Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games introduces computer-based 'esports' as pilot event

Gaming, known as esports, will be included as a pilot event at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Credit: AP

A pilot video gaming championship will be held at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games this summer.

It is the first of its kind to be held at the Commonwealth Games, with organisers hoping gaming - known as esports - will draw in a younger audience.

The Commonwealth Esports Championships will feature esports athletes from across theCommonwealth.

No medals will be up for grabs during the Birmingham pilot, its success in drawing a younger audience to the Games will determine if it is added to the full programme in the next four-year cycle.

A Commonwealth Esports Forum, a global convention of thought leaders and idea creators, will be held at the same venue in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Esports Championships on August 5.

The final of League of Legends tournament between Team G2 Esports and Team FunPlus Phoenix, in Paris Credit: AP

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward: “As the country’s fastest-growing tech cluster, responsible for a quarter of British games products, Birmingham and the West Midlands is a thriving hub of creativity and development, reflecting one of the UK’s youngest and most diverse communities.

"Having developed iconic gaming titles such as Formula One, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Forza, there isn’t a better-suited location to host the Commonwealth Esports Championships, bringing together young competitors from across the world.

Mr Ward said: "Through the Business and Tourism Programme, we look forward to working with the Commonwealth Games Federation and Global Esports Federation to bring this truly exciting event to Birmingham."

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street said: "To put into perspective of the sheer scale of the potential ahead of us, the first-ever Global Esports Games in Singapore in December 2021 attracted more than 500 million views from around the world.

"And with the West Midlands growing status as an esports hub, I am incredibly excited to see how we build on last year's success," he adds.