The Commonwealth Games are going virtual in 2022
10 February 2022
Chances are that you have heard of the Commonwealth Games and maybe you have even attended them at some point in the past. For those who don’t know what we’re on about though, the Commonwealth Games are an international multi-sport event, much like the Olympics, but exclusively involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations, a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territories of the British Empire. This event was organised for the first time in 1930 and this year, they are going virtual for the first time. Another exciting piece of news for esports in the UK and all over the world.
Esports at the Commonwealth Games
In 2022, the 22nd edition of the Commonwealth Games will be held in the city of Birmingham, England, between July 28th and August 8th. Just over 5,000 athletes are expected to participate in twenty different sports, not including the esports pilot. The Executive Board of the Commonwealth Games Federation has given the Global Esports Federation permission to hold the first-ever Commonwealth Esports Games at the same time as the main event, but it will have separate branding and a different medals organisation. Naturally, the event is heavily backed by the British Esports Association, the national body for esports in the UK.
The Commonwealth Esports event will take place on August 6th and 7th, towards the end of the Commonwealth Games, at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. “I am delighted that we are announcing the first Commonwealth Esports Championships and Commonwealth Esports Forum to take place in Birmingham this summer”, said Dame Louise Martin, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), in reaction to the addition of esports to the event, “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”.
Rapid growth for esports in the UK and worldwide
The Commonwealth Games are not the first major sports event to dip its toes in the rapidly growing world of esports and it definitely won’t be the last. Esports will also be debuting at the 2022 Asian Games that will be held from September 10th to 25th, for example, and will feature titles like League of Legends and FIFA, while recent large-scale esports events have underlined the industry’s enormous potential. In December 2021, for example, the Global Esports Games generated more than half a billion views with a majority of those views belonging to the global population’s younger demographics.
There has been no announcement about the game titles that will feature during the Commonwealth Esports Games yet, but more news in this regard is expected over the course of the coming weeks and months.