Esports apparently won’t be a part of Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games, but Global Esports says it’s ‘talking about several new innovations with CGF’ as community reacts

Esports England Women's Rocket League Team

A few days ago it was announced that esports would not be a medal event at the upcoming Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games, despite a seemingly successful first event in Birmingham this summer.

The UK Home Nations won 11 medals at the inaugural Commonwealth Esports Championships in August 2022, an event covering Rocket League, Dota 2 and eFootball, organised by the Global Esports Federation (GEF) and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), with FaceIT running the tournament.

The president of the CGF, Dame Louise Martin, later hinted that esports could be included at the next event in Victoria, Australia in 2026, but a report from the BBC’s Joe Tidy claimed that the CGF had made a mystery esports u-turn, with no reasons given for the decision.

A source did say that doping in esports (and arranging year-round drugs testing) may have been a factor, as well as ‘general resistance to esports from more traditional, older members of the Games nation groups’.

The news also comes after the European Parliament said that esports will not be regulated as a sport by the EU.

Update: However, Esports News UK understands the decision is not final and that esports will be at the 2026 Commonwealth Games in some capacity.

What Global Esports said about esports being dropped from the 2026 Commonwealth Games

Esports News UK reached out to the Global Esports Federation following the news, which said it is still in talks with the CGF about ‘several new innovations’ and mentioned ‘the next edition’ of the Commonwealth Esports Championships, so it doesn’t look like the door is closed entirely in the long-run.

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A Global Esports Federation spokesperson told Esports News UK: “Esports, unfortunately will not be part of the Commonwealth Games Victoria 2026.

“The Inaugural Commonwealth Esports Championships 2022 was a great success on many levels, and especially for nations and territories across the Commonwealth and athletes in particular.

“Together with the CGF, we are talking about several new innovations and are excited to create the next edition of the Commonwealth Esports Championships, together.”

How the community reacted to the CGF’s esports u-turn

Several people in UK esports and beyond reacted with disappointment at the fact that there is ‘general resistance’ to esports from ‘more traditional, older members’ of the Games nation groups.

Falcons director of esports and operations, Grant Rousseau, said: “Genuinely disappointed. When they talk about how it was a success, and then can’t even give a reason to cancel it, you can’t help but laugh.”

Some of the players and coaches from the Birmingham event also reacted sadly.

Northern Ireland gold medal winner Emzii shared the news, saying ‘things you don’t love to see’.

emzii tweets victoria 2026 esports

Charlie Smith, event coordinator for TF2 Essentials, said: “A hot take from me, but this scrapping is probably a blessing in disguise. These competitions don’t fit with how esports operates, it makes far more sense to build from the ground up. Tacking it on to an existing competition is a disservice to the potential esports has.”

Some non-esports fans used the decision to mock the idea of medals being handed out to people playing video games competitively, and said the move was a good one.

negative reaction to esports not at 2026 victoria commonwealth

Related opinion article: What worked – and what didn’t – at the Commonwealth Esports Championships?

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