The International Esports Federation (IESF) officially opened the 13th World Championship Finals in Eilat, Israel with an Opening Ceremony celebrating the largest and most geographically diverse edition of the event since it was first held in 2009.
Athletes, officials, event organizers and government officials were welcomed at the Ice Mall in Eilat for the Ceremony, which was hosted by prominent actor and singer Michael HarPaz. The Opening Ceremony featured athlete flagbearers for a parade of nations, highlighting the World Championship as the only international Esports event where athletes represent their countries. Nearly 10,000 players from 85 nations participated in the qualifiers.
During the ceremony, IESF President Vlad Marinescu officially declared Eilat 2021 open and said: “In this very moment in history, Esports can be seen around the world and it’s important that the quality of the things we’re offering are the highest level to the community who is watching and having a little bit of fun at home. There is one thing that unites traditional sports and esports, and that is friendship.”
Eilat Mayor Eli Lankry said in his remarks: “We are excited to host the IESF Esports World Championship for the first time in Israel here in Eilat and welcome you the players, delegates, and spectators who have come here from all over the country and the world.”
The Finals are IESF’s first live competition since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and are being live streamed globally. The event is taking place from November 16 to November 19, with athletes competing across five games: DOTA 2, CS:GO, Tekken 7, eFootball 2022 and Audition. The new World Champion will be crowned on November 19 and a special Closing Ceremony will include a handover ceremony revealing the host city of the 2022 World Championships.
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