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Everything You Need to Know About Esports at Birmingham 2022

The first Commonwealth Esports Championship is here.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games are well underway and with it comes its first-ever esports event. The first-ever Commonwealth Esports Championships seeks to “celebrate esports across the Commonwealth” by bringing a dosen national teams from all over to compete in a series of tournaments from tomorrow 6th-7th August 2022. 

While it will have separate branding, medals, organisation, and governance, led by the Global Esports Federation, if well-received it could be indoctrinated into the main games by 2026.

Saying that however, information has been rather sparse on the ground until recently. I’ve also been disappointed to see that very few people I speak to are even aware that this is happening. Therefore, treat this page as a fact file of everything you need to know about it, from who is competing, to how to watch the games.


Quick Links

  1. What is Esports?
  2. Where and When is it Being Held? 
  3. What Games will be Played?
  4. Which Teams are Competing?
  5. How Can I Watch It?
  6. Who is behind the Tournament? 
  7. What is the Legacy of the Tournament?

What is Esports?

(Image Credit: ESL One Birmingham)

In a nutshell, esports is a form of competition using video games as the medium. Games tend to be online multiplayer games, which are played head-to-head or in teams in organised tournaments, normally with a prize pool. Tournaments are normally watched by spectators both online and in person. 

Esports has been around since the dawn of the video games industry, however, it’s only really in the 2010s has the industry gained unprecedented momentum across the world. According to findings by Ukie, the UK esports sector supported £111.5m in Gross Value Added to the economy in 2019. This figure is considerably larger post-pandemic.


Where and When is it Being Held?

(Image Credit: ESL One Birmingham)

The Commonwealth Esports Championship Finals will be held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham City Centre. The ICC is located in Centenary Square adjacent to the Library of Birmingham, and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre (The Rep). You can see it on the map below. 

Qualifying matches started on 3rd August but the main event of championship final tournaments will take place in four sessions held over two days from 6th – 7th August. The full schedule is below:

Day 1: Saturday, 6 August 2022

Session 1

0900                Doors Open

0930                Welcome to the Commonwealth Esports Championships

1030                Rocket League (Open) – Third Place Match

1130                Rocket League (Open) – Grand Final

1300                eFootball™ series (Open) – Third Place Match

1330                eFootball™ series (Open) – Grand Final

Session 2

1500                DOTA 2 (Women’s) – Third Place Match

1800                DOTA 2 (Women’s) – Grand Final                 

Day 2: Sunday, 7 August 2022

Session 1

0930                Doors Open

1030                Rocket League (Women’s) – Third Place Match

1130                Rocket League (Women’s) – Grand Final

1300                eFootball™ series (Women’s) – Third Place Match

1330                eFootball™ series (Women’s) – Grand Final

Session 2

1500                DOTA 2 (Open) – Third Place Match

1800                DOTA 2 (Open) – Grand Final


What Games Will be Played?

Three games will be played at the Commonwealth Esports Championships. These are Dota 2, Rocket League and EFootball. I’ve included a very basic summary of each game below. 

Dota 2

(Image Credit: Valve)

Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA). Played from a birds-eye perspective two teams of five face off against each other with the goal to destroy the “throne” in the centre of the opposing team’s base. Each player assumes a different hero who fulfils a certain role such as high damage, high durability or support. Dota 2 is available on PC only. 

Rocket League

(Image Credit: Psyonix)

Rocket League is Football played with rocket-powered micro cars. Teams of up to four go head-to-head in an arena dome trying to knock a ball into the opposing team’s goal. Players can collect boosts to go faster, drive up walls and jump to reach the ball or ram into opposing players. Rocket League is available on PC and consoles. 

EFootball

(Image Credit: Konami)

Formerly known as “Pro Evolution Soccer”, EFootball is, shockingly, a football game. The game is played 1v1 with players assuming their chosen real-world football club, controlling the whole team from a birds-eye perspective as they attempt to score in the opposing player’s goal. EFootball is available on PC and Consoles. 


Which teams Are Competing?

Information has been a bit sparse on this front. The official site has a series of flags under each session but it doesn’t specify which teams are competing in which tournaments; but according to an article by British Esports there will be 29 nations competing from across the 72 members of the Commonwealth.

