A new governing body hopes to become the UFC of professional gaming

The eSports industry is "wild, young, and booming"

BY Newstalk 09:21 Friday 13 May 2016, 9:21 13 May 2016

Mark J. Terrill / AP / Legends Season 3 World Championship Final

A new world governing body for eSports, or professional video games, will be announced in London today.

The World eSports Association, or WESA, aims to fulfil a similar role as the UFC does for world mixed martial arts.

James Lampkin, vice president of programming at the Electronic Sports League, which organises tournaments, said: "The fundamental success of this sport going forward will be determined by having a cohesive set of policies that are reliable, (and) predictable for players, for fans, for teams and publishers of video games.

"We are in the Wild West of the eSports industry. It's wild, it's young, it's booming."

eSports have been growing in popularity. The big tournaments attract tens of thousands of live spectators and tens of millions of viewers online.

In 2014, Amazon paid $970m for Twitch, which streams eSports tournaments live, and the global market for eSports could be worth $500m, according to Deloitte Global.

There are many eSports tournaments held worldwide run by different organisations.

Some of the biggest - and most lucrative - are run by game publishers, including Blizzard, Riot and Valve.

They may be reluctant to give up control, leaving WESA, the would-be governing authority, without much authority.

Mr Lampkin said: "The goal of WESA is to bring parties together and figure out the policies we can agree on with mutual interest and we want to challenge some of the big issues that a video game publisher may not have expertise in."

Sky News understands that no games publisher has signed up to WESA, although talks are under way.

The governing body will also have to address issues of sports gambling, match fixing and even doping.


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