The International Esports Federation (IESF) 2023 World Esports Championship Finals officially kicked off on August 25 with a grand Opening Ceremony at the Palace of Culture in Iași, Romania. A record number of 111 countries from six continents have qualified and will compete for national pride and the coveted WE Championship trophy. The competition will conclude on September 4.
The Opening Ceremony, hosted by prominent esports presenter James Banks and former professional player Jon Kefaloukos, featured electrifying performances from KISS FM radio Romania, fireworks, and a drone show that celebrated the historic and youthful energy of Iași, as well as IESF’s commitment to diversity and reaching international audiences. The Ceremony for the 15th edition of the WE Championships had 5,000 fans in attendance and also featured a parade of nations, highlighting IESF’s rich tradition of hosting the sole international esports competition where athletes compete representing their flags.
IESF President Vlad Marinescu said during the Ceremony: “As we gather here in the vibrant city of Iasi for the opening of the 15th World Esports Championship, we celebrate not just a tournament, but a global family brought together by our shared love for competitive gaming. In the heart of this city, let us remember that Esports isn’t merely about victories and defeats—it’s about forging connections that span cultures and continents.”
Iași Mayor Mihai Cirica was present at the Ceremony and said: “The spirit of Esports resonates deeply with our community. My gratitude goes to everyone who worked tirelessly to make this happen. Together, we embrace the values of competition and unity that IESF represents. Let’s make history for Iasi in this global Esports arena.”
Prior to the Opening Ceremony, IESF held a special pre-ceremony event where the CS:GO theme song was played by a philharmonic orchestra for the first time in honor of Romania’s rich and historic culture. This year’s WE Championship will be unlike any other, complete with concerts and performances from top artists such as Armin van Buuren, a ComicCon festival, and activations with IESF partner FitGMR to ensure mental and physical well-being throughout the competition.
The world’s best esports players will compete across six featured game titles: CS: GO, Tekken 7, PUBG Mobile, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Dota 2, and eFootball™ for a grand prize of USD 500,000. During the 2023 WE Championship, all participating countries competing with live results and schedules can be accessed through IESF’s World Esports Championship platform.