Two worlds converge: esports and traditional sports athletes compete in parallel
On 6 and 7 August 2022, esports athletes will take centre stage in Birmingham, UK, and compete at the Commonwealth Esports Championships for the very first time.
Over 100 athletes representing diverse Commonwealth nations and territories will go head-to-head in three esports titles – DOTA 2, eFootball™ series, and Rocket League for the honour of being crowned a champion.
Staged concurrently with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Championships represents a hugely significant moment in the evolution of esports.
“This is historic. Fans of all ages will soon be cheering some of the very best esports athletes in the world to win medals for themselves and their country. We are proud of being one of the most inclusive, welcoming, and fastest-growing communities in the world and this is an exciting chapter for our #worldconnected.”
~ Paul J. Foster, CEO of the GEF
The CEC, which is a joint initiative between the Global Esports Federation and the Commonwealth Games Federation, will take place at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham, located in the heart of the 2022 Commonwealth Games city. Sessions start daily at 9.00am and run through until 6.00pm. Tickets are on sale here with chances to watch the world’s best, available from just £35 per session.
Esports athletes from across the Commonwealth – Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania – have come through regional qualifiers for the right to be in Birmingham alongside their Commonwealth sporting peers.
“We are delighted to be welcoming the best esports athletes in the Commonwealth to Birmingham. I have no doubt the Commonwealth Esports Championships will present a thrilling sporting spectacle and point the way towards the future of esports.”
~ Katie Sadleir, CEO of the CGF
The weekend will kick off with Rocket League where national teams of three will go head-to-head in a game lovingly described by fans and players alike as “football with flying cars”. Launched in 2015, it is already one of the most popular esports globally, with more than 75 million downloads.
Keeping things on the ground, the very best eFootballers will take over, with home nation athlete, Gary ‘Big Stuff’ McInnes summing up the prevailing mood.
“The Commonwealth Games is massive, and it could be the start of something really big, having an esports competition alongside it,” said McInnes who will be representing Scotland in Konami’s legendary game. “It’s a great feeling and I’m buzzing to get down there and see how I get on. It will be great meeting other players from all over the world.”
Athletes will also compete in the esports’ multiplayer arena game DOTA 2 (developed and published by Valve). Data shows it is played in 52% of the Commonwealth nations and territories.
Every moment will be screened live on GEF streaming channels Twitch and YouTube, with a collection of the biggest names in each of the three esports titles bringing the action to life for viewers.
On stage host, Freya Spiers of CS:GO Majors fame, will bring her infectious enthusiasm to proceedings while legend of the esports scene Harry ‘Wonderboy’ Channon will lead the eFootball™ series commentators’ team.
DOTA 2 supporters will be pleased to hear Jack ‘MoFarah’ Williams will be on hand with his customary sharp analysis and Rocket League supremo Elliot ‘TofuElliot’ Barham will deliver his views on the athletes’ play.
All athletes will stay in GEF_house, located at the Confetti Institute of Creative Technology. Part of Nottingham Trent University, it will provide a nurturing community space.
Led by Mark Chay as Head of GEF_house, the two-time Olympic and Commonwealth Games swimmer and Singapore’s Chef de Mission for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, the needs of the competitors will be placed front and centre of life at GEF_house.
"Confetti is the perfect host for our athletes at these monumental Championships. It's the first educational establishment in the UK to offer esports production qualifications at college and degree level."
~ Chester King, Chair of Coordination Commission of the CEC and CEO of British Esports
“The CEC is a symbol of the fast-growing nature of esports,” he added. “And we are honoured the first champions will be crowned in the UK. We cannot wait for the competition to get started and create new heroes.
But just before the very first Rocket League match gets things underway, the world’s esports thought leaders and idea creators will be gathering at the ICC for the inaugural Commonwealth Esports Forum on Friday 5 August.
Join Chris Chan, GEF President who also serves as Regional Vice President of the CGF and Secretary General of the Singapore National Olympic Council; Dame Louise Martin DBE, President of the CGF; Kenyan pro gamer Queen Arrow; Philipp Müller-Wirth, Chief of Sports at UNESCO; and more leading minds in esports, sports, business, technology, academia who will share their thoughts on the sector and its thrilling future.
A limited number of tickets to hear from the more than 50 speakers are still available to purchase here.
“These two events represent a major legacy for Birmingham and the surrounding area. The future starts now.”
~ Neil Rami, CEO of the West Midlands Growth Company
The event is supported by the Business and Tourism Programme (BATP), which aims to maximise the economic legacy of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, as well as the regional economic development agency, the West Midlands Growth Company, which drives long-term tourism, investment, and major events into the region.
The Business and Tourism Programme (BATP) aims to leverage the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to embed positive perceptions of the West Midlands into the international imagination, driving long-term economic benefits across the region, fostering civic pride. Focusing on tourism, trade and investment, the three-year programme will catalyse the West Midlands’ growth strategy, cementing the region, and wider UK, as a globally sought-after location to visit, invest and live in. Its work will focus on nations and territories across the Commonwealth.
Merchandise for the Commonwealth Esports Championships is available to purchase on-site and online.