Esports will be included as a pilot event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this year, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) said on Wednesday.
The Championships will be held in partnership with the Global Esports Federation (GEF) and will have separate branding and medals, with the hope it will be included as a medal event in the 2026 edition.
The Commonwealth Esports Championships was sanctioned by the CGF Executive Board and will take place from Aug. 6-7 in Birmingham — during the Commonwealth Games which run from July 28-Aug. 8.
« Esports is continuing to grow dramatically in terms of popularity and participation, particularly amongst young people, » CGF President Louise Martin said.
« We are continuing to look at ways to explore how it can align with the Commonwealth Sports Movement. »
The inclusion in the Commonwealth Games follows a trend of including esports in global multi-sports events.
Esports is an official medal event at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, four years after it was held as a demonstration event at the Asiad in Jakarta.
The esports industry surpassed $1 billion in revenue in 2021 but has met resistance from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) when being considered as a competitive event for the Summer Games.
IOC president Thomas Bach had stated that some esports games were too violent and not in line with Olympic values.