The Commonwealth Games Federation and the World Competitive Gaming Federation have decided that competitive gaming will not be a medal event at the Commonwealth Games in 2026, which is a rather bizarre turn of events. Although the e-football, Dota 2, and Rocket League tournaments were incredibly successful in August, the CGF has sadly reneged on its promise to regularly host competitive gaming at Commonwealth Games events in the future.
Let’s look together at what we already know and how it might impact the future of competitive gaming.
What led to the federation’s decision to change course?
Many theories have been put forth on why competitive gaming was dropped from the 2026 Games. This is due to the Commonwealth organisers’ unwillingness to provide definitive answers. Sources told the BBC that they “don’t know” why the committee rejected the inclusion. They suggested that the traditional, senior nature of the organisation’s members may have contributed to a lack of understanding or desire.
Even though concerns about doping have been brought up as a possible reason, the BBC says that the real reason for the change has not yet been found. All signs point to a lack of year-round capacity to screen professional gamers for drugs like Adderall that enhance performance, which could impact qualifying events for the Commonwealth Games.
Even though the CGF and the World Anti-Doping Agency signed a multi-year agreement to eliminate Adderall from competitions, not a single player in the 2022 event was tested for doping.
Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) are quickly becoming one of the most important integrity issues in eSports, just like they have been for decades in traditional sports. Several high-profile cases have shown that competitive gamers use Adderall to improve their focus and endurance while practicing and playing.
Knowing the full story behind this decision makes it easier to predict how it will affect the future of competitive gaming. If doping is the issue, there are ways to stop it from spreading as it has in other sports.
In other words, as players, brands, and publishers continue to pour resources into esports, the overall category will barely notice. The competitive gaming industry continues to grow at an amazing rate. For the coming year, it is expected to bring in more than 2 billion USD.
The infrastructure surrounding competitive gaming continues to grow and become more and more accepted by legacy media and sports channels. Numerous betting sites now offer the best odds for betting on the latest events and match-ups around the esports scene. It’s a type of competition that is growing to the level of many traditional sports.
One of the driving forces behind the Commonwealth Competitive Gaming Championships is the Global Competitive Gaming Federation, an organisation that spreads competitive gaming by hosting tournaments and working with authorities and game developers. The organisation is best known for sponsoring the Global Competitive Gaming Tour, a series of tournaments featuring well-known competitive gamers. Because of this, we can be confident that competitive gaming has a rich and eventful future ahead of it.
The good news is that competitive gaming will still be a medal event at the 2023 Asian Games in China. Most people see this news as a small problem on the way to success since the country already has a lot of support for competitive gaming. Although esports won’t be a medaled event at the 2026 event, the industry may still have a presence there.
As you can see, it doesn’t seem to us that this will have a big effect on the future of competitive gaming. Measures will be taken to prevent doping from clouding the sport if this is the reason. Between now and 2026, this promising young sport will have many more positive developments.