Commonwealth Games Testing Esports for 2026 Games
This year’s games has seen trial to esports, an event not traditional to the Commonwealth games.
The Commonwealth games is in full swing, with it being set in Birmingham, UK athletes have taken to the stage in some of the world’s most competitive sports. However, this year’s games has had a slight twist with the inclusion of esports competitors.
To many this came as a surprise. To those in the know however it was only a matter of time for an event like this to occur.
A Growing Industry
Esports as an industry was valued at over $1billion in 2021. In a year’s time period it then saw a 50% increase in its value. This is an indication of its potential in terms of growth and market reach for mainstream audiences going into the future.
With the help from public personalities and world renowned brands, esports has become a force within the sporting culture.
Seeing collaboration between the Global Esports Federation and the Commonwealth games has shown a promising look for the future of esports. Having this exposure in such a mainstream event allows the continued trajectory the industry is on.
Furthermore, organisers have proven optimistic since this was originally announced. Stating they would not have put these events on without uncertainty.
New Esports Tournaments Starting Soon
Tournaments within the esport category are set to commence on the 6th of August stretching until the 7th. They are separate from the main Commonwealth event, with their own branding and organisers.
The recent Global esports event held for the first time in Singapore was viewed a total of 500million times by fans around the world. Hopefully this previous response is reciprocated at the Commonwealth games with the main aim of the pilot event being to attract younger audiences.
A total of 3 titles are being played competitively with DOTA 2 being confirmed as one of the titles. We can imagine in 2026 when the games become official, viewers will be treated to a greater variation of games.
Other titles included is the immensely popular title Rocket League that has really proven to be one of the top competitive titles within gaming.
Followed then by the revamped title eFootball, formerly known as Pro Evolution Soccer.
We Might See Esports in the Olympics
Professional esports contests don’t stop at the Commonwealth Games, with the Olympics taking note of its popularity and effects on audiences.
The International Olympics committee was suggesting a potential ‘Olympic Virtual Series’ before the 2021 games in Japan. With the 2028 games held in Los Angeles, USA looking like the event that will fully host esports in the Olympics.
2022 also sees esports making an appearance at the Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China.
This is a great location for the games due to the popularity of esports in China due to its large population size.
The Asian Games had a similar situation to the Commonwealth Games, hosting the esports competitions as demonstration events. Fast forward 4 years later, and we’re seeing esports become a fully recognised event within the games.
Esports is here to stay and with major sporting organisations getting involved there are some positive indications that professional gaming is here to stay on a commercial level.