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Commonwealth Games drop esports for 2026 edition

Organisers did not give a reason for the decision, despite esports being successfully included in the 2022 Games

Image credit: Commonwealth Esports Championships DOTA 2 Open Medal Ceremony (Global Esports Federation)

The 2026 Commonwealth Games will not feature esports as a medal event.

Despite the discipline being successfully featured in the 2022 edition of the event, the organisers have made an unexpected U-turn, the BBC reported.

The publication said that "despite numerous requests," the Commonwealth Games Federation and the Global Esports Federation "refused to give any specific reasons" for the decision

The 2022 Commonwealth Games ran at the end of July and beginning of August in Birmingham, UK, with the inclusion of esports for the first time called a "success" by CGF president Louise Martin. The next edition of the Games is due to take place in Victoria, Australia.

A source close to the issue has told the BBC that they have "no idea why the committee rejected it" for the 2026 edition, "as they won't say."

"Everything was looking great after Birmingham and it seemed like esports would make history in Victoria," they added. "Doping could have been a factor but also there was a lot of general resistance to esports from more traditional, older members of the Games nation groups."

A spokesperson from the 2026 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee stated: "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."

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Marie Dealessandri avatar

Marie Dealessandri

Deputy Editor

Marie Dealessandri joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016 at B2B magazine MCV. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack. GI resident Moomins expert.