.
Prince Faisal brings a wealth of experience to the IESF, as he is already the President of the Saudi Esports Federation and holds the position of Vice President at the Global Esports Federation (GEF), a rival esports organisation. Moreover, he serves as the President of the Arab Esports Federation. Prince Faisal’s involvement with the IESF began when he was appointed as Statutory Vice President in June.
HRH Prince Faisal expressed his commitment to maintaining IESF’s mission of organising global events and fostering an inclusive environment for fair competition, stating, “[We aim to] support the global esports community and drive our industry forward.”
Vlad Marinescu, the outgoing President of the IESF, stated that he did not have enough time to devote to the role as his reason for stepping down. He, however, expressed his confidence in Prince Faisal’s ability to unify esports on an international scale and forge closer relationships with publishers and the Olympic Movement. In a press statement, Marinescu said, “[Prince Faisal] is a person that I respect and appreciate, who breathes and bleeds esports. He has set an example in Saudi of what a national federation can achieve. He is well respected and also holds high positions in the Global Esports Federation. He is a friend who I trust with this heavy next task and to further develop and promote the IESF.”
This announcement comes shortly after the IESF revealed that its next World Esports Championship event would be hosted in Saudi Arabia. The Middle East nation has been actively investing in esports, with the government leading the charge. Notable initiatives include the formation of the ESL FACEIT Group, a $1.5 billion endeavour, the acquisition of Vindex, a $45 million esports festival, and investments in several major game developers.