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e-Sports Federation

From Liquipedia StarCraft 2 Wiki

[e][h]e-Sports Federation
Company Information
2012-03-30 - 2014-01-28

The e-Sports Federation is an organization founded on March 30 2012 by the majority of Korean professional teams not affiliated to the KeSPA, which aims to promote e-sports around the world and to secure rights for its members that have helped to build the StarCraft II scene.


In March 2012, it was reported that the KeSPA, the governing body of the Brood War scene, was in discussion with Blizzard Entertainment to acquire the right to broadcast StarCraft II events.[1] A week later, on March 30, the e-Sports Federation was unveiled. Originally comprised of nine non-KeSPA teams, StarTale, Incredible Miracle, Prime, MVP, Old Generations, New Star HoSeo, FXOpen e-Sports, Team SCV Life and ZeNEX (SlayerS being the only team competing in the GSTL which had decided against joining the federation), the organization was meant to promote e-sports around the world and to secure rights for its members that had helped to build the Korean StarCraft II scene prior to KeSPA's involvement. Under the direction of StarTale's head coach Won Jong Wook, its first president, the e-Sports Federation strived to ask KeSPA for an official place for negotiations, and to start talks advocating free participation of non-KeSPA players and teams in the upcoming leagues. Furthermore, the federation stated that there were no special conditions for those willing to join it, and that invitations would be extended to foreign organizations as well.[2]

First contacts with the KeSPA[edit]

On May 2 2012, the modalities of the KeSPA players and teams's switch to StarCraft II were disclosed during a press conference. It was announced that the KeSPA had officially recognized StarCraft II, and that the upcoming Proleague season would feature both Brood War and StarCraft II and only StarCraft II in the season after that. There were no details regarding the participation of the non-KeSPA teams. OnGameNet, for its part, had scheduled to hold its first individual StarCraft II league from July to October, and to make it as open as possible so that anyone could compete, whether they were from KeSPA teams, from e-Sports Federation teams, from SlayerS, and even if they were amateur players.[3]

During the following months, the e-Sports Federation lost two of its members, as Old Generations disbanded in May, and as ZeNEX merged into StarTale on July 13.[4][5] In August 2012, the e-Sports Federation reached an agreement with KeSPA to set a 13 month trade lock period. Until October 2013, its members (and SlayerS as well) and the teams overseen by the KeSPA would not be able to transfer players to each other, in order to protect both the players and the leagues. Acting this way, the e-Sports Federation sought to acquire new sponsors and be self-sustainable (while KeSPA players switching to StarCraft II had a better chance to become competitive in the long run).[6]

KeSPA/eSports Federation Dispute[edit]

Main article about KeSPA's dispute with GOMTV and the e-Sports Federation

On August 23 2012, GOMTV announced that the KeSPA had decided against allowing its players to compete in the 2012 GSL Season 4 preliminaries, arguing that it was difficult for them to adjust the player's schedules (the players affiliated to KeSPA were previously prevented from entering the GSL Season 3 preliminaries as well).[7][8] The next day, the e-Sports Federation stated that its members were pulling their players from the 2012 OSL Season 1, explaining that it feared that KeSPA's decision may harm GOMTV as well as the global StarCraft II scene, and subsequently urged its counterpart to allow its players to attend the GSL.[9] Later the same day, KeSPA released a statement that they will participate in the GSL Season 5.[10]

Change of leadership[edit]

On October 19, 2012, StarTale's head coach Won Jong Wook resigned from his position as president of the e-Sports Federation amid a controversy regarding the relationship between the Federation and the recently disbanded team SlayerS. Kim "Jessica" Ga Yeon, manager of the latter organization, had indeed explained that the members of teams affiliated to the e-Sports Federation were instructed for a period of many months to not practice with SlayerS's players, which was a significant detriment in preparing for tournaments.[11]

On November 16, GOMTV announced that its parent company Gretech Corporation would take the presidency of the Federation at the request of the teams's coaches, who were having difficulties with managing both their rosters and the federation. Gretech's CEO In Sik Bae was therefore appointed president, while the Federation announced the creation of an ESF operations office designed to streamline every outer operation of the teams. GOMTV also stated that the federation was now expected to increase its role and activities, and revealed its ten visions for basis of its future operations in the ESF.[12]

The Federation lost a second member on January 3 2013, when Team SCV Life ceased operations, citing difficulties with sponsors after the departure of key players from the team.[13]


On January 28, 2014, eSF announced that the organization will be disbanding.[14]