The 2022 Commonwealth Games organisers have confirmed that the three games players will play during the event’s inaugural Commonwealth Esports Championships.
The games are Rocket League, DOTA 2 and Konami’s eFootball which will be featured at the event in Birmingham this August. Each of the aforementioned games will also include an open category as well as a female category.
CEO of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Katie Sadleir stated, “Alongside the Global Esports Federation, we are delighted to unveil three major titles for the Commonwealth Esports Championships in Birmingham this summer. There is no doubt this innovative and exciting event will create new learnings and opportunities for us to further explore esports.”
eFootball certainly has a reputation to build after it disappointed expectant fans of Konami’s previous Pro Evolution Soccer series upon its launch. The inclusion of eFootball in the line-up for the games is therefore a bit of a surprise after thousands of players demanded refunds and it became the most hated title on Steam. Why eFootball made the Commonwealth cut and not EA’s FIFA? Who knows, but Konami’s game could certainly do with a fresh start and some global good publicity.
The rise and rise of eSports
Nigel Huddleston, Commonwealth Games Minister said, “Esports has connected millions of young people across the Commonwealth, providing entertainment and a vital sense of community. The Commonwealth Esports Championships is a major vote of confidence in the West Midlands’ and UK’s thriving esports industry and an exciting chance to look at how this can be brought into the Commonwealth Sport Movement.”
While eFootball and Rocket League came as a mystery to many, it had been previously suspected that DOTA 2 would be one of the few games for teams to compete in during the event.
The 2022 Commonwealth Esports Championships will be a pilot (test), so no medals will be given to the winners. But if the pilot does prove successful, it’s hoped that their inclusion will bring in a younger audience to watch the games themselves.
Here’s hoping the event becomes a “fully fledged medal discipline” in time for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.