The official inaugural Commonwealth Esports Championship will take place in Birmingham, England in August 2022.
Setting the world stage for colossal esports tournaments, the Commonwealth Games has officially added added the Commonwealth Games Esports Championship into its lineup. The inclusion of esports was announced in press releases on February 8th.
The Commonwealth Games will take place from July 26th to August 8th. The Esports Championship will be held on the final two days on August 7th and 8th.
This event sets an incredible precedent for other tournament organizers. The rising popularity of esports has seen it hit the mainstream, with multiple huge gatherings over the past few years. The Commonwealth Games is just the latest big example.
What to Expect
The event will take place in Birmingham, England, allowing the top competitive gamers from all across the Commonwealth to participate. The Esports Championship is set to bring in its own round of medals and titles, which will be announced at a later date.
Similarly, the games that will feature at the event haven't been confirmed. But based on previous Global Esports Federation events, it's highly likely that Dota 2, and possibly Street Fighter V will be included.
The entire event spanning two weeks will have around 5,000 different athletes—including the esports athletes. The competitors will hail from 72 different countries in total.
Accompanying the competition will be the Commonwealth Esports Forum, a convention-style event that will explore the economic potential of esports. The Esports Forum will take place on over the same two-day period.
Esports at the Commonwealth Games?
The idea of including esports within the Commonwealth Games originates with the partnership between the Global Esports Federation and the Commonwealth Games Federation. Obviously, compared to traditional sports, esports has a much shorter competitive history. Bringing esports into such a large and world-renown event is a huge milestone that lays the foundation for subsequent events.
Speaking on the partnership, the President of the Commonwealth Games, Dame Louise Martin, stated “I am delighted that we are announcing the first Commonwealth Esports Championships and Commonwealth Esports Forum to take place in Birmingham this summer. 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."
In her explanation, Martin detailed how the Commonwealth Esports Championships will be a pilot for the inclusion of esports. The 2022 games will feature this initial event, but in 2026, esports will join the games officially.
As of now, the future of esports is looking bright. Having had numerous international events pre-covid, and new ones taking the stage, it is safe to say that the growth of esports is not slowing down anytime soon. This includes the recent announcement of the Pokemon Unite 2022 World Cup.
Additionally, announced earlier this year, the Asian Games will be held in September of 2022 in Hangzhou, China. This massive event will bring forth countless players to compete against each other across eight different games. These games include League of Legends, FIFA, and more.
International Events such as these only speed up the process in which esports will soon be considered on the same level as traditional sports.