Commonwealth Games makes mystery esports U-turn – BBC

Competitive gaming will not be a medal event in the 2026 Commonwealth Games, after a surprise U-turn.
Esports was a pilot event at the 2022 Birmingham Games, co-funded by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and the Global Esports Federation (GEF).
And the CGF called this a success, with its president saying she expected it to be included "going forward".
But the organisers of the 2026 Games, in Victoria, Australia, say esports will not feature.
Despite numerous requests from BBC News, the CGF and GEF, the 2026 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee refused to give any specific reasons for the U-turn.
One person close to the discussions said doping in esports may have been a factor with concerns that arranging year-round drugs testing across the various gaming titles could proved problematic.
"Everything was looking great after Birmingham and it seemed like esports would make history in Victoria," another insider said.
"We have no idea why the committee rejected it, as they won't say.
"Doping could have been a factor but also there was a lot of general resistance to esports from more traditional, older members of the Games nation groups.
"It's very disappointing."
At the Birmingham event, CGF president Dame Louise Martin said she hoped including esports in the official programme would boost interest from young people less interested in traditional sports.
This video can not be played
Commonwealth Games takes big step towards esports
"There are a lot of young people in that age group who don't play sport per se, in a playing field or something like that, but they are playing sport on a games console," she said.
The livestreamed matches pulled in audiences in the low hundreds.
But the CGF and GEF said they were continuing to assess the pilot and potential future events.
A 2026 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee spokeswoman said: "While they weren't successful this time, the Commonwealth Games Federation and Global Esports Federation will keep working on an inclusion pathway for this growing sport." .
There have been many high-profile cases of competitive gamers taking substances such as the prescription drug Adderall in the hope of enhancing their concentration and performance.
Last year, professional Call of Duty player Cuyler "Huke" Garland admitted using Adderrall during his Championship win in 2020.
In 2015, professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player Kory "Semphis" Friesen said he and his Cloud9 teammates had used Adderall during a major tournament with $250,000 in prize money.
And in July 2022, the CGF signed a long-term partnership agreement with the World Anti-Doping Agency, which has banned Adderall for use in competition.
None of the 100 gamers from 20 different countries at the 2022 pilot event was drugs tested.
Professional Fifa gamer Joshua "JMKKing" King, from New Zealand, who came eighth, said: "I'm not currently aware of any doping scandals claims at all in the Fifa scene.
"I would assume the potential for issues is there due to the online nature of most competitions but there is nothing that I have ever heard about.
"It would have been a great opportunity to continue to grow esports and a potential opportunity for me to represent my country – but it isn't the end of the road and esports will continue to grow without involvement in the Commonwealth Games."
Inside the world's richest e-sports player's mansion
Duelling US presidents descend on key swing state
US singer and rapper Aaron Carter dies aged 34
'Watershed moment' as COP27 climate summit begins
What Trump is hoping for on election night
Why mourners are opting to scatter ashes by drone. Video
Why abortion matters in these crucial elections
The conspiracy theorists who could run US elections
How a shopping mall Santa became a notorious serial killer
Can a diamond magnate help Lesotho to sparkle?
How a computer game turned unknown footballer into a star. Video
Fact-checking misleading claims about the US midterms
US midterms 2022: A simple guide
The young US men choosing vasectomies
Istanbul's beloved 'brothel dessert'
The world's greatest unpaid debt?
© 2022 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.