Agreement has been reached between the Commonwealth Games Federation and the Global Esports Federation for esports to be included at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham as a pilot event, with further plans being discussed for the discipline to become a fully-fledged medal discipline by 2026.
The pilot event, set to be branded as the Commonwealth Esports Championships, and all eyes will be on the audiences it attracts prior to any decision being made about full participation in four years’ time.
Katie Sadlier, CEO of the Commonwealth Games Federation, has previously suggested a potential need for change, as sporting events across the global calendar fight for popularity and relevance. Hosts now have more flexibility with sports they choose to include, with only athletics and swimming remaining compulsory.
In December, Sadleir told the BBC: “We have been thinking about the creative ways we could pivot the Games to make sure it still captures the hearts and minds of the future.”
Esports most certainly ticks that box, as confirmed by selection as part of the full medal programme at this September’s Asian Games 2022 in Hangzhou, China.