Commonwealth Games are set to begin on the 28th of July this year in Birmingham, UK and eSports are all set to finally become a part of it. The President of the commonwealth games federation, Dame Louis Martin said: “I am delighted that we are announcing the first Commonwealth eSports to take place in Birmingham this summer. Esports is continuing to grow dramatically in terms of popularity and participation, particularly among young people, and we are continuing to look at ways to explore how it can align with the Commonwealth sports movement.”
As reported on Vietnamese sportsbook Vwin, for the inaugural year of Esports at Commonwealth games, it will be held under different branding and will be governed by the Global Esports federation though it will be happening at the same time as the regular Commonwealth games.
Commonwealth games are a prominent international sports event that started in 1930 and eSport’s official inclusion in the event is pivotal for the gaming industry. Esports, which is short for electronic sports or video games, have been attracting a young audience at a large scale for the past two decades. Since computers became affordable and the world shifted towards online, video games like Mario, mine craft, counter strike, league of legends, call of duty and PUBG have seen a surge in daily active users and fans. This has resulted in various gaming and tech companies sponsoring competitive tournaments which in turn attracts a wider audience.
At present, eSports and its events are still believed to be a niche affair even though the craze has been steadily going up for years. Esports has high hopes for this year’s Commonwealth games as it aims to become a permanent category from Commonwealth games 2026.
The GEF revealed recently that the event will see players compete in the following three games:
- Rocket League
- Dota 2
All three games will have a women’s category and an open category. Insiders believe that these three games have been carefully chosen so that the western audience not familiar with the genre can understand the industry and take interest in Esports alongside traditional sports events.
eSports Set to Enter the Mainstream Sports Industry
Depending on the success of the Commonwealth Esports Championship (CEC), GEF will make decisions for future international sports events and the roadmap to popularize esports in the mainstream will be made.
It will not be long before eSports will have another chance at showcasing itself as the future of sports as it has also been added to the Asian games 2022 scheduled to begin on the 10th of September 2022. It will be crucial to examine the hits and misses of CEC to rectify them in the Asian games and other upcoming tournaments.
Along with the inevitable inclusion of eSports in traditional sporting events comes the debate of whether eSports is a real sport or not. In my opinion, it is. While gaming on a computer does not require physical fitness or running from one end of the field to another, it definitely requires a set of skills that are developed over time and mastered with experience. It is different from real sports in many ways, but the next generation will be entertained by international events featuring their favorite games.
The world is divided into two on the question of eSports being a real sport, but even half of the world is 3.5 billion. Conclusively, it doesn’t matter which side of the fence you stand, it will be interesting to see this new type of sports enter the mainstream either with the existing sports events or as a separate league.