Esports is potentially going to be a category in future Commonwealth Games, with a pilot being trialled at the 2022 event.
Later this year at the Commonwealth Games 2022, the event will be trying out esports for the first time and will be known as the Commonwealth Esport Championships. No medals will be awarded, as it is only a pilot. As reported by the The Guardian, the success of the event in drawing in a younger audience to the games is the main factor in whether it becomes a permanent addition. Organisers of the event are hopeful that it does work out, and if so it could become an actual medal discipline in 2026.
DOTA 2, the Valve developed MOBA, is expected to be one of the three titles featured in the esports trial at the Commonwealth Games. No details have been provided on what other games we can expect, but the other two should potentially be revealed soon.
Traditionally, the sports event has included things like cycling, swimming, and athletics, as well as many other optional sports that can appear. Currently, only athletics and swimming are compulsory under current requirements. So even if esports are approved for the next Commonwealth Games, they might not appear at every subsequent event.
In December 2021, chief executive of the games Katie Sadleir spoke with the BBC where she said she was “open” to the idea of esports appearing at the Commonwealth Games. “We are meeting with the Global Esports Federation to talk about how we develop a Commonwealth strategy for esports,” said Sadleir at the time. “It is time to rethink what does the Games of the future look like. The next two iterations of the Games, you might see some evolution rather than revolution.”
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