ESports to be medal event in Commonwealth Games 2026, Olympic Committee sends observers for Commonwealth eSports Championship

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Commonwealth Games chief has confirmed that esports is likely to join their full medal programme in 2026. As first reported by Daily Mail UK, Commonwealth Games’ president Dame Louise Martin said they would not have granted permission for it to be showcased if they did not want to move it on as medal event.

For the first time, eSports is featuring at the Commonwealth Games as a demonstration sport, with the Commonwealth Esports Championships taking place at the International Convention Centre next weekend. Having featured as a demonstration sport in Asian Games 2018 at Jakarta-Palembang, esports was added to the programme for Hangzhou 2022 with eight medal events. India has selected a contingent of 18 players for eSports at Asian Games.

‘If we weren’t going to be doing it, if we weren’t thinking of moving on, we wouldn’t be doing this (the pilot),’ Commonwealth Games Federation president Dame Louise Martin was quoted by Daily Mail.

CGF chief executive Katie Sadleir added: ‘The Commonwealth Esports Championships that we are piloting is an example of how we are an organisation that wants to embrace the youth of the Commonwealth.

The International Olympic Committee is reportedly sending observers to the esports event in Birmingham with an eye on including it in future Olympic Games.

Olympic Committee is looking to attract millennials cor the summer and winter Olympics. While eSports is predominantly watched by population aged less than 34 years.

In the last year’s Tokyo Olympics, the IOC launched the Olympic Virtual Series, which saw virtual competitions around baseball, cycling, rowing, sailing and motorsport.

IOC President Thomas Bach has insisted that electronic games where “violence is glorified or accepted” will not be welcome.

The IOC’s Esports and Gaming Liaison Group is chaired by David Lappartient, President of the International Cycling Union.

In 2020, David wrote to International Federations informing them that the IOC does not plan to recognise any organisation as the world governing body for esports, a status which both the International Esports Federation and GEF claim to hold.