In 2020, Sport New Zealand recognised the New Zealand Esports Federation as the National Sports Organisation for Esports. Recognition of the NZESF as the official National Sporting Organisation for esports was a key step in moving esports forward. The Federation is now financially independent and, in a position, to commit to a full-time Chief Executive and staff to pursue their goal of being included in the Olympic schedule.
The New Zealand Esports Federation is pleased to announce Jonathan Jansen as its first-ever Chief Executive Officer. Jansen brings a unique combination of strategic, operational, and creative flair to the NZESF. As the former CEO of NZIQ, Jonathan has a passion for creating opportunities and outcomes and has been working to raise the national standard in computer literacy and computer skills in New Zealand schools.
“I’ve always been a firm believer that Esports can be a powerful channel for positive outcomes for Kiwis, and I’m looking forward to assisting to build an ecosystem here in New Zealand so we can all participate, celebrate, and enjoy epic Kiwi esports moments,” Jansen said.
Jansen is a life-long gamer, first competing in professional play at the inception of the Oceanic Pro scene for League of Legends. Involved in New Zealand Esports since its first premiere event, the NZGC, Jonathan ‘Arkadian’ Jansen co-hosted the competition and has been an active supporter and advocate for the esports scene ever since.
”Gaming is experiencing one of the largest industry booms we’ve seen in generations, and to be able to help Kiwis channel their passion for gaming to reap the benefits of sporting values, connect with whanau and create meaningful outcomes is extremely exciting,” Jansen said.
The new Chief Executive will be trusted with carrying out a new strategic plan for the NZESF with major emphasis being placed on building participation at the grassroots level, strengthening competitive pathways, developing educational resources and chasing the inclusion of esports on the Olympic schedule.
“Jonathan is a well-respected member of the gaming community and is an ideal candidate that reflects the emerging professionalism in New Zealand’s latest sport whilst still holding gaming culture central to his identity,” said NZESF President John McRae. “The long hours and unwavering commitment of the executive committee has laid solid foundations for the next generation of the esports leaders to achieve our target of being a tier-one New Zealand sport.”
In another recent development, the NZESF has established a number of new subcommittees to ensure all voices are represented in Esports. The Women’s, Community and Education group members will begin work in the coming weeks and the Federation is now being driven internally by a diverse group of people who are extremely passionate about esports.
“With a new CEO, new resources and a new strategic plan the Federation is in good stead and good hands,” said McRae.