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Esports to make debut for Commonwealth Games in Summer 2022

The Library of Birmingham was lit into different colours to celebrate the winning of the 2022 Commonwealth Games - CC BY-SA

Esports is set to make a debut as a pilot event in Commonwealth Games this summer in Birmingham following an official announcement made by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

“I am delighted that we are announcing the first Commonwealth esports Championships to take place in Birmingham this summer,” CGF president Dame Louise Martin said.

Esports first debut is made possible following a partnership announced in May 2020 between the CGF and Global Esports Federation (GEF). Therefore, at the International Convention Center (ICC) in Birmingham on August 6-7, 2022 marks esports debut as a pilot event.

“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. Commonwealth Esports Championships provides an excellent opportunity to pilot esports close to the Commonwealth Games,” Martin added.

The new competition set in Birmingham is also supported by the British Esports Association in promoting, improving standards and inspiring future talents of esports in the UK.

Commonwealth Games and more

Pilot event for esports meaning that there will not be any medals for players in the official event. Instead, the Esports Championship is set to have its own separate branding, medals and organization.

Furthermore, the CGF committee had high hopes that esports will be a full permanent event in the 2026 Commonwealth Games and perhaps there will be more to come.

“This allows us to review the long-term relationship between the Commonwealth Games and esports as we continue to evolve and explore future editions of our event and what they could look like,” Martin continued.

The official press release stated that the competition will feature athletes across the Commonwealth, global multi-genre titles which are currently in the final stages of confirmation, and an announcement will be released shortly.

Hence, “esports-friendly” video game titles such as VALORANT, DOTA 2, League of Legends, CS:GO, PUBG Mobile and Free Fire among other games would be played at Commonwealth Games 2022.

Esports recognition, other inclusion

Esports getting major global recognition is not the first time at the Commonwealth Games. The sport had huge recognition this year following the announcement that Asian Games 2022 will include eight esports titles as a medal event.

In the 19th Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China had eight official titles from DOTA 2, PUBG Mobile, League of Legends, FIFA and more.

Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought esports popularity higher than ever. Mainly teenagers and some parts of the adult population are expressing their interests in the sport. The rise of the sport’s popularity is also due to last year’s numerous numbers of esports competitions which had garnered more views and support.

This has made more people recognize the popularity of esports and how it has been growing recently throughout the years. Hence, recognition led to its inclusion in prestigious platforms and events.