Esports to be included in the 2022 Commonwealth Games

Esports are in.

Photo via 343 Studios/Microsoft

Several esports titles will be included in the Commonwealth Games Federation’s upcoming 2022 event, the CGF announced.

Esports will be included in the international competition but will have its own branding, medals, organization, and management. As this will be esports’ pilot year in the Commonwealth Games, no official medals will be given to winners. Though currently separate in many regards, CGF president Dame Louise Martin aspires to see esports events more closely integrated by 2026.

Hinting at a “dramatic change” back in December, Martin said the inclusion of esports will engage younger audiences and help shape the future of the evolving industry. Though the CGF is facing some backlash from traditionalists, it’s confident in the decision to bring esports into the fold.

“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,” Martin said. “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.”

The specific titles that will be included in the 2022 Commonwealth Games have yet to be confirmed, but Eurogamer reports that there’s speculation that Dota 2 could be one of three competitions included.

Esports’ presence in medaled international competition has seen gradual growth over the past year. Though it was denied by the International Olympic Committee, several esports titles will make their debut at this year’s Asia Games.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games are set to begin on July 28 and will run until Aug. 8.