Esports Won’t Be a Medal Event at 2026 Commonwealth Games: Report

Esports has suffered a major setback as the upcoming 2026 Commonwealth Games – to be held in Victoria, Australia – will not see it as a medal event. This comes as a shock as the 2022 Commonwealth Games featured esports as a pilot event, where India managed to take the bronze after beating New Zealand in DOTA 2.

As reported by the BBC, organizers of the 2026 Commonwealth Games have said esports will not be featured. However, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and the Global Esports Federation (GEF) did not state an official reason.

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The report cited a source who claimed doping could be a problem as it could be problematic to test drugs year-round in several game titles featured in the 2026 Games.

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BBC quoted another insider as saying that another reason for removing esports from CWG 2026 could be that traditional and older members of Commonwealth nations are averse to esports and that there was “a lot of general resistance”.

However, another reason may be that the live-streamed matches at the 2022 showcase event didn’t attract too much attention, bringing in viewers in the low hundreds, according to the report. A member of the CWG 2026 organizing committee reportedly said, “While unsuccessful this time around, the Commonwealth Games Federation and Global Esports Federation will continue to work on an integration path for this growing sport.”

How the Indian esports industry reacted

“It’s disheartening to see the inclusion of esports in CWG as a true medal event not happening anytime soon. With this news, we must understand that our new-age sports need proper infrastructure, training facilities, coaches and most importantly health experts who will take care of the mental and physical well-being of athletes,” Revenant Esports founder and CEO Rohit Jagasia told ABP Live.

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Jagasia further suggested that doping may not be the main reason. “I am still not convinced that doping alone will be the reason, there is much more that we hope to know in the coming future. We must view this decision as a major setback and learn from it that we have a good program for build our esports athletes so that they can represent the country at these prestigious events and bring the laurels to the country.”

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“In the past, there have been doping cases in various sports at international events. We have always witnessed strict measures being taken against the affected player/team again,” said Rohit Agarwal, Founder and CEO of Alpha Zegus. “However, this is the first time a sport has been exposed because of a few bad apples. Esports still has a long way to go in terms of growth and infrastructure, but it’s a little hard to believe that doping could be the main reason.”

Esports will still be a medal event at the upcoming Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou, China in 2023.

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ABP News Bureau

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