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IESF Esports World Championship 2021 to start on November 14 in Israel

The 13th iteration of the IESF Esports World Championship will start on November 14 in Eilat, Israel, and the event is set to go on until November 20.

More than 500 esports athletes from 85 countries will compete for a prize pool of $50,000. The championship will feature DOTA 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Tekken 7 and eFootball 2022 (previously known as Pro-Evolution soccer or PES) and one promoted title, Audition.

Israeli Esports Association president Ido Brosh welcomed the athletes, saying in an official statement: “Following a record number of participating teams, this year’s edition will be the greatest yet for the IESF Esports World Championship.”

“I would like to thank the team at International Esports Federation, the Israeli Esports Association and Maccabi World Union for their efforts in making this tournament possible,” Brosh continued. “I look forward to welcoming all the national athletes and delegates to the global finals in Eilat.”

One game that stands out is Audition, a dancing and rhythm game developed by a South Korean company. The game is not as popular in the West compared to other titles. However, it gives an advantage to the underrepresented female players.

“Esports is, unfortunately, a very male-dominated scene, and so we’re very happy to have more women participating,” said Brosh. “It’s a big part of our agenda.”

The tournament is organized under the International Esports Federation (IESF). It will take place at Eilat’s Ice Mall and can be watched on IESF’s official Twitch channel.

The schedule announced on the IESF official website is as follows:

November 16: Opening Ceremony and Grand Finals (Audition)

November 17: Preliminary Rounds (All Games)

November 18: Grand Finals (DOTA 2, Tekken 7, eFootball™ 2022)

November 19: Grand Finals (Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO))

November 20: Closing Ceremony

How the IESF Esports World Championship stands out

The nation-based focus used in the IESF Esports World Championship sets it apart from other major esports competitions and tournaments as it uses national teams, with individual countries sending representatives through their representative organizations within the IESF, instead of clubs and teams, similar to the FIFA World Cup. The IESF Esports World Championship also does not allow everyone to compete. Rather, a number of qualifiers are held to select the contestants.

Among Asian countries with official representatives in the championship are the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and India.

Dispute and withdrawal over host location

Many nations voiced disagreement when Israel was selected as the host of the previous iteration of the IESF World Championships. This includes Lebanon, Syria, Indonesia, and Iran, although their opposition was watered down when Iran qualified for the 12th iteration of the IESF World Championships last year.

Some countries still oppose holding the competition in Israel, including Pakistan, which has announced its withdrawal. Iran decided not to participate this year as well. Several Muslim majority countries, however, are still participating, including Azerbaijan, Kosovo, the United Arab Emirates, and Senegal, as well as Indonesia, a country with no formal diplomatic ties with Israel.