PeSO asserts it went through process in getting POC accreditation

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THE Philippine eSports Organization moved to assert its legitimacy as the country’s national sports association for esports as the National Electronic Sports Federation of the Philippines questions it.  — BWFILE PHOTO

ITS accreditation as the country’s national sports association for esports questioned the Philippine eSports Organization (PeSO) on Monday moved to assert that it went through the process and fulfilled all the requirements needed for application as an NSA.

In a statement, PeSO said it deserved the accreditation it got from the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) to be an associate member of the sports body representing esports, highlighting how the POC recognized PeSO’s compliance with all requisites for membership.

The move was in response to a press release at the weekend by the National Electronic Sports Federation of the Philippines (NESFP), referring to a letter it sent dated Sept. 3 to the POC, asking the latter to reconsider its decision to accredit PeSO as an esports NSA.

The NESFP, through its President Ramon Suzara, said it should be they that be given the accreditation and not PeSO.

“On behalf of the NESFP, I urgently seek a reconsideration of your decision to accredit the Philippine eSports Organization as an associate member NSA for electronic sports instead of NESFP,” Mr. Suzara said in the letter.

Mr. Suzara and the NESFP contend that the decision on the accreditation for esports NSA should be done until after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognizes an international federation (IF) for the sport.

They added that given the situation, the NESFP, and not the PeSO, should be “lock as the NSA” for the sport for its experience and active role in furthering the development of esports in the country, including organizing and managing the esports tournament in the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) held here last year where it was played as a medal sport for the first time in the biennial Games.

The POC in a virtual General Assembly on Aug. 29 accepted PeSO as the NSA for esports on the recommendation by the local Olympic body’s membership committee.

The accreditation was given on the strength of PeSO being affiliated with the International Esports Federation (IESF) since 2012.

The IESF is said to be the only esports organization in the world that fulfills all criteria set by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF).

Mr. Suzara, however, disputed this, claiming that the IESF is neither recognized by the IOC nor is it on the list of the GAISF.

He went on to say that NESFP enjoys the sanction of the Global Esports Federation (GEF) and its continental confederation, the Asian Esports Federation (AESF).

The AESF, Mr. Suzara stressed, is also the Olympic Council of Asia’s (OCA) partner.

Mr. Suzara requested the POC to revisit the hierarchy of recognition when an IOC-affiliated IF is non- existent.

“The contention is now between one NSA recognized by an IF candidate [PeSO], and one NSA recognized by the AF [Asian Federation], by the OCA, and by another IF candidate [NESFP],” he said.

Mr. Suzara also took notice in the letter the absence of any action or correspondence by the POC to numerous letters and attempts by his group to discuss why the NESFP should be a member of the organization.

PeSO, meanwhile, disputed NESFP’s claim that it managed and organized the esports competition in the 2019 SEA Games, saying it was the Philippine SEAG Esports Union (PSEU) that staged it.

PSEU was composed of both NESFP and the Esports National Association of the Philippines (ESNAP). ESNAP has since merged with PeSO.

As part of PSEU, ESNAP provided valuable contributions to Team Sibol, the Philippine National Team for esports. Among the said contributions of PeSO member organizations which were then under ESNAP included funding and training for esports athletes.

PeSO is composed of the largest and most credible esports companies and personalities in the country and seeks to build on the long-standing experience in esports of its members, channelling it to a collective push.

The organization is backed by Smart Communications and features the likes of Bren Esports, Gariath Concepts, Mineski Philippines, The Nationals, PlayBook Esports, Tier One Entertainment, TV5, and TNC Holdings in its fold.

BusinessWorld reached out to POC for comment, but as of this writing has yet to get a response.

However, in earlier published reports, the POC said much research was put into the decision to accredit PeSO.

Among the tasks of an esports NSA include organizing events, promulgation of rules of the sport, promotion and growth of the sport via grassroots programs and other activities, and the recruitment of national players and coaches. – Michael Angelo S. Murillo