The New Zealand Esports Federation has added two heavy hitters to their committee, with both bringing great strengths to the organisation at a time when esports is continuing to grow in the country.
Knowles who works as the Members Services and Communications Manager for the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association and was recently inducted as an MCV Pacific Pillar of the Industry, believes it to be a privilege to be involved.
Speaking on behalf of IGEA and its members, she said, “The NZESF is doing a great job at looking after the various parties that make up the esports community in New Zealand. ”
Raelene looks forward to working with different industry bodies to ensure that esports continues to grow in New Zealand and is able to operate in a sustainable environment.
Conor English has been CEO of Federated Farmers and one of two Independent Advisors to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, amongst other commercial roles. He is Chairman of Agribusiness New Zealand, recently listed company QEX Logistics Ltd, and has a number of other board roles. He has a strong interest in esports through his six children, some of whom are keen gamers, and his involvement in the technology and export sector.
English added, “I have a lot to learn about Esports but I know it will be an increasing influence in our society and economy. It is one of the forces at the forefront of innovation and change.”
Ben Lenihan, the chairman of the NZESF, said the new pair would bring great experience to the committee.
“The NZESF is thrilled to welcome Raelene Knowles from the IGEA. Raelene will add valuable industry knowledge from the game publishers’ perspective to the NZESF as well as her personal qualities,” Lenihan said.
“The committee was also very pleased to have Conor English confirmed during our May AGM as a board member. Conor brings an understanding of the political landscape in New Zealand as a lobbyist, as well invaluable commercial knowledge.
“During the past two years, the NZESF has put together an excellent team to develop and grow esports. Raelene and Conor are welcome additions to that team.”
These appointments come at a time when esports has grown exponentially during the past 18-months following the creation of the HSL, which features nearly 100 high school teams from across New Zealand competing in a League of Legends competition.
Lenihan and LPL Director Duane Mutu spoke at Sport New Zealand’s Connections Conference this month about how esports can create a pathway for meaningful community activities through to international recognition.
This was another step towards NZESF’s goal of having esports recognised as a sport in New Zealand.
To highlight the mainstream growth of esports, All Blacks TJ Perenara and Rieko Ioane were joined by Black Ferns lock Eloise Blackwell in a live LPL stream of popular survival game Fortnite last week.