Esports take a major step forward in stature with invite to the 2022 Commonwealth Games

In one of the boldest steps forward yet in the battle to show keyboard are athletes too, esports have just been invited to the 2022 Commonwealth Games. In a press release it was announced that the Commonwealth Esports Championships will take place at Birmingham, England’s International Convention Centre (IDD) on August 6 and 7 this summer.

That will be preceded on August 5 by the Commonwealth Esports Forum. Held in the same venue, it’s being billed as part of a global convention of “thought leaders and idea creators.”

Before you get too excited, while sanctioned by the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Commonwealth Esports Championships will technically be an independent event. Even though it will take place at the same time as the games, it will have separate branding, medals, and governance.

That shouldn’t lead anyone to conclude, however, that it lacks support from the Commonwealth Games and its partners. Among the groups that have signed on to make the experience a memorable one are the Business and Tourism Programme (BATP) (which aims to maximize the economic legacy of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games) and the West Midlands Growth Company (which drives long-term tourism, investment, and major events into the region).

In announcing the Commonwealth Esports Championships, the Commonwealth Games said, “Exploring esports is one of the recommendations outlined in the new Commonwealth Sport 2026/30 Strategic Roadmap. The aspiration is that the innovative inaugural event will engage new audiences, showcase the digital and gaming credentials of the West Midlands and enable the Commonwealth Sport Movement to further explore the impact and potential of esports as part of the roadmap.”

To that, Commonwealth Games president Louise Martin added: “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.”

She continued with, “Commonwealth Esports Championships provides an excellent opportunity to pilot esports close to the Commonwealth Games. This will allow us to review the long-term relationship between the Commonwealth Games and esports as we continue to evolve and explore future editions of our event and what they could look like.”

While there’s no confirmation as yet as to what games will actually be part of the competition, there’s been speculation that DOTA 2 may be one of the titles that has athletes going for the gold.

Mike Usinger once took the better part of two years to finish Grand Theft Auto. Over the course of his career he has written about everything from eSports to music to movies to travel.

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