Esports is set to be included as a pilot event in the 2022 Commonwealth Games after being officially sanctioned by the Commonwealth Games Federation.
While it’ll be taking place at the same time as the regular Commonwealth Games, it’ll be headed up under different branding, medals and will instead be governed by the Global Esports Federation (thanks, BBC.) The first set of games will be happening in Birmingham, UK later this year, with hopes for esports to become a permanent staple of the Commonwealth Games by 2026.
“I am delighted that we are announcing the first Commonwealth Esports Championships to take place in Birmingham this summer,” Commonwealth Games Federation president Dame Louise Martin said. “Esports is continuing to grow dramatically in terms of popularity and participation, particularly amongst young people, and we are continuing to look at ways to explore how it can align with the Commonwealth Sports Movement.”
No word on what games will be making an appearance yet, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see some staples like League of Legends, Dota 2 or CS:GO being featured. There’s no doubt chucking esports into the Commonwealth Games is going to ruffle some feathers too, with the never-ending debate around whether esports should really be classified as a sport. For me, it’s always nice to see esports step a little closer towards the mainstream. While its athletes aren’t physically exerting themselves in the same way, it still requires an awful lot of skill and provides just as much entertainment as those participating in more traditional sporting endeavours.
The Commonwealth Games are set to kick off on July 28 and will run until August 8.