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, in 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.
Meanwhile, the championships are a tangible result of the Strategic Partnership between the Global Esports Federation and the Commonwealth Games Federation, announced in May 2020. The new competition in Birmingham will be supported by the British Esports Association, the not-for-profit national body.
Here is how leaders from the organisers reacted:
Dame Louise Martin, President, Commonwealth Games Federation said, “I am delighted that we are announcing the first Commonwealth Esports Championships and Commonwealth Esports Forum to take place in Birmingham this summer. Commonwealth Esports Championships provides an excellent opportunity to pilot esports close to the Commonwealth Games. This will allow 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.”
Global Esports Federation, Chris Chan, President said, “We are proud to establish yet another first for the world’s esports community. The inaugural Commonwealth Esports Championships comes hot on the heels of the first-ever Singapore 2021 Global Esports Games staged in December 2021, capturing more than 500 million views from around the world. The Commonwealth Esports Championships offers our community another exciting event in the global esports calendar. We look forward to welcoming the esports community to Birmingham in August.”
Chester King, CEO and Founder of British Esports Association said, “When we established the BEA in 2016, we did it with the aspiration that esports would become recognised for the incredible value it provides its community. The gaming community has long understood that esports helps teamwork, communication and strategic thinking together with combating loneliness, but alongside this, it creates opportunities for its athletes to participate in a team environment in a similar way to traditional sport with all the benefits.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands said, “I am thrilled that the first-ever Commonwealth Esports Championships will be staged this summer right here in the West Midlands. To put in perspective the sheer scale of the potential ahead of us, the first-ever Global Esports Games in Singapore in December 2021 attracted more than 500 million views from around the world. And with the West Midlands’s growing status as an esports hub, I am incredibly excited to see how we build on last year’s success.”