The Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2026 set to be held in the state of Victoria in Australia will not feature esports as a medal event. The news comes as a bit of a shock as esports was featured as a pilot event at the recently concluded CWG 2022 in Birmingham with India snatching the bronze medal in DOTA 2.
There have been no official statements from the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and Global Esports Federation(GEF) regarding the reason why it would not be included. It is the BBC which has reported it, saying that their source claimed doping could be one of the issues as testing for all the games featured will be problematic.
One of the reasons could be that esports received a lot of opposition from traditional members of the Commonwealth nations while another possible reason could be that not many viewers were interested to watch esports, with a member of the CWG 2026 organising committee reportedly saying, “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.”
Speaking about the developments, Rohit Jagasia, Founder and CEO of Revenant Esports, said, “It’s disheartening to see that esports inclusion in CWG as a proper medal event is not happening soon. With this news, we have to understand that our new-age sports need proper infrastructure, training facilities, coaches and most importantly health experts who will take care of athletes’ mental and physical well-being” in his statement to ABP live while also pressing on the fact that doping might not be the only reason saying, “I am still not convinced that doping alone will be the reason, there is a lot more to it which we hope to know in the coming future. We have to take this decision as a major setback and take the learning out of it that we have to build a proper programme for our esports athletes so that they can represent the country at these prestigious events and bring laurels for the country.”
While esports will not be featured in the next Commonwealth Games, there is a silver lining for fans as esports has been included in the proposed list of official medal sports to be contested at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) 2025 and is also making a debut at the Asian Games 2023 as a proper medal event.