Nations who will be represented are: 

AustraliaGhanaMalaysiaScotland
BangladeshGibraltarMaltaSingapore
BarbadosIndiaNew ZealandSouth Africa
Brunei DarussalamJamaicaNigeriaSri Lanka
CanadaKenyaNorthern IrelandTrinidad and Tobago
EnglandMalawiSaint LuciaWales

I’ve hyperlinked handles for the home nations but you find the majority of the teams in some form or another on Twitter with the hashtag #CEC2022


Which Games Are the Home Nations Competing In?

Esports England, Esports Wales, Esports Northern Ireland and Esports Scotland, will be representing the home nations in the following categories:

  • Dota 2 Open: Esports England & Esports Wales
  • Dota 2 Women’s: Esports England & Esports Wales 
  • Rocket League Open: Esports England & Esports Wales
  • Rocket League Women’s: Esports England, Esports Wales & Esports Scotland 
  • eFootball Open: Esports England, Esports Wales, Esports Northern Ireland & Esports Scotland 
  • eFootball Women’s: Esports England, Esports Wales & Esports Northern Ireland

British Esports have a great breakdown of all of the home nation players who will be competing here.


How Can I Watch It?

You have two options – In-Person or Online. 

Watch Live

You can watch the finals live at the ICC. Each session is priced at £35 and there are four sessions – so if you want to watch all of the tournaments then it will cost you £140. However, you can get 20% off at check out if you enter code WALESCEC or ENGLANDCEC making it £28 / £112. 

Image Credit: Esports England and Esports Wales

Watch Online

Matches will be streamed on the Global Esports Federation Twitch and YouTube channels on the 6th and 7th of August respectively. If you’d rather just focus on the home nations then I would watch the British Esports streams on Youtube and Twitch or you can watch England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland on their respective Twitch streams.

Who Is Behind The Tournament?

The Commonwealth Esports Championships was sanctioned by the Commonwealth Games Federation Executive Board to be held at the same time as the 2022 Commonwealth Games while being independent of Birmingham 2022 and its Sports programme. As mentioned above it will have separate branding, medals, organisation, and governance, led by the GEF and its community of partners.

It will have separate branding, medals, organisation, and governance, led by the GEF and its community of partners.

About the Commonwealth Games Federation

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is the organisation that is responsible for the direction and control of the Commonwealth Games, and for delivering on the vision of the Commonwealth Sports Movement: to build peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities globally by inspiring Commonwealth Athletes to drive the impact and ambition of all Commonwealth Citizens through Sport.

About the Global Esports Federation

The Global Esports Federation promotes the credibility, legitimacy, and prestige of esports. We convene athletes, players, the world’s publishers, developers, industry partners and sporting organizations on one inclusive platform. We encourage and support the connection between esports, sport and technology. Our mission calls for the development of visible initiatives that are in service to the world’s esports community. We are grateful for a collective of strategic partnerships that bring to life this mission. 

About British Esports

British Esports is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2016 to support and promote esports in the UK. As a national body, its aims are to foster future British talent, increase the awareness of esports and provide expertise and advice. It’s focused on the grassroots level of esports and is not a governing body. The Association helps educate the masses – including parents, teachers, media and government – around what esports is and what its benefits are. Its three goals are to promote, improve and inspire. British Esports will be responsible for coordinating and supporting the European teams. 

About the Business and Tourism Programme (BATP)

The Business and Tourism Programme (BATP) aims to leverage the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to embed positive perceptions of the West Midlands into the international imagination, driving long-term economic benefits across the region, fostering civic pride. Focusing on tourism, trade and investment, the three-year programme will catalyse the West Midlands’ growth strategy, cementing the region, and wider UK, as a globally sought-after location to visit, invest and live in. Its work will focus on nations and territories across the Commonwealth.


That’s it from me, friends. I’ll be covering all of the action live on Twitter and posting updates here throughout the weekend. If you have any ammends to this page please email mat@geekybrummie.com

Catch me Mondays over at the Geeky Brummie Twitter or follow me on my personal handle @MrMatLovell. Adios!

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