Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (far right), with Neven Ilic, President of Panam Sports (left), and Mario Cilenti, Executive Director, Global Esports Federation touring GEFestival at the GEF_Arena at the Pan American Esports

Esports or electronic sports made their mark for the first time at the Pan American Games, specifically at Santiago 2023, with a dedicated space and an unprecedented championship that ran parallel to the official competition in both male and female categories. The tournaments featured two main video games: eFootball 2023 and DOTA 2, with 25 countries and over 120 players participating.

The legacy of #PEC23 at Santiago 2023 Pan American Games now paves the way for the growth and development of esports across the Pan American region. The innovative partnerships between the Global Esports Federation, Panam Sports, ODESUR, and Centro Caribe Sports promise an exciting future for esports enthusiasts, athletes, and the broader community in the Americas. Together, we are shaping a new era for esports in the Pan American region.

Paul J. Foster, CEO of the Global Esports Federation, expressed his enthusiasm for the future, saying, “At every metric – including the millions of fans, viewers, and spectators – the Pan American Esports Championships was a resounding success. It confirms the strong foundation for the future of esports in the Pan American region. We are committed to expanding our esports programming across the Americas and providing prestigious stages for America’s youth to shine together with traditional sports.”

“The success of the inaugural Pan American Esports Championships exceeded our expectations. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the Global Esports Federation to continue to develop esports across the continent. This collaboration will create unprecedented opportunities for the esports community,” Neven Ilic, President of Panam Sports, shared his optimism for the partnership's future.

Camilo Pérez López Moreira, President of ODESUR, highlighted the pioneering spirit of the organization, saying, “Aligned with Recommendation 9 of the IOC's Agenda 2020+5, ODESUR and the Global Esports Federation set the stage in the region by staging the Rosario 2022 South American Youth Games and Asunción 2022 South American Games as platforms to promote the development of esports and engage with digital communities.”

“We applaud the success of the Pan American Esports Championships and the strategic collaboration between the Global Esports Federation, Panam Sports, and ODESUR. This event, in addition to the esports championships held in Santo Domingo within the framework of the recently held San Salvador 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games, is opening new horizons for the future of electronic sports in the Americas and reflects the collective commitment to promote inclusive and innovative sports opportunities for our region,” shared Luis Mejía Oviedo, President, Centro Caribe Sports.

The GEFestival, held in conjunction with #PEC23, witnessed an attendance of 30,000 people in its initial days including the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach. In addition, more than 40,000 fans and spectators gathered at GEF_Arena for the competition, at the National Stadium Park in Santiago to witness this epic fusion of skill and passion in the three-day competition.

“The Pan American Esports Championships showcased the incredible power of esports to transcend borders and unite communities through the universal language of competition. As a Production Partner of the Global Esports Federation, we are proud to have been a part of this historic event and look forward to continuing our journey in elevating esports to new heights across the Pan American region,” shared Robert Morrison, CEO of Street Machine.

Among the key moments of #PEC23 was the Global Esports Federation's 'Fit for Life Day' initiative, emphasizing the profound impact of esports on mental health and wellness and societal inclusivity. Taking place at the National Stadium Park in Santiago, this event showcased GEF's support for UNESCO's flagship 'Fit for Life' program.

'Fit for Life Day' also welcomed over 400 schoolchildren from Santiago. The appearance of Chilean Volleyball stars, Marco Alfonso Grimalt Krough and Esteban Grimalt Fuster, excited the young crowd, and further reinforced the convergence of traditional sports and esports, highlighting the shared values and synergies of collaboration and partnership